The new health care customer
Engaging with tomorrow’s patients
Aligning organizational focus to the patient across the spectrum of care through customer and digital transformation methodologies can contribute not only to greater health outcomes for patients, but can also benefit the organization’s bottom line.
Understand the benefits of preemption by engaging with the new health care customer
A highly engaged, informed, and involved patient to whom a differentiated customer experience is tailored leads to satisfied patients which, in turn, can create more potential market share and revenue growth.
The connection between reimbursement and patient experience is also increasingly clear: failing to live up to patient expectations has a near-term impact on the bottom line for healthcare providers.
Brand, reputation, market share, and revenue are all at risk when a patient has a negative experience. In today's hyper-connected digital world, bad experiences, poor customer service, and online reviews can wreak havoc on customers’ decisions regarding where to obtain care.
Attracting, acquiring, and retaining new customers is no longer limited to the domain of retailers, bankers, and hoteliers. Hospitals and administrators must also focus on the ability to attract, retain, and even delight both young invincibles and chronically ill patients, while simultaneously engaging individuals to optimally manage their health and well-being. Being able to effectively meet these challenges will be critically important enablers for achieving expected results for the health systems of tomorrow.
"Engaging with tomorrow’s patients: The new health care customer" focuses on steps to establish your organization as a patient-focused provider:
- Changing focus to value instead of volume
- Understanding customer preferences
- Adopting the right methodology for change
- Developing a strategy for customer and digital transformation
- Enabling patient engagement initiatives that drive benefit and value
Customer and digital transformation methodologies realize the benefits of preemption, while avoiding costly inaction in the face of great change, throughout the health care delivery marketplace.
Translate customer insights into initiatives driving innovative patient experiences
Provider organizations’ customers and digital transformation journeys support the customer-focused market shift. Notably, these steps are outlined by examples within the customer transformation methodology:
- Discover needs: Organizational leaders know they need to use digital tools to satisfy patient desires for engagement, but they do not know how or which to choose. An organization should clearly articulate goals and definitions of success by uncovering assumptions and aligning intentions, while engaging with customers and staff, observing their behaviors, needs, challenges and opportunities, and by understanding causality of both delight and pain points. A patient engagement assessment and strategy determines the right tools via thorough research and market analysis.
- Define opportunities: Improving data integrity, reducing insurance denials, and enhancing the patient access process is a patient engagement initiative. Synthesizing the observations and data available to form insights into patterns, themes, resonant images, and a journey map to define the expertise and capabilities required for customer-focused redesign allows you to uncover themes that are not always obvious, but they can be identified with thoughtful exploration.
- Distill solutions: Understanding the drivers of customer loyalty, as well as improving clinical effectiveness, improves patient engagement, and health outcomes. Involving customers and staff to co-design potential solutions and develop key design concepts that can be rapidly prototyped and tested with real users, while defining the key operating model changes necessary to support the organization in the future, allows you to drive to actionable solutions that can be tested and refined. For example, when readmission levels are high, a customer experience improvement approach may be part of the answer.
- Decide on initiatives: When considering market competition, strategic plans catering to patient engagement are essential for achieving expected financial and performance-related results. Delivering services and products requires a roadmap that captures and prioritizes patient needs and preferences.
- Deliver outcomes: Monitoring ongoing benefits is required to recalibrate initiatives aimed to enhance patient experience. Initiatives need oversight: if patient expectations or financial outcomes are not met, pinpointing the issue can get the initiative back on track. Carefully structuring development and implementation of key initiatives allows you to test, iterate and establish tracking tools to measure service levels and operational and financial performance.