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Patients have less patience in the digital age

Dan Prince | Jan 17, 2018 Dan Prince 01/17/18

Most of us do things differently in the digital age. We expect everything to be fast. Easy. Convenient. Those expectations don’t stop with retail stores and restaurants. We want the same from hospitals and doctors, and if we aren’t happy with the service we receive, we’ll look for another provider. So what can providers do to inspire loyalty?

Adapt to modern expectations

To grow and succeed, today’s healthcare organizations need to create the kind of experience that keeps patients coming through their doors—despite market forces that encourage us to shop around. For one thing, health savings accounts (HSAs) are on the rise, giving people more control over their healthcare dollars and decisions. Deductibles are also increasing, prompting individuals to keep an eye open for the best value in healthcare.

And we have more options. When we can’t get a timely appointment at our regular doctor, we may instead visit the walk-in clinic down the street or immediately secure a telemedicine consult. We have more power to choose, and we are using it. Why wait two weeks for an appointment if I can be seen by someone else today?

Think more like retailers by putting a premium on the patient experience

Healthcare providers are evolving to meet our demands for better and more convenient service. Like today’s successful retailers, they are becoming consumer-centric—or, more accurately, patient-centric. More than half of today’s healthcare organizations have a patient experience (PX) officer on their leadership team. In addition, 82% of healthcare organizations in 2017 cited PX as one of their top 3 priorities for the next 3 years. This focus to oversee the ongoing measurement and management of their organization’s service keeps their focus on winning not only a patient’s trust, but also their loyalty.  



Build loyalty by keeping the patient first

In healthcare, as in retail, creating an exceptional consumer experience requires close examination of every touchpoint. A positive outcome isn’t the only priority. Healthcare leaders are looking more broadly at their entire operation. They know that to improve PX and build a solid reputation, they must have a clear understanding of consumers’ shifting needs and preferences. They must also have robust feedback programs in place to know what’s working and what needs to improve.

Bottom line:

It’s a consumer-driven world, and the healthcare industry is no exception. That means it’s more important than ever for providers to hear from their patients and act on what they say.

For a closer look at what’s driving the shift, check out our report: Four factors driving consumer-centric healthcare.

Dan Prince
VP, Customer Engagement