Customer experience in the New Health Economy: The data cure


US health leaders say that building a better customer experience for patients is a top priority. Yet, despite spending millions of dollars on the administrative aspects of healthcare such as online billing, digital communication tools and facility improvements, a gap remains between where companies need to be and where they are today. The primary reason for this gap is that the US health industry is not able to reap the full potential of data being generated about American health consumers. Health companies lack a complete view of their customers because they lack data.

Health companies should start connecting data about not just the patient encounter but also the preferences and social circumstances shaping everyday health and healthcare-related purchasing decisions. This will be crucial for delivering an outstanding customer experience that can increase brand strength, grow market shares of profitable business lines, enhance margins and improve health outcomes—all crucial for value-based care.

Building a better customer experience for patients is a top priority for US health leaders.

Health leaders are making customer experience a top priority

In the New Health Economy, patients are consumers first.

The experience features that American health consumers value most fall into 5 categories

The features that American health consumers value most fit into five pillars of customer experience.

HRI found the features highlighted in black below to be highly valued across all customer segments in its 2017 consumer experience tradeoff survey.

  • Getting appointments sooner
  • Convenient location/hours
  • Convenient scheduling
  • Easy check-in
  • Online bill payment, registration, etc.
  • Wait times visibility for urgent care
  • Non-traditional care sites/options
  • Getting test results without seeing doctor
  • Viewing my health information in one place
  • Automatic scheduling for follow-up visit
  • 24/7 access to care provider
  • Test/Rx/procedures only when necessary
  • Clinicians using latest research
  • Strong reputation of healthcare organization
  • Drugs with proof of good outcomes, few side effects
  • State of the art facility; most modern technology
  • Clean/comfortable facility
  • Assistance in navigating the healthcare system
  • Help managing my medications
  • Self-service to navigate the health system
  • Support/guidance for me while I care for a loved one
  • Social support
  • Help resolving insurance claim issues
  • Financing options
  • Lower cost care options
  • Providers with community partnerships
  • Easy transportation to appointments
  • Receiving services in the home
  • Staff attentive to my needs and preferences
  • Realistic care plans that consider my quality of life
  • Provider sharing my linguistic or ethnic background
  • Communication based on my preferences
  • Help with daily health management
  • Remote monitoring of my condition via device
  • Medication refill reminders
  • Predictions about services I may need
  • Deciding treatment options with my doctor
  • Knowing what to expect at appointments and procedures
  • Knowing what to expect next on my treatment plan
  • Communicating with patience
  • Upfront explanation of out-of-pocket costs
  • Online portal for health management
  • Understanding over-the-counter vs. Rx options
  • Knowing my care team and their role
  • Not having to repeat my information

Health companies lack the data needed to meet customer needs and expectations

No single stakeholder has the complete picture

Mass amounts of data are being collected throughout the health ecosystem and no single company has a complete view of its customers.

HRI has identified three high-value customer experience initiatives for health companies

Choose the data cure for customer experience

  • Data sharing and strategic partnership are cornerstones for their organization’s success, according to data from HRI’s provider, payer and pharmaceutical executive surveys over the past year.
  • Direct data sharing partnerships are not the only way to go. The health sectors are finding different data strategies such as using or becoming data hubs or aggregators and commercializing their own insights.

Make customer experience second nature for staff

  • Providing staff - clinical and administrative - with the appropriate tools and training can enable them to spend less time looking for and reviewing data and more time having meaningful conversations with patients.
  • Digital platforms and automation likely will become important.

Unwire the experience

  • HRI’s consumer survey revealed that patients place high value on convenient location and hours, the ability to see a provider quickly and lower-cost care options.
  • Ninety-one percent of pharmaceutical and life sciences executives surveyed by HRI said patients will increasingly manage their health at home over the next 10 years through pharma patient engagement services such as drug adherence programs and health management apps.

How PwC can help

Connected health consumers have new expectations.  Health industry players need to rethink their relationships with patients.

You don’t need a one-size-fits-all answer. We provide customized health consumer insights, informed by segmentation that can drill down to the census block level. Those insights can be based on a specific geographic footprint or characteristics that you care about: demographics, payer mix, health conditions, consumer motivators and channel preferences.

We show you how the experiences you create for health consumers can translate into tangible benefit. We predict behavior by coupling cutting-edge data science with the best in behavioral science…tailoring our insights to your specific patient population and the business questions that keep you up at night.

“Strategy through execution” isn’t just a saying. We help you operationalize new health consumer experiences…translating custom-fit, prioritized patient experiences to the concrete business capabilities and supporting technology architecture you need to make them real.

Contact us

Glenn Hunzinger

Health Industries Leader, PwC US

Laura Robinette

Health Industries Assurance Leader, Global Engagement Partner, PwC US

Thom Bales

Health Services Advisory Leader, PwC US

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