The expectations and needs of patients in the healthcare sector are changing. In the past, providing excellent patient care was enough for a successful practice — and patient satisfaction.1 Today, patients expect an effective, high-quality service that meets their needs and takes their experience into account.
As consumer models change in retail, research shows that patient expectations align closely with general customer experience. Further research shows that 7 in 10 healthcare patients want their healthcare experience to be like online shopping.2 How can life sciences companies adapt to this retail model within their organization and offer patients an omnichannel approach to their healthcare experience? Below are 6 strategies that can help organizations adapt to changing patient expectations and innovate patient experience.
1. CREATE A 360-DEGREE PATIENT-CENTERED JOURNEY
Patients are no longer passive in their healing journey. Treatment and medication used to be the focus of patient care. Now, the patient’s journey to medicine, human experience, and vision for their care are just as important.
A recent survey found that 61.5% of the patients felt involved in their care, while 1 in 10 stated that they would like to be more engaged in their treatment.3
This patient-centered approach requires a fundamental shift in how life sciences organizations approach their care. Healthcare professionals now need to concentrate on patient motivations and their needs. Multiple methods can help them identify what their patient wants from their care, such as surveys, interviews, and patient advocacy group consultations.
By starting with a holistic understanding of the patient’s journey and motivation, organizations can lay a foundation for an experience tailored to them.
2. PERSONALIZE PATIENT COMMUNICATION CHANNELS
Personalization has become a central idea to the patient experience. Patients need care tailored toward their condition and unique needs that contribute to their overall health. Improving communication channels can help bring about more patient-centered care that can help them feel heard and understood.
Just as retailers create personalized experiences for their customers by opening communication channels, life sciences organizations also need to develop open communication for patients across generations. That means offering multiple channels for contacting their healthcare providers while still experiencing a unified experience.
For example, while in-person appointments continue to be the most common way for patients to meet their healthcare provider, telehealth is growing in popularity, especially amongst millennials.4 Take time to survey your customers to see which communication channels will mean the most to them.
3. OPTIMIZE PATIENT EDUCATION
For many patients, approaching healthcare can be confusing. If they cannot
understand any information provided to them, they may feel disempowered
about their care.
For example, 1 in 3 adults in the United States finds it challenging to read a prescription label.5 Providing medical information that they can understand and easily access will significantly improve how they view their care. Infographics, self-service portals, and videos that break down complex jargon into easy-to-digest information can help patients feel empowered and less confused.
Patients want to learn more about their diseases and how life sciences organizations are innovating treatments that will improve or even cure their condition. Providing them with this information can significantly improve the patient experience.
4. DRIVE EFFECTIVE PATIENT OUTCOMES
For much of modern medical history, the outcomes were centered around and driven by the treatment. However, today life sciences organizations can drive more effective patient outcomes by taking cues from the patient about their needs and what they want to receive from their care.
Including patients in their care and opening up communication with them can help drive their care process and ensure that their needs are taken into account. For example, including patients in trial design creates better study design and delivery for patients.6
Patient engagement and outcomes will increase when they understand how their treatment will meet their own needs and goals.
5. SUSTAIN THE PATIENT JOURNEY WITH DIGITAL CARE
The COVID pandemic has changed what patients expect from technology in healthcare. Out of necessity, many hospitals, and life sciences, organizations were forced to adopt virtual tools as 70% of patients deferred or canceled treatment.7 This shift to digital care continues to drive patient experience and helps reduce the frustrations they may encounter, such as long wait times to speak with a representative or professional and long drive times to get to testing.
Research shows that patients are seeking omnichannel health experiences and, as a result, are more open than ever to embracing technology as part of their care. A survey showed that 60% of the patients stated that they would like to use technology to communicate with healthcare professionals and help them manage their patients’ conditions.7
Artificial intelligence (AI) technology leveraged through chatbots, wearables, and machine learning can help patients get easier access to their provider and engage in monitoring their condition outside of a hospital, ultimately improving their experience and outcomes. Data analytics are also critical in enhancing passive sensing, such as wearables and streamlining user-reported data. In a 2018 survey, 73% of respondents, 5% more from 2016, preferred monitoring their daily health metrics via wearables (eg, Fitbit data).8 Many life sciences organizations are responding to this rising acceptance and demand for AI technology. Expert analysis found that Clinical Data Analytics records an annual growth rate of 33.07% from 2021 to 2026.9
6. MEASURE THE SUCCESS OF PATIENT
The shift to patient-centered care instead of treatment-centered care is not something companies will get perfectly from the start. It will take monitoring and adjusting to ensure that the patient’s needs and journey are considered. Metrics such as key performance indicators (KPIs) and return on investment (ROI) can help provide measurements of the success of patient engagement and determine if more changes are needed.
For example, calculating your net promoter score (NPS) is a critical metric for how well you are achieving word of mouth. Patient activation measure (PAM) measures patient engagement in their healthcare.
By measuring the success of patient engagement initiatives, healthcare organizations can keep track of their patient engagement initiatives to ensure that they continue to provide the level of care that patients expect now. This allows them to adjust if they find that patients are not responding to their initiatives as they hope they would.
OMNICARE FOR A SUPERIOR PATIENT EXPERIENCE
Effective communication and care are vital for the overall experience. The consumer retail landscape has given life sciences organizations a model to mimic for patient care. A unified, efficient, and effective patient experience through strategic technology will improve the patient journey.
This type of experience can only be unlocked with a unified patient experience management platform accessible to all key stakeholders. Healthcare teams can overlay a retail customer experience model into the life sciences environment with a technology-first, partnership mindset. Exeevo’s Omnicare patient experience platform provides a single digital ecosystem built to connect patients to different stakeholders such as caregivers, healthcare providers within the healthcare system, and skilled advisors within life sciences organizations in order to improve the patient journey while benefitting from the data security and infrastructure that comes from the platform being built on Microsoft’s Cloud for Healthcare.
Explore the Personalized Experiences Offered by Omnicare
To learn how Exeevo and Omnicare can help your organization create a unified, personalized, integrated, and enhanced patient experience, click here to get in touch.
1. Deloitte. 2021 Global health care outlook. Retrieved from: https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/life-sciences-and-healthcare/articles/global-health-care -sector-outlook.html.
2. Business Wire. 2018. NTT DATA study finds nearly two-thirds of consumers expect healthcare digital experience to be more like retail. Retrieved from: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180305005288/en/NTT-DATA-Study-Finds-Two-Thir ds-Consumers-Expect.
3. Nuffieldtrust. 23 September 2021. Do patients feel involved in decisions about their care? Retrieved from: https://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/resource/do-patients-feel-involved-in-decisions-about-their-care.
4. Avtex. 2021. Omnichannel Healthcare Experience Report 2021. Retrieved from: https://avtex.com/resources/omnichannel-healthcare-experience-report.
5. Syneos Health. 2021. The critical success factor for fully realizing the benefits of decentralized trials. Retrieved from:
6. NIHR. Engage patients to help shape your clinical research. Retrieved from: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/explore-nihr/industry/pecd.htm.
7. Accenture. 2020. How COVID-19 has permanently changed patient behavior. Retrieved from: https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/life-sciences/coronavirus-patient-behavior-research.
8. McKinsey & Company. 2019. Omnichannel consumer interactions — a payer perspective. Retrieved from: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/omnichannel-consumer-interactions-a-payer-perspective.
9. Mordor Intelligence. 2021. Clinical data analytics market - growth, trends, COVID-19 impact, and forecasts. Retrieved from: https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/clinical-data-analytics-market-industry.