Healthcare Experience Trends in 2022
Meeting evolving expectations of healthcare consumers means deploying a digital front door
In May 2021, research conducted by Avtex found that 59% of patients said they interacted differently with their healthcare providers than they did pre-pandemic. Consumer behavior has significantly changed, with a massive shift and emphasis on digital channels and self-service. In 2022, meeting healthcare customer expectations will mean deploying a digital front door for your healthcare organization.
The most effective strategies will take a modern, digital approach to the traditional healthcare model, empowering patients and members to control their health plan by accessing information, utilizing self-service applications, and receiving live care, on their terms. Healthcare organizations should focus on providing more ease, convenience, and accessibility throughout the entire patient journey.
68% of patients said their healthcare providers need to improve how they interact with patients.
71% of patients want their experiences with healthcare providers to be as easy as their brand interactions in other industries.
59% of patients say they have been interacting differently with their healthcare providers since the onset of the pandemic.
Deploying a Digital Front Door
Foster Alignment in Your Organization
Build an Integrated Solution
Establish the strategy and goals for your digital front door aligned to your organization’s north star patient experience to ensure cross-departmental buy-in and success.
Front-end and bank-end system integration is key to building a successful digital front door. Leveraging an integrated solution gives you access to all your data to help you deliver a consistent, frictionless, omnichannel experience to all patients.
Develop Strategies for all Digital Channels
Better Understand Your Customers
Gain a deep understanding or your patients to deliver an experience that effectively meets their needs and expectations. To learn more about your patients consider journey mapping, data collection, persona mapping, and consistent feedback loops.
Consider how you will empower your customers to self-serve through your website, mobile app, virtual care solutions, SMS, voice, and other digital channels.
Avtex Thoughts on a Digital Front Door
We are at the peak of the experience economy. Experiences matter more than ever before. Tech giants like Amazon are molding the expectations of consumers and they have come to expect seamless, personalized experiences. Consumers are taking these expectations with them into industries like healthcare. Patients today want to take more ownership of their health and prefer quick, easy access to their care needs on their own terms. Leading healthcare organizations will take the opportunity to either deploy a net new digital front door strategy or enhance and optimize what they’ve already started.
Telehealth claims a permanent seat at the healthcare experience table
At the onset of COVID-19, telehealth utilization soared. In fact, according to McKinsey & Company just a month into the pandemic, overall telehealth usage was 78 times higher in April 2020 than it was in February 2020. At the height of the pandemic in April 2020, over 32% of total outpatient visits occurred via telehealth. While telehealth utilization levels have now stabilized at 13 to 17% of total outpatient visits, it’s clear that telehealth will remain a viable method of care delivery long into the future.
Telehealth is now embedded in the way healthcare organizations do business. McKinsey & Company found a number of reasons why telehealth is now a permanent expectation for delivering healthcare including: telehealth utilization has stabilized at levels 38 times higher than before the pandemic, consumer and provider attitudes toward telehealth have improved, regulatory changes have been made, and investments in virtual care and digital health has skyrocketed.
78x increase in telehealth usage from February to April 2020.
32% of total outpatient visits occurred via telehealth in April 2020.
38x higher telehealth utilization compared to pre-pandemic rates.
13-17% of total outpatient visits are now conducted via telehealth.
“I’d like to think that there will be a day very soon where we don’t think of telehealth as a totally separate care delivery model, but instead it’s just healthcare. You can get it in a clinic, at your home, over a zoom meeting. It’s no longer a new emerging concept, it’s embedded in the way we seek care. It’s not in-person vs. virtual, it’s just healthcare.”
TIFFANY LILLY, RN – HEALTHCARE EXPERIENCE CONSULTANT, AVTEX
Telehealth's Permanent Seat
Focus on Patient-Centered Communication and a “Webside Manner”
Start with Your Data
Telehealth cannot be successful without meaningful data. Consider interoperability and integration with your EHR. When you’re successfully collecting and storing telehealth data you can also apply predictive analytics. Strong data practices will give you insights into key performance indicators like cancellation rate, or appointment timeframes, and effectiveness of process improvements.
Telehealth requires certain skills and patient-centered communication. Ensure you are focused on active listening and understanding your patients’ goals, preferences, and needs throughout all telehealth visits. Take bedside manner virtual to establish trust and rapport with your patients.
