5 Ways to Achieve a Consumer-Centric Healthcare Organization
Understanding what drives consumers
A recent survey by Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Journal discussed the ways providers and payers can better understand the wants and needs of patients as consumers.
What Patients Want
In healthcare, consumer-centric remains an emerging concept. The complexity of the services, payment structures, and even emotions involved seems to have made “consumer-centric” an excellent, yet hard-to achieve aspiration.
When healthcare providers start thinking about the motivations of patients and the jobs to be done for them, they will stop thinking of the consumer healthcare path as merely a series of services and activities. They will begin to make healthcare more consumer-centric.
The first step is to move beyond a narrow view of healthcare – a patient sitting with a doctor in an exam room or waiting for an MRI at a hospital. The industry must think through the full spectrum of activities individuals undertake in the quest to improve and maintain their physical and mental health. These activities are often fraught with uncertainty.
Consumers struggle with making and sustaining healthy choices related to nutrition and physical activity. They have trouble fitting medical care into their busy lives, with its 9-to-5 weekday schedule. They are unsure how their health decisions today will affect their finances tomorrow. What’s more, they are increasingly being forced to navigate the system not only for themselves and their children but also for their aging parents.
Taking this broader perspective, it is clear that the most salient consumer health issues are often ones never addressed within the four walls of most medical facilities.
The Healthcare Journey
To achieve consumer-centricity, healthcare organizations must start to visualize the consumer journey from start to finish. Using findings from the 2017 Oliver Wyman survey of over 2,000 healthcare consumers, here are five steps identified to help healthcare leaders better meet consumer needs:
- Streamline access to healthcare:
The survey found that consumers want healthcare on their terms, and on their schedule. That means they are looking for guaranteed same-day access, telemedicine options, evening and weekend hours, and even in-home visits.
- Demystify the financial implications of healthcare:
Most consumers remain perplexed when it comes to determining how their decisions affect their costs or how those expenses might be balanced against the likely outcomes. Guidance on the financial implications of healthcare decisions was one of the top needs identified.
- Make clinical decision making easier
Consumers in the survey saw narrow networks as potential value-add features that they would actually pay extra for. They want the tools, information, and guardrails to make good decisions.
- Support consumers as they care for others:
Caregivers are actively looking for ways to improve their Given the expanding population of seniors, finding a way to serve this demographic is critical for healthcare organizations.
- Help consumers maintain active, independent lives:
One of the top concerns of the aging baby boomer is maintaining overall health and wellness. Given those concerns, top projects to pursue shouldn’t be new hospitals, but rather facilities geared toward helping people stay active and participate.
Customer centricity is sometimes used as a catchall term for talking about customer feedback or customer satisfaction results, but making people happy is only one part of the equation. To have sustained success, companies must understand current customer needs and wants, and ensure that there are the right internal and customer-facing strategies, processes and marketing initiatives to satisfy them.Implementing these 5 steps can provide a competitive advantage for your practice.