We’ve written a lot about the growing impact of consumerism in health and human services and how intertwined that consumerism is with digital technology. But it wasn’t until I heard Jeff Reid, Enterprise Vice President of the Digital Center of Excellence at Humana, speak last month at The 2017 OPEN MINDS Strategy & Innovation Institute that I had a better understanding of what this looks like in action (see Humana’s Digital Transformation: Redefining The Consumer Health Care Experience).
The Humana approach starts with the “big goal” – the population is to become 20% healthier in the markets served by Humana by 2020 by using “healthy days” (the CDC measure) as the measure. And Humana has a digital health strategy to achieve that goal by supporting “immersive integrated care experience,” focused on the adoption of a ”consumer first” philosophy built on understanding consumer needs and the consumer journey.
What that looks like on the ground at Humana is a rapid innovation process informed by data. In this case, that means the “net promoter score data.” Mr. Reid discussed how Humana is monitoring both NPS-T (transaction data) and NPS-R (reputation data) and using that data to make changes in their consumer interfaces, their tools, and their services. From their mapping of the consumer journey and their data analysis, the Humana digital team has identified seven consumer segments in their membership and have developed tailored customer experiences for each segment. In addition, the Humana digital team – which now has introduced four mobile apps in their portfolio – uses active focus group-model testing of their digital tools.
But, health care space is slow to change. And adoption of digital tools is uneven. As an example, Mr. Reid described moving to an online Humana member card. The card was well-received by consumers, but provider organization managers still wanted a photocopy for their files. This led the Humana team to add a ”fax” capability to that online card. We’ve written before about the difficulties in getting technology adoption at the level of clinical professionals and provider organizations (see The Tech-Enabled Caregiver Redux, The Era of The Tech-Enabled Caregiver, and Managing In A Tech-Enabled World). I’m certain this will continue to be an issue in improving the consumer health care experience.
In our thoughtleader session that followed, our institute attendees had time for a one-on-one session with Mr. Reid. And, it was in that session that I had the “aha” moment about the value of Humana’s focus on the consumer in its digital strategy. During that discussion, Mr. Reid talked about the strong renewal rates at Humana. Renewals are the ultimate net promoter score – not only will consumers recommend you to others, they are choosing you for themselves.
So what does the future hold for digital strategy at a progressive consumer-focused organization like Humana? Mr. Reid spoke of their current mobile apps and adding more to their portfolio; of developing new APIs for connectivity; and of using prototype testing for new digital initiatives.
He also spoke of some specific initiatives; the desire to get rid of the current prior authorization processes; their new initiative to offer on-demand psychiatric services via telehealth in Florida; and their expansion of digital strategy beyond the Humana/consumer experience to include clinical professionals and provider organizations.
This all amounted to a big vision for consumer sovereignty brought to health care, and I’m looking forward to an update on the “next chapter” of this work in the years ahead. For more on digital strategy and competitive advantage, check out these resources from the OPEN MINDS Industry Library:
- Consumer Sovereignty As Success Strategy
- Another Look At Consumer Sovereignty
- Using Technology To Move Human Services From A Program Focus To A Consumer Focus
- Net Promoter Scores: Do They Work In Health & Human Service?
- Does Your Organization Need A Digital Transformation? Is Your Team Ready?
For more on mapping your digital future, be sure to join me on November 7 in Philadelphia were Andrew Wright, Vice President, Digital Medicine, OTSUKA America Pharmaceutical, Inc. will deliver The 2017 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute plenary address, “Pharmaceuticals & Digital Medicine – Developments In Collaborative Innovation.”