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Thursday, August 02, 2018

Growth of Personalization and the Influence on Patient Experience

Within the healthcare industry, the personalized patient journey and experience are key topics being discussed. Cloud and mobile computing technologies are both raising consumer expectations and offering solutions to meet them as well.

Meeting Rising Consumer Expectations

Within every segment, using automation technology, big data analytics, mobile apps, and cloud-based software solutions, businesses can aggregate data and use it to design personalized consumer experiences based on past behavior. Competitive business-to-consumer industries have aggressively pursued this strategy as the tools became more sophisticated to drive engagement with their brand. With the shift in value-based reimbursement models and the consumer playing a bigger role in payment we are seeing a more competitive environment also in the healthcare industry prompting more attention on the patient experience.

The healthcare industry has generally trailed other industries when it comes to the consumer experience. However, increasingly health systems are working to accelerate change by bringing in talent from outside of healthcare and building internal teams with a specific focus on using technology to improve the patient experience.  

From a technology stand point, automation and interoperability are critical to execute and expand patient personalization with the value needed to improve the patient experience.  Creating a seamless connection across disparate systems will be required for patient personalization to happen, which will, in turn, improve the patient experience.

The importance of patient personalization is explained in a recent article found on Forbes, The Top 5 Trends In Customer Experience For Healthcare:

"With the growth of data comes the ability to personalize the healthcare experience. Starting today and growing in the future, healthcare offices will be able to create a completely personalized experience for each customer. Instead of everyone being treated the same, clinics will be able to use data to see what doctors a patient prefers, if they like being seen in person or remotely, their health history, and any potential issues."

Wearable technology, smart watches, mobile apps, patient portals, and the ability to manage care processes online (scheduling, payments, virtual visits, follow-ups, resources, etc.), are all being used for patient personalization. This empowers patients in their care process, while giving providers the information needed to provide seamless care and service.

Along this line, health tech is working to build in convenience and create a more personal experience. For instance, one patient may prefer virtual visits rather than to come into the doctor's office, while another wants in-home visits and to communicate through email. Armed with the right information, patients can be offered choice and options facilitated online through any digital device. By eliminating interruptions and inefficiencies in the care process, providers can spend more time caring for patients directly, and patients are more likely to stay engaged in the process as well. 

Personalization is giving patients more power to control their care journeys, which is likely to increase their level of satisfaction with care outcomes. This is only expected to grow in importance to the patient as the burden of payment is shifted more to the consumer. Additionally, providers are given the information and tools needed to offer patients the care that matches their needs, which also improves care outcomes.

Meeting consumer expectations and reducing inefficiencies in care processes are fueling the rise of patient personalization trends and ultimately driving better patient experiences.

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