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Tuesday, 28 September 2021 10:06

CX transformation initiatives in the healthcare sector

By Mark Weaser, OutSystems
Mark Weaser, Vice President, APAC, OutSystems Mark Weaser, Vice President, APAC, OutSystems

GUEST OPINION by Mark Weaser, Vice President, APAC, OutSystems:  Customer experience (CX) has quickly become a top business priority as more of us interact and transact online. However, CX transformation initiatives are rare in the healthcare sector, despite the increasing adoption and use of virtual care visits. While you might feel satisfied with your healthcare provider in person, the industry has a prominent delivery gap. Only 34 percent of consumers feel that they get the information they need and 56 percent don’t think they get the same quality of care in virtual settings as compared to an in-person visit[1].

It’s clear then that the healthcare sector could benefit from a major CX overhaul. In fact, among consumers who said they wouldn’t have another virtual care visit, 1 out of 5 did not like the way their clinician treated them. If the global pandemic was the “push factor” that accelerated businesses to go digital, then it should similarly incentivise the healthcare industry to put customers at the center of healthcare offerings and better focus on patient needs.

Consumers are becoming more discerning and informed about their health than ever before, demanding more affordable, transparent and personalised healthcare. For instance, Gen X and baby boomers are now expressing a stronger interest in telehealth apps that provide real time triage recommendations - a paradigm shift exacerbated by the pandemic. The move of these apps into mainstream consciousness has contributed to an increase in the total number of virtual visits, from 15 percent in 2019 to 28 percent in April 2020[2]. However, what hasn’t changed is the expectation of trusting and pleasant clinician-patient relationships, which remains a top priority among consumers both on and offline.

To better meet the challenge of consumers’ high expectations, healthcare providers must move towards establishing meaningful engagement with patients, clinicians, and physicians, with CX at the center of these initiatives. Transitioning towards a value-based care (VBC) model can provide better patient outcomes, drive down the overall cost of serving patients, and reduce wasteful spending[3]. Digital platforms can help achieve this integrated care approach through:

1. Enhanced analytics that improve patient care

2. Improved clinical productivity with data transparency

3. Streamlined operations that provide care beyond the hospital

4. Personalised patient experiences

Enhanced analytics that improve patient care

Patients would greatly benefit from an integrated digital system that allows information to be shared across healthcare providers. Having access to the vast amount of data spread across clinical, operational, and administrative systems and departments, including third party data, will allow Healthcare Delivery Organisations (HDOs) to get a true 360-degree view of their patients’ health history, make more informed decisions and deliver a higher standard of care. Doing so can substantially reduce instances of overdiagnosis and treatment in patients, as well as improve patient satisfaction.

Improved clinical productivity with data transparency

The ability to consolidate multiple data sources and systems into a single source of truth can significantly improve clinical productivity and reduce critical clinical errors. However, many systems currently used by HDOs still limit transparency and sharing of data across departments. A single view of the patient across departments would allow physicians to make decisions with 100 percent of the data in real-time.

Streamlining operations to provide care beyond the hospital

With patient-centric outcomes becoming the norm, HDOs have the opportunity to reduce their operational costs and meet the patient on their terms in their home environment. Building an omnichannel care solution for both patients and physicians (e.g., telehealth systems, in-home care management, healthcare mobile apps) would allow organisations to rapidly prototype, test with end users, and make changes within hours.

Personalising patient experiences

Applying lessons learned from customer experience initiatives in other industries will aid in the creation of new digital systems giving healthcare providers the ability to rapidly build patient-facing apps for purposes such as researching their prescribed drugs, evaluating their treatment options, accessing, and controlling their medical information, and more.

Rapid innovation in digital medicine, digital consumer engagement, AI, and virtual care are fast disrupting traditional business and operating models of HDOs. Adapting to these trends through new integrated care delivery models is paramount for the healthcare industry to avoid isolation in an increasingly consumer-centric and digital society.

Beyond digital transformation, organisational transformation is key. A new lens is required when developing digital business strategy and enterprise IT architecture and translating it into effective execution. HDOs can no longer just adapt, they have to optimize their digital roadmaps to focus on better digital experiences for clinicians and patients. This shift towards CX is all the more important given the current situation with the pandemic. Global lockdowns and safety restrictions may see us visiting a healthcare professional online sooner than we think - and we would all be better off knowing that our health is in good hands.

[1] 2020 Health care consumer survey: consumer health trends

[2] 2020 Health care consumer survey: consumer health trends

[3] OutSystems for Healthcare - Accelerate Delivery of Value-Based Care

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