Enable Your Employees with the Right Tools
Design with Empathy
In order to empower your employees to deliver the most seamless telehealth experience, you need to make sure your technology is working properly. Ensure you provide the basics like a camera, microphone, internet connection, while also providing an integrated technology stack that gives your employees a unified look at patient data.
As telehealth becomes more embedded in healthcare, it’s important to design telehealth experiences with empathy, understanding, patient-focus, and intention. Avtex offers a number of CX design tools and strategies designed to help you harness customer empathy.
Avtex Thoughts Telehealth's Permanent Seat at the Healthcare Experience Table
Telehealth is no longer a separate entity within healthcare, it’s now embedded in the way healthcare organizations do business, and the way consumers seek care. If you haven’t implemented a long-term telehealth strategy, now is the time to map how it can serve your patients and customers along their journey.
Leaders will focus their energy and resources on recovery, restoration, and revitalization
Few industries were hit as hard by COVID-19 as healthcare – and hospital and healthcare facilities are continuing to see catastrophic impacts. Billions in lost revenue, employee and clinician burnout, hospital closures, talent and retention challenges, reduced preventative health screenings, and increased costs are just a few of the major implications the pandemic has had on healthcare.
The pre-covid world we once knew will never return, and the future of healthcare will be reimagined as organizations focus on recovery, restoration, and revitalization. This will include strategic initiatives like patient activation, omnichannel offerings, new talent attraction and retention methods, consolidation and mergers, and investments in patient experience. The resiliency of hospitals and healthcare facilities has been tested over the last few years, and it will continue to be tested as vaccine resistance continues and new covid variants emerge. The industry is experiencing a paradigm shift, and the new era of healthcare will depend on operational agility.
$202.6 billion in losses for U.S. hospitals and health systems from March 2020 to June 2020.
3.2 million healthcare worker shortage is predicted by 2026.
More than half of primary providers agree their patients’ health worsened due to inaccessible or delayed care.
Recovery, Restoration, and Revitalization
Develop Patient Activation Strategies
Assess Your Technology Stack
Avtex has created a patient activation program that enables health systems and payer organizations to quickly deploy solutions that support improved management of conditions like diabetes, hypertensions, breast, and colon cancer.
Consider how your CRM, marketing technologies, and EMR integrates and use that tech stack to create personalized, impactful engagement campaigns to reach your patient activation goals.
Better Understand Your Patients and Employees
Deliver Transparent Practices and Communications
Patients and employees alike want transparency around their care and their jobs. Deliver frequent and consistent communications that are honest, open, and clear. Transparency is essential throughout the entire patient care journey.
Avtex Thoughts on Recovery, Restoration, and Revitalization
While there are many unknowns about the future of healthcare, one thing is certain: hospitals and healthcare facilities will remain resilient in the face of trial and tribulation. Healthcare organizations who focus on improving patient activation, offering omnichannel solutions, implementing talent attraction and retention methods, and investing in patient experience will be well on their way to recovering, restoring, and revitalizing their organizations.
Seamless healthcare experiences depend on 360-degree views of patient data and information
Every moment, an exponential amount of healthcare data and patient data is generated. Healthcare data now makes up approximately 30% of the world’s data volume. This massive amount of data is the result of modern advancements like AI, Internet of Medical Things, remote patient monitoring, and other technologies that consistently collect and analyze patients’ medical records.
Mastering this explosion of big data and getting as close to a “golden record” as possible is key to delivering seamless patient experiences. The golden record isn’t just a pipe dream – data can now be standardized, connected, unified, and integrated in more ways than ever before, allowing for access to more comprehensive and actionable data insights. A 360-degree view of your customer relies on a strong, integrated customer data solution and strategy that unifies data found in your EHR, billing system, contact center, website, mobile apps, marketing automation platform, wearables, patient portals and more. In 2022 and beyond, data management, governance, and orchestration will become table stakes in the delivery of seamless healthcare experiences. This will likely require more emphasis on data operations in your organization.
360-Degree Views of Patient Data and Information
Move to the Cloud
Take a Data Inventory
As technology evolves and advances, data becomes even more complex with additional data sources. To respond to more incoming data points and sources, it is crucially important that you move to cloud. A unified and integrated infrastructure will be key to getting the most out of your data.
