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Deloitte's Life Sciences & Health Care Blog

Direct from HIMSS17: The transformation of customer experience in health care: Moving from incremental change to full steam ahead

Let’s skip all the stuff you already know:

  • The rising importance of customer experience as a competitive advantage in health care
  • Consumers’ increasing expectations based on their experiences elsewhere
  • The disjointed, uneven experience most consumers report from their health care providers

And so on…

At this point, you’ve heard and seen all of this firsthand, and may have even taken some first steps to address these issues at your organization.

As we gather together at HIMSS, (and in dozens of conversations I’ve had with clients over the past year), one of the questions I’m frequently hearing is “what’s everyone else doing to improve customer experience?” It’s not a surprising question. In health care, change often happens as a function of what your competitors are doing: “They’re offering same-day mammograms? We should do that, too.” And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s the story of incremental change, and it’s led to the widespread adoption of some valuable experience-focused innovations through the years. While incremental change is valuable, how can we get ahead of the big changes?

Listening for the warning signs of transformation

In our business, we’ve learned to recognize the signs that something big is coming. What do we look (or listen) for?

  • Integrated customer experience transformation strategy projects
  • Customer experience transformation program charters, budgets, and planning efforts
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) tools and other vendor selection processes and associated budgeting
  • Marketing and outreach strategies along with customer segmentation efforts

Typically, if you start to see an uptick in these type of engagements, you know that transformation is coming. That is exactly where we are today in the provider sector.

Ready for full steam ahead?

So if you’re wondering whether your peers have big customer experience transformation initiatives underway, well, many of them already do – and more are coming soon. What does that mean for you? Start by looking at your current portfolio of consumer experience efforts. Are they a collection of one-offs, or are they the components of a larger transformation strategy? If the former, it’s entirely possible that you could wake up in the future to realize that you’ve been seriously outflanked by a competitor that was able to create a seamless, cohesive experience that begins well before the moment a patient has a need for care, all the way through to billing and ongoing engagement. That’s what is at stake here. Yes, it’s big. But it’s also way past time to make it happen.

PS if you’re at HIMSS, stop by our session today for more on the digital patient experience. See below for details. Hope to see you there!

Transforming the Digital Patient Experience
3:30 – 4:30p.m., Monday, Feb 20, Room 202B, Open to all attendees

Provider organizations today face ongoing challenges in effectively engaging and interacting with their patients, which can lead to reduced access, poorer health outcomes, and an inability to effectively serve their needs. Digital tools and technologies allow providers to meaningfully engage with their patients to better attract, retain and serve their patients.



Author bio

Quinn leads Deloitte Digital’s health care capabilities covering web, mobile, and social technologies across health plans and provider organizations. He focuses on how to leverage these technologies to improve patient experiences, reduce clinical and treatment costs, and help health care organizations reach and attract consumers in new ways.