It is time for the healthcare industry to embrace the change it’s facing. Think about the combination of major factors that are all affecting the industry at the same time.
A global pandemic.
Healthcare providers who refuse to adjust to this new reality may not be around for the long run. Below is a preview of the 5 ways healthcare is changing forever. For the full version, be sure to visit the download link at the end of the article.
- From doctor to consumer: 21st century healthcare – doctors used to be in charge of everything healthcare; now, consumers are in control
The people who lost out the most due to healthcare’s unwillingness to change were consumers (aka patients). Amazon, Uber, DoorDash, and Netflix are examples of brands that showed consumers the power of being in charge.
21st Century Healthcare will treat consumers the way they are accustomed to being treated by other leading brands. Healthcare has finally been forced to adapt to serve the new sheriffs in town. With virtual health quickly gaining favor with new patients, there goes another chunk of the traditional care market.
- Escape from the hospital campus – from a patient experience perspective, the hospital campus is not the ideal treatment location
Following COVID-19, people are going to continue to be very concerned about exposure to infectious disease. If you are an otherwise healthy person who needs specialized treatment or a well visit, why would you choose to go to a place with the highest concentration of sick people? It is very convenient for providers to consolidate its staff and operations in a large hospital campus. The only problem, it is the most expensive environment to receive care, it’s often inaccessible, it’s not exactly an inspiring experience – and now, it’s actually scary.
The movement to outpatient centers and clinics closer to where people live, work and play has been well under way for some time, but that movement will need to accelerate more quickly now.
- Customer experience rules – it’s time for customers to get the level of service they receive from other service industries
In order for providers to take the next step in serving customers, they must finally approach care through the lens of the consumer. CVS, Walmart, One Medical, Parsley Health are all putting some aspects of healthcare back in the hands of the consumer, yet some providers have still been slow to make adjustments. The journey must be customer-oriented online to offline, virtually to in-person.
How can healthcare providers implement service people are used to in all other industries? Well, to start, they must think like best-in-class experiences in other industries. That means limited to no wait times. On-demand service. Simple pricing structure. Out with the old, in with the customer’s view.
- From sick care to well care – a person’s healthcare is an always-on journey, not something that should only be addressed when sick
The coronavirus crisis has accelerated the discussion of the health industry moving more rapidly from a volume-based model to a value-based model. The former incentivizes visits and procedures, while the latter incentivizes keeping people healthy, so they do not need expensive procedures. The wellness movement means a lot of things to a lot of different people and companies, but one thing is for certain: people would prefer to maintain wellness instead of getting sick. Well care is customer-focused, whereas sick care is provider and insurance-focused.
- No location, no worries – virtual healthcare is being used much more frequently than prior to the pandemic, but have providers properly incorporated it to their offering?
The current crisis has shown that healthcare must be accessible everywhere. Though pandemic circumstances will not always be the case, there are many common illnesses that should not require an office visit. Enter telehealth. Forrester Research predicts more than 1 billion virtual healthcare visits in 2020 (CNBC).
Virtual visits reduce exposing germs to other patients and healthcare workers on the front line, and they also allow people to get treatment, if needed. If we’re looking at a consumer’s healthcare journey, telehealth can often be the first step in that journey. While the pandemic forced many providers to quickly adopt telehealth, it has largely been tacked on to today’s experience. The next steps will involve weaving virtual and home health into an overall experience and presence strategy to provide the most convenient, cost-effective means to provide excellent outcomes.
To sum it up, it’s rather impressive how quickly an industry can be forced to change after not changing for so long. That is a testament to the power of the consumer. Once consumers started to realize they could get some control of their own healthcare, the snowball was on its path to become an avalanche. To not change at this point, providers risk not existing in the future.
Download the full printable and shareable version of 5 Ways Healthcare is Changing Forever here: https://www.wdpartners.com/pov/5-ways-healthcare-is-changing-forever/