A successful data strategy relies on a complete picture of the data that is available to you today. This will involve gathering all your data sources, understanding the data points available to you, identifying the data gaps that exist, and assessing your data technology to map to an ideal future state.
Define Your Data and Analytics Strategy
Don't Ignore Data Privacy and Protection
Making the most of your data requires a comprehensive and clearly defined data strategy. This strategy should lay out your solution architecture, assess your current data landscape, and identify the data points your key stakeholders need to make informed business decisions.
Patients have long been worried about data privacy, and as healthcare becomes more digitized, it’s mission critical for providers to adhere to HIPAA and other regulatory requirements. Make a plan for protecting data and building trust with your patients.
Avtex Thoughts on Patient Data and Information
As digital transformation and consumerization of healthcare continues, organizations are under pressure to deliver hyper-personalized, seamless experiences. Without data strategy, true personalization is not possible. To understand your customers, deliver the best experiences possible, and remain competitive, your healthcare organization needs to clean, standardize, and harness data that is accessible, comprehensive, integrated, actionable, and protected.
Consumer-driven healthcare demands the need for hyper-personalized experiences
A new healthcare consumer is emerging as the patient experience economy takes hold. The impacts of COVID-19, paired with the “retailization” of healthcare have drastically impacted the expectations patients now have for their healthcare experiences.
The rules and expectations consumers once only had for more digitally advanced industries like retail and financial services now apply to every industry, including healthcare. To meet these heightened expectations, healthcare organizations must deliver hyper-relevant, consumer-driven experiences to every patient, across all channels.
7 in 10 patients want their experience with healthcare providers to be as easy as their brand interactions in other industries.
77% of clinicians report new, non-traditional care venues like retail clinics, concierge medicine services, and telehealth are maintaining or improving patient health outcomes.
82% of healthcare consumers say they would switch providers as a result of a bad experience.
Demand for Hyper-Personalized Experiences
Enhance Self-Service Capabilities
Ensure you are giving your patients the ability to research, communicate, schedule appointments, and view charts on their own time and terms. Prioritize ease of use, findability, and frictionless navigation within your digital channels.
One size does not fit all. Your patients want to feel like their healthcare experience is personalized for them – meeting their unique health needs and adapting to their individual experience preferences. Personalization success, of course, relies on collecting the right data and leveraging strong digital strategies and tools to deliver on those preferences.
Build an Integrated Tech Stack
Build an Omnichannel Experience Strategy
The technologies historically available to healthcare providers have quickly evolved. It is paramount that you analyze your current technology ecosystem and identify opportunities for improvement and stronger integration so your technologies are working in harmony to deliver a unified experience.
Your patients should have a seamless experience as they move from one channel to the next. You must meet patients where they are and incorporate all the communication channels they prefer to ensure their interactions are frictionless.
Avtex Thoughts on Hyper-Personalization
Every customer is now comparing the experiences you provide against the last best experience they received, regardless of the brand or industry that experience occurred in. It no longer makes a difference to patients if you are a healthcare brand, they expect the same flawless service and seamless experiences that they receive from the Amazon’s and Google’s of the world. To deliver competitive, high-value consumer-driven care providers must meet consumers’ expectations for experiential healthcare, transparent communications, personalization, self-service, and care from anywhere.
As the industry continues to face pressures from all angles, we’ll see themes like digital transformation, omnichannel experiences informed by data, and recovery and revitalization topping the charts in 2022 and beyond.
AVTEX IS HERE TO HELP
Partnering for HX Transformation
Connect with a Healthcare Experience Expert!
We help you deliver seamless customer experiences through strategic design and careful orchestration across a number of overlapping CX disciplines, strategies, applications, and technologies.
Five reasons you should choose Avtex as your CX Transformation Partner:
- We’re a true end-to-end CX partner offering strategy, design, and orchestration
- We’ll meet you where you are, whether you’re just starting your CX transformation journey or you’re looking to innovate and expand on strategies you already have in place
- We have deep partnerships with companies like Microsoft and Genesys
- We’re big enough to serve, and small enough to care
- Over the last nearly 50 years, we’ve helped hundreds of clients see success with CX transformation
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