As the aging population continues to grow at an alarming rate which is expected to put the number of people over the age 65 globally to more than 668 million or 11.6% of the total population, hospitals must now realize that hospital care will not be an ad hoc use that individuals encounter at the end of life or when they are affected by a terminal illness.
But hospital care will become a fundamental aspect of living and enhancing life; and a progressive way of thinking must evolve, that considers not if an individual will be hospitalized but when and how does that stay feel and will the experience be a desirable one.
Thus, it will be important for hospitals to not only begin thinking about the quality of care they deliver, but the overall experience that is offered.
New way of thinking
With the radical advancement of technology and the expansion of the Internet of things (IOT), the healthcare system will be met head on with enlightened consumers, who are engaged participants in the management of their personal health who have very high standards and expectations of their health care providers.
In the advent of this new age the regular Business to Consumer model (B2C) will be flipped and the new model will become Consumer to Business (C2B) based, where consumers will be actively selecting their solutions. In an effort to adapt to this new age, a one-sized model of care will no longer suit each patient, but they will be seeking a personalized program, enhanced with the use of innovative technologies to provide a more bespoke experience.
Shifting care strategies
Meanwhile many hospital administrators are being plagued with trying to contain rising financial costs, while maintaining the quality of care that is provided. But there may be some hope on the horizon if administrators now realize that by using technology to minimize administrative tasks, streamline operational performance and introduce outcomes-based care (OBC) they can begin to make this shift to a positive bottom line.
An outcome is defined as the result and progress of care delivery. It’s about the real time improvements clients see in their quality of life. For outcomes based cared to work it’s important to establish a framework in order to be able to identify and measure outcomes on the provision of care. This calls for a team-based approach to care that uses the most current evidence to support decision-making about individual circumstances. It also means you can enable person-centric care with the involvement of the service user and diligently managing the whole process to ensure progress is being made every step of the way. (1)
When many people think of hospitals their immediate recall is a sad memory of a loved one who has passed way. But more and more this image is disappearing as we encounter stages of life where we are having more instances of restorative work done and the increase of non-communicable diseases which is shifting the industry focus to long term care and promotion of overall well-being.
As society evolves and we transition into an experiential realm and our choices are now based on what we feel or hope to experience, it will be left up to the hospital to not only consider all of the touchpoints its patients will encounter but how that experience should be shaped and what will be the defining moments.
- Including their reception at the front desk and how comfortable they feel while in anticipation of their surgery
- The bed side manners of the doctor, nurses and care practitioners
- How they are treated during the billing process
- And outpatient care and follow up
Adapting to changing consumer needs, demands and expectations
Unhappy with lack luster service, quality and ridiculous pricing that is not value based, today’s health care consumers are seeking out hospitals that are convenient, innovative in their delivery solutions and run a seamless organization dedicated to lifetime value of the patient, not just their in-bed value.
While patients do not want to be pitied by staff, they are comforted by the level of empathy shown by hospital staff who can show a genuine sense of concern for their wellbeing. Reminiscent of a guest at a hotel, hospitals should embark on the unique practice of above and beyond customer service.
Which introduces a ripe opportunity for the entire health care provider ecosystem to make more human connections with the consumer, which undoubtedly will lead to a more profitable model. These connections not only enrich brand loyalty but improve customer satisfaction and quickly increase the far reaching impact of referral engagement with friends and relatives. (2)
Final piece of the puzzle
The final item that will allow for increased patient happiness, profitability and a re-enthused focus on the patient will be introducing smart health care tools that allows the patient and healthcare provider access to health records, family history, prescription information, financial information, nutritional and daily regiment data to make more engaged decisions so that ongoing, preventative and long term health can be managed more effectively with the health care provider becoming seen as more of an partner, rather than a last mile option.
About the Author: Fabian is a marketing strategist with over 20 years of marketing and creative experience working with companies in a variety of industries such as retail, finance, government, food, and the beverage industry. His strategy involves learning your business from the inside out and providing a bespoke plan to achieve your designated objectives.
photo credit @martinbrosy via unsplash
- Why outcomes based care matters https://www.theaccessgroup.com/media/13846/whitepaper_access_outcome_v2.pdf
2) The value of patient experience: Hospitals with better patient-reported experience perform better financially,” Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, 2016, https://www.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/life-sciences-and-healthcare/articles/hospitals-patient-experience.html.