Technology and people don’t often see eye to eye. This is often a result of healthcare providers failing to factor in the human element when implementing new technology. When this happens, providers fail to see the ROI they expect from their investments—and may abandon initiatives altogether as a result.
Healthcare providers need to ask how they can optimize engagement and experience for all users while creating financial value for the health system. This goal requires more than simply layering on technology.
All of your technology must be interconnected and unified to provide a seamless experience that actually helps users accomplish their tasks.
Creating a seamless and connected experience with your technology is what we consider a digital experience. Healthcare leadership teams, however, are often hesitant to talk about investing in digital. They confuse digital with IT and recall previous investments that achieved expected ROI.
Understanding that digital is not IT is the first step in getting stakeholders to buy in on humanizing their user experience—and coincidentally also helps extract value from IT investments.
Seamless experiences have become the standard for most industries. Customers can now pick up their phone and complete previously cumbersome tasks like applying for a new insurance policy on Lemonade or finding personalized entertainment recommendations from Netflix in just moments. The ease and personalization of apps like these have driven customers to expect technology that works for them and not against them.
To win in the engagement economy, healthcare organizations must provide users with meaningful experiences. For healthcare, this might be in the form of immediate information, convenience, or personalized care.
The friction of the scheduling process means that patients are less likely to schedule routine visits, creating gaps in their coverage. Providers can smooth out this process through digital means. Removing that friction and ultimately increasing engagement is possible by automating education on why visits are important and simultaneously suggesting relevant times that a patient can schedule with a single click.
In fee-for-service environments, seamless experiences lead to increased engagement. The additional revenue can help the health system tailor specific downstream care for the patient and offer even more tailored clinical advice and monitoring. Similarly, in value-based care, patients that receive well-thought-out referrals are more likely to contain clinical health risk through prevention and early detection.
To provide seamless digital experiences for your customers, it’s important to begin by unifying your technology. Instead of replacing or covering over existing technology, providers must instead connect existing systems. The goal should be to extract value from these IT investments and ensure teams aren’t simply looking for new solutions but instead analyzing how to make those solutions work.
The challenge is that operations teams are often overloaded and don’t have time to connect all the moving parts. It’s also possible that if initiatives don’t produce quick returns, teams can quickly lose steam.
So how can providers solve these challenges? By creating small, specialized, and interdisciplinary teams that take the pressure off of operations and allocate the resources needed to innovate.
Short and well-defined sprints can also help teams take an iterative approach and prevent them from being overwhelmed into stagnation. Teams can further protect momentum by having each initiative auto-fuel subsequent initiatives—finding quick wins that produce revenue within six to 12 months to fuel ongoing innovations.
Unifying your digital experience requires a unique combination of skill sets. Approach this challenge by tackling the problem on five fronts: the promise, product, platform, process, and most importantly, people. Articulating the promise includes defining where you’re headed, why you’re going there, and what you need to get there. The goal is to create experiences that showcase your value and connect technology in a way that benefits members and patients.