The past year has seen transformational shifts in healthcare, from the continued adoption of virtual care to the disruption of AI. And 2024 promises more changes.

Across the industry, healthcare brands face pressure on multiple fronts. Today’s patients expect a consumer-like experience that is personalized and tailored to their needs and preferences. At the same time, HCPs and their staff struggle to manage an ever-increasing workload, with limited ability to meet these heightened patient demands.

Closing this gap requires strategic investments that enhance the patient experience and help HCPs and staff work more productively, as well as prepare the office for the needs of tomorrow. Here are three key investments to consider in the coming year.

1. Upgrade the payment experience

The demand for a consumer-like experience extends to every stage of a patient’s journey, including payment.

Today’s patients expect transparency and clarity in the billing process, as well as flexible options to collect payment. Put simply, it’s not enough to accept a range of cards in-office. Patients must be able to pay online — for example, through online portals — or use their mobile device, such as via text-to-pay.

Investing in the right payment processing solutions allows healthcare companies to accept a range of payment options to meet patients where they are, as well as create personalized payment plans for patients who prefer to pay via installments. Patients benefit from the ability to pay how they want, while brands reduce friction during the payment process to quickly and easily collect payment.

2. Modernize or expand the office

While virtual care is on the rise, the clinic or office still plays a central role in the patient experience. As you create your business strategy for the coming year, consider how investing in the office can help your practice grow.

Investments in new clinical equipment, for example, may allow you to modernize, upgrade, and expand the types of services you offer. It can also help improve the ergonomics in the clinic, which strengthens the employee experience to help attract and retain talent.

Strategic investments in technology, such as automated patient communication tools, relieve the burden on staff while enhancing the patient experience. And modernizing the waiting room — for example, by adding more comfortable seating, or adding ambiance with new art — helps create a warm first impression.

Finally, reflect on whether your current practice space fits your needs — including your planned improvements — and explore whether you'd benefit from building out the existing space or moving into a larger one.

3. Attract and retain staff with holistic benefits

Healthcare staff, particularly frontline workers, have been hit hard in the past few years, leading to higher attrition and staffing shortages across the industry. Nearly one-third (31%) of nurses who provide direct patient care, for example, say they intend to leave their job in the next year, according to research from McKinsey[1].

Business owners must work proactively to safeguard existing staff and attract new talent. And, while any talent management strategy should be multifaceted — taking into account factors such as compensation, flexibility and work-life balance — employers have an opportunity to stand out with holistic benefits packages.

As you rethink your benefits offerings, consider adding financial wellness benefits that speak to employees’ current financial concerns. Financial wellness seminars, for example, can provide employees the insights they need to work toward common financial goals, such as buying a home or saving for education, while a competitive 401(k) package can help employees save for the future.

Get support future-proofing your practice

A new year brings new business goals — and the right strategic investments can help strengthen the patient experience, boost productivity, and help you attract and retain top talent.

We’re here to help with industry insights and financial solutions to help you reach your goals. To learn more, visit us online or contact your PNC relationship manager.