Rethinking Healthcare Experience: Understand the Individual’s Journey

Sandra Radlovački

Find out how healthcare organizations can deliver more individualized care and service

Rethinking Healthcare Experience: Understand the Individual’s Journey

Healthcare has yet to leverage the potential of CX solutions for delivering exceptional experiences. Undoubtedly, the hardest hit by the pandemic, healthcare, was also the quickest to embrace many new technologies. The pandemic also ushered in the widespread adoption of a host of telehealth solutions, with the aim of maintaining care even under unprecedented circumstances.

However, healthcare still has a long way to go in terms of CX. Due to the industry’s very nature, which requires enhanced levels of empathy and solutions specifically tailored to individuals, healthcare organizations might be slow-moving in their mission to deliver outstanding experiences.

To learn more about what healthcare organizations can do to address the demand for more individualized care and service, CX Today spoke with Angeline Speaks, Healthcare Solutions Leader at Concentrix.

Obstacles for healthcare organizations

Discussing common pain points in a healthcare journey, Speaks identifies two major issues: a cluttered approach and failure to understand an individual’s needs.

People are often forced to navigate the complexity of healthcare services when they are most vulnerable, which can cause additional pressure and worsen the experience altogether. An individual in need reaches out to a healthcare organization with one goal in mind: to improve their current situation.

Yet, the service they receive frequently feels purely transactional and has too many points of contact that don’t talk to each other. More often than not, people come out of an encounter with the healthcare system with loads of unfamiliar information, ultimately dealing with many complex issues on their own.

The second major pain point in an individual’s journey has to do with understanding care options. With so many care, coverage, health plan, and payment options that are not clearly defined, people struggle to understand the best choice. While Google reviews can help, people are still left alone to coordinate the different aspects of their health care, often wondering where to go, who is the best provider, what health plan is best, and is it affordable?

When it comes to genuine expressions of empathy in healthcare, Speaks knows from first-hand experience that there is room for improvement. She says: “The overarching issue in healthcare is the lack of accountability for standard of care and treatment plans. The level of communication and compassion is lacking and should be a top priority for these organizations. It not only makes for happier patients, members, and physicians, it also directly impacts the bottom line.”

It is time for a change

Speaks advises that healthcare should learn from other companies that have made delivering exceptional experiences a true differentiator. The first step would be to invest in more tech solutions for deeper individual insights. Speaks explains this in detail:

“Healthcare organizations need to build out intelligent personal profiles for patients, members, and providers, to help predict intent through coordinated data lakes, which helps organizations use this data for a nobler purpose, like guiding people to the next best actions and recommended options. This is something that’s been talked about for more than 10 years now. At this point, there’s no excuse for it since the technology has advanced so much.”

We operate in a world full of pressure to improve satisfaction, where the quality of care is determined by each interaction and meaningful moments that matter. Speaks says that hospitals are already having their revenue and reimbursements impacted by patient satisfaction scores, forcing them to consider changes in their operations. Speaks continues: “There’s a real paradigm shift at play, moving us away from imbalanced, physician-dominated interactions to people-centered journeys that empower individuals with more control over their health care.” It’s not just hospitals and physicians facing this reality; health plans also have financial consequences for poor satisfaction scores.

Healthcare organizations should be there to guide people across every step of their journeys. By providing a coordinator or a concierge that helps individuals on their care path, organizations, members, and patients will see improvement in experience and brand loyalty.

Three immediate actions for better healthcare experiences

These changes may seem overwhelming for many organizations because, let’s face it, it’s not how they have been set up to operate. However, Speaks offers a few actions that could immediately make a difference. She begins:

“The first one is personalized proactive communications. This means identifying an individual’s needs and sending out a proactive message about the next step. It could be about a prescription that needs to be filled, a follow-up appointment that needs to be scheduled, medical device support, or a bill that needs to be paid.”

The second solution is easing the process of scheduling. With the modern technology currently available, people should be able to speak naturally, just like they would with an agent, or text with a virtual assistant, and have that information translated into an action. “No more waiting on hold to make an appointment; just speak into your phone and boom, the appointment has been made, and a text confirmation is received instantly.”

Finally, help people, especially the next generation, understand the healthcare system by using straightforward language to explain details about care options, costs, and an individual’s rights. This would ease the burden on the healthcare system in general.

Speaks explains: “The language of healthcare is filled with acronyms and jargon that can seem like a foreign language. It places a huge financial burden on the system, especially when people make unintentional, expensive choices and later find out they have no way to pay for them. You’d be surprised how many people end up at the ER for something that could have been resolved at little to no cost with a quick telehealth visit or a quick trip to a local clinic.”

Measuring customer satisfaction

Speaks emphasizes that healthcare organizations that claim to be serious about improving the experiences of individuals they serve should be using either Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), or Customer Effort Score (CES). NPS is used to see how likely patients are to recommend the brand to others. It looks at both relational and transactional views of an individual experience. “Data like this is really important to help improve specific areas and deliver more great experiences.”

The way organizations obtain this data could be affecting individuals’ responses, especially if the survey process is too long or complicated. Using smart technology like natural language processing (speaking naturally), or text and speech analysis, makes it easier to figure out an individual’s sentiment without taking time out of their day.

Concentrix helps healthcare organizations make every interaction for each individual count. From patient, member, provider, and health plan services to technical and device support, Concentrix offers an array of solutions that enable exceptional experiences. Learn more by visiting this page: Patient and member experience reimagined.

 


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