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HEALTHCARE CONSUMERIZATION WILL BE TOP OF MIND IN 2020

by Heidi Bullman

With the end of the year fast approaching, healthcare experts anticipate what’s to come in the new year. In 2019, it became evident that today’s consumers are in control of their patient experience now more than ever before.

According to an article by HGS’s Anand Natampalli, “Today’s engaged and empowered consumers are, more and more, becoming a collective and vocal barometer of market expectations and how delivery measures up. These member-patients are shouldering a larger responsibility of their own healthcare payments, and they expect an experience which is in line with their investment.” From baby boomers to the eldest of Generation Z, patients are expecting excellence in CX. This can only mean one thing – healthcare consumerization is already a top trend for 2020.

There are several keys to healthcare consumerization which include advocating for patient empowerment, providing wellness options, and allowing patients to provide feedback about services received. To support patient empowerment, providers can enable easy access for patients to review their treatment plans and medical records. In terms of providing wellness options, providers can offer health-related apps and activity monitors that allow patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle. And, the last key urges patients to provide their thoughts and opinions on services, such as health-related apps, to ensure that providers are meeting expectations.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) is a great example of a healthcare organization working to provide wellness options. UPMC offers consumers an app-based ER telemedicine program, AnywhereCare, intended for non-emergency ailments that nonetheless require urgent care, such as sore throats and respiratory illnesses. The app is available on smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers.

In terms of urging patients to provide thoughts and opinions on the services they receive, Geisinger Health System, headquartered in Danville, PA, offers the customer-centric solution, ProvenExperince.

“When Dr. David Feinberg, MD, became Chief Executive Officer of Geisinger Health System, a regional health system in Pennsylvania, he set out to shift the organization from provider-centric to patient-centric. To take the first step, Geisinger launched ProvenExperience, a refund program under which consumers who are dissatisfied with the care they received can request a refund for their co-pay,” explained Forbes’ Scott Davis. “Geisinger Health System’s Chief Informatics Officer Alistair Erskine told us, “Everyone talks about putting the patient first and that’s great, but to make it actually happen we needed to take a big step that would force us to change.”

Come 2020, healthcare organizations can expect to see a surge in healthcare consumerization. Looking to industry leaders like UPMC and Geisinger Health System as prime examples of innovative and consumer-centric programs, the sector can better understand the criticality of keeping patients in control of their CX.

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