Yesterday we took a look at how to increase consumer engagement in your organization in, Making Consumer Engagement A Reality. We reviewed the tactical roadmap to consumer engagement. But bigger questions loom. What do consumers want and what is the experience that your team needs to deliver, to better engage consumers? There are three key items on the “consumer wish list” – greater partnership with provider organizations, better access to online resources, and better supportive technology, according to Deloitte Center For Health Solutions 2015 Survey of U.S. Health Care Consumers.
A “partnership” with professionals – 34% of consumers want collaboration with health care professionals. They want encouragement to ask questions about treatments. And 58% want treatment costs explained in greater detail. My takeaway, consumers are ready for more information and while they may be open to it today, it’s likely they will demand it tomorrow. If you can help consumers with their health literacy and the ability to understand health issues, treatment needs, and the health system, they will reward you (see Consumers Don’t Know What They Don’t Know).
Access to online resources – 52% of consumer search online for health care resources and 25% compare professionals and programs using online reviews and scorecards. That percentage increases to 49% for millennial consumers. My takeaway, “operating” online isn’t about reinventing health care, it’s about integrating your communication and treatment strategy to communicate with donors, payers, referral sources, and consumers (see Best Practice Online Marketing On A Budget! and In Health Care Tech Investments, Keep Consumers Part Of The Equation).
Access to supportive technology – For consumers with multiple chronic conditions, the use of tech-based monitoring has increased from 22% to 39% between 2013 and 2015. My takeaway, this is likely even more popular than reported. The 2017 report “Strengthening Chronic Care,” by researchers with West’s Engagement Center Solutions found that 50% of consumers with chronic health conditions found remote monitoring helpful, and 91% of consumers said they needed help managing their disease (see Half Of Consumers With Chronic Health Conditions Find Remote Monitoring Devices At Home Useful). That is a large market demand for the organization that can deliver (see Does Remote Monitoring Figure Into Your Organization’s Plans for Community-Based Services?).
The question is whether your organization is prepared to take “consumer engagement” from a concept to a reality. In my discussions with management teams in the field, few of them seem to have a strategy or tactical plan to improve the consumer experience. And my anecdotal experience is confirmed by the results of the new survey report, 2016 State Of Consumerism In Healthcare . The survey found that 80% of hospitals and health systems recognize the importance of consumerism and say that consumerism is an “above-average priority.” But the survey also found that only 18% have strategies for improving patient experience and only 16% have “strategic consumer insight.”
For more on doing this in your organization, join Jeff Reid, Executive Vice President, Digital Center Of Excellence, Humana for his opening keynote address, “Humana’s Digital Transformation: Redefining The Consumer Health Care Experience” at The 2017 OPEN MINDS Strategy & Innovation Institute in New Orleans.