Read between the lines. