It is widely accepted that consumerism – which pushes organizations to create products and programs that empower people – has been reshaping businesses for years. Organizations outside of healthcare have taken consumer-centricity to a new level, and naturally, people are beginning to demand that healthcare organizations deliver experiences as well as brands like Amazon, Netflix, Sephora, and WeChat. They want healthcare to be convenient, connected and personalized. They expect seamless digital connections and solutions that add simplicity, not complexity, to their lives.
Healthcare executives understand that becoming more consumer centric is imperative. The constantly rising cost of care, evolving business models (e.g. reimbursement models), and new competitors who often seem far ahead of them in offering experiences that are digital, engaging and delightful are pushing healthcare companies to change. What is still unclear is exactly how healthcare organizations can fully embrace consumer-centricity and turn incremental changes into full transformation.
How Healthcare Organizations Can Remake Themselves in the Era of Consumerism
We wanted to know what’s working (and what isn’t) so we went to healthcare’s front lines, conducting in-depth interviews with more than 50 executives at payers, providers, pharma, and digital health companies across Asia, Europe and the U.S. We asked these executives to pull back the curtains, sharing success secrets as well as early fails. Through these interviews we identified some of the investments and initiatives that are pushing organizations to be more consumer centric.
In part, this research is a continuation of research Prophet began last year in partnership with GE Healthcare Camden Group – a deep dive into how consumers see the patient experience. One of the major takeaways from that study is that the majority of patients are unhappy with their healthcare. This result led us to many of the questions we posed to health executives this year.
“Why,” consumers kept asking, “When I can do everything else quickly and digitally, from applying for a mortgage, booking airline tickets and tracking my pizza delivery, is it so difficult to communicate with my health system? Why can’t my insurer tell me how much my visit will cost? And, why can’t I access all my health information—from my cholesterol prescription to blood-test results—in one place?”
The executives we spoke with are familiar with the challenges that come with becoming more consumer centric, but have made progress overcoming them. Their insights reveal that with the right focus, investments and guidance, healthcare organizations can begin to make the shift to become more consumer centric.
3 Ways Healthcare Organizations Can Get Consumerism Right
Many of the emerging success stories were inspiring. While the full results won’t be available until next month, here are a few early findings we would like to share:
1. Sometimes, a little organizational shock therapy goes a long way
Organizations that stun themselves into action by defining bold “moonshot” challenges push employees to act fast, accelerating change. Geisinger Health System and Piedmont Healthcare used external declarations to shake up their organizations.
2. Think minimum viable product, not perfection
While clinical and medical safety are of upmost importance in the clinic, when it comes to commercial innovation organizations need not proceed with such caution. It’s important to think more like a retailer or tech company, making room for the fast test-and-learn approach that can seem so alien in healthcare settings. That’s how Boehringer Ingelheim, Aetna, and Intermountain Health have increased both agility and creativity when it comes to designing the customer experience.
3. Meet consumers where they are
Organizations that win with consumers are focused on integrating their products, services, and experiences in consumers’ everyday routines. People don’t want to download a separate app, make an extra phone call, or drive across town when it’s inconvenient; they want healthcare organizations to come to them. See how Amgen, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, and United Family Healthcare are using insights to engage consumers digitally and in person in ways that lead to clarity, not clutter.
Stay Tuned for the Full Report
For specific ideas and examples about how to accelerate the transformation in the era of consumerism, click here to register for the full report. Follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn and stay tuned! We look forward to sharing the results.