The customer experience with Amazon is amazing – whether you like or hate Amazon – because it’s personalized to you with suggestions of what you might like based on previous purchases, the ability to compare prices easily, to know instantly when something can be delivered, a history of what you’ve ordered, the option to complete a transaction with one click, and the list continues. One thing Amazon does so well is “mass customization” for its consumers using data about them to deliver a personalized experience.
The personalized consumer experience when it comes to health care? Not so much. However, that means there’s an opportunity for health care organizations to use technology in the same way Amazon does to improve it, and some companies are ahead of the curve.
In a recent interview, Alison Nelson, senior vice president for Optum Technology, Optum, discussed the organization’s strategy for using technology to improve consumer access and experience:
With Online Chat, members who do not want to wait on the phone can get quick answers that are tailored to their needs from a live customer care professional. We’ve also made a significant investment in telemedicine so we can offer access to different types of providers in a variety of ways, such as video, chat and text.
A continuous improvement loop captures member feedback, which allows Optum to adjust its approach to meet needs, including virtual visits, text-to-talk platforms or language preferences. Ms. Nelson explained:
It means offering resources geared toward the individual and his or her preferred method of getting help; really personalizing [care] to an individual’s situation and needs. For example, the support we offer to a young adult in college is very different than what a senior citizen may need. Most importantly, we need to learn from our interactions with members so we can offer them a more personalized interaction that’s tailored to where they are in their care journey.
Optum has invested in many of these technologies and is seeing great results, such as reduced consumer wait time for urgent care appointments in five days or less (it was 68% in August compared with 62% in July) and in August Optum had a 21% improvement in the number of consumers who got appointments in one day or sooner. Additionally, health care providers, who use digital tools on a regular basis, are at least 12% more satisfied with Optum as a payer.
And Optum is in good company. We see industrywide increases in technology investments (see The 2019 OPEN MINDS Trends in Behavioral Health Population Health Manager’s Guide) that enable virtual care, including telemental health services, online therapy, electronic cognitive behavioral health and portals so consumers can choose how and when they access care.
For example, a third of all health plans are already using tech tools to improve consumer engagement and 73% of health plans reimburse for wearables or plan to do so soon.
This trend—using technology to enhance health care services and experience—will move swiftly and alter the health care market in important ways as noted by a recent business article that showcases how health care organizations are tying technology investments to care processes to personalize and improve the consumer experience (see How New Health Care Platforms Will Improve Patient Care). The future likely holds a “patient relationship platform” that would work with a health care organization’s electronic health record and practice management systems to enable the same type of customized consumer experience that I described with Amazon. Are you ready?
Join me October 29 to hear firsthand about the technologies that improve consumer care during Ms. Nelson’s keynote address “Leveraging Technology To Expand Access, Enhance Consumer Experience & Improve Outcomes In A Behavioral Health Care Marketplace Dominated By Value-Based Models” at the 2019 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute.
For more on how health care executives using technology, check out these resources in The OPEN MINDS Industry Library:
- Catasys Collaborates With Canary Health With OnTrak Platform
- Optum Launches Care Coordination Software For I/DD & Complex Care Needs
- PerfectServe Acquires AI Scheduling Technology For Clinical Professionals, Mobile Consumer Engagement Tool
- Microsoft Healthcare Bot Service Launched To Facilitate Customizable Messaging & Virtual Health Assistants
- Google Files Patent To Develop Technology To Predict Medical Events From EHR Record
- Spring Health Expands Its Service Functionality By Adding Digital Programs From Lantern
- AI Can Identify Blood-Based Markers Of Alzheimer’s For Earlier Diagnosis & Tracking
- mHealth Study Uses Wearables, Artificial Intelligence To Detect Internalizing Disorders
- Walgreens & Microsoft Partner On Health Care Delivery Innovation
- Anthem, doc.ai Launch Health Care AI Data Trial On Blockchain