For a long time, we have followed a primarily reactive model for healthcare.
It goes like this: we feel unwell, we visit a medic, receive the treatment we need, and after we feel better, we disengage entirely from our healthcare until we feel ill again. Rinse and repeat.
By applying the fundamentals of personalized experiences in healthcare, specialists are trying to break this cycle and instead transition into a more preventive and proactive model, where people are constantly surrounded by a healthcare ecosystem of physical and digital touchpoints that give medics a 360-degree view of each patient.
How to build continuous engagement in healthcare?
If we want to move away from reactive healthcare, a healthcare system must be set up around individuals so that healthcare is not sporadically but rather a daily ongoing process. Its major elements are:
🏡 Nutrition, home health, and mindfulness
🩺 Telemedicine, medical advice, and physician appointments
🏥 Post-acute care
😌 Behavioral health
How to achieve personalization in healthcare? 5 key factors
- Access to data: Innovative methods to bring data together are a must to access healthcare data spread among payers, healthcare providers, and patients/consumers. Access, consent, and responsible use of this data are also necessary.
- Personalization at scale: once data is in place, custom plans based on personal health data should be created to cater to individual needs. You could provide personalized communication streams based on specific conditions, like newsletters with healthy recommendations or discounts on beneficial services like a gym membership. Or target prevention campaigns for customers who missed their yearly checkups.
- Identify the proper communication channels: customers can engage in healthcare through multiple online and offline touchpoints since customer journeys are not linear. Identifying their preferred channel and contacting them through it at a frequency customers deem appropriate is the way forward.
- Gathering feedback: helps identify and solve problems customers might be going through. Doing this regularly improves customer satisfaction.
- Build close-knit relationships: regular communication is key to a lasting relationship, especially with newly-enrolled healthcare customers. Thank them for joining the plan, confirm they received all the materials they need to understand their membership terms, and clear up doubts. In short, stay in contact and make them feel you value your relationship.
The leading brand Walgreens is an example of some of these key factors in action. Adobe's ebook mentions "Every moment counts": "Walgreens uses customer analytics and outreach tools to understand better and assist customers. They have access to the data in real-time and can put it into play at just the right moment, whether it's 24/7 live pharmacist chat, tailored wellness tips for loyalty program members, or recommendations for nearby health services through their Find Care digital platform".
You've got options when you're ready to start delivering experiences in real-time.
With consumers expecting a personalized digital experience in all aspects of their lives, it's no surprise that healthcare would be next.
However, a personalized approach that leads to more holistic experiences with better outcomes and more transparent pricing would require a considerable shift in strategy from payers and providers. According to John Nash, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Redpoint Global, they must have:
"A deep understanding of each individual's unique needs offers highly relevant communications via preferred channels and generally removes friction from interactions – both digitally and in-person".
Data is still king, despite the healthcare system being very different from retail and other industries more associated with the personalization model. And the two major issues getting in the way of health-related data collection are: actually collecting this information and then breaking down the organizational data silos that would prevent it from being readily available to all departments.
The collection will be more difficult by the continuous segmentation of internet data and privacy concerns related to HIPAA. At the same time, data silos will be a matter of managing the internal structures at play within each brand.
Read more about: How can CX teams leverage first-party data in a cookie-less world?
Mateusz Krempa, Chief Revenue Office at Piwik PRO, believes that data collection and technological changes will lead to more opportunities for healthcare organizations and more efficient industry.
"This will increase the competition, and in the end, we as consumers will be much happier with that because increased competition means lower prices and better customer service." Mateusz Krempa
To cater to the rising demand for personalized healthcare experiences, Adobe announced that the Adobe Experience Cloud for Healthcare platform would be expanding its digital transformation capabilities to the patient experience. Recognizing the importance of patient data platforms early on, Adobe developed the only end-to-end solution for managing, understanding, and leveraging healthcare consumer data.
The healthcare industry is effectively catching up to the model that experience-driven brands have been building for years now.
"Health is the most personal thing in the world. And if there's one category that needs to be personalized, human, and customized to each and every one of our customers and patients, it's got to be healthcare." Vineet Mehra, Global Chief Marketing Officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance.
This transition also comes with its own set of challenges.
Applying the same principles as retailers also means they must play by the same rules, so any healthcare customer data platform will have to meet HIPAA and CCPA/GDPR and quickly adapt to new legislation as it comes up.
Taking all these factors into account, the future of consumer-driven healthcare projects will be about much more than providing the best treatment options—it will be about making sure consumers' needs are met inside and outside health centers.
As customer experience acts as the motor for changes in the healthcare model, it is a perfect time to consider how your healthcare provider keeps up with the digital transformation.
Are they providing a good experience for their customers? Are they making efforts to personalize the journey? Are they mindful of their customers' preferred channels of communication?
These questions will play a more significant role as the healthcare industry moves towards experience-driven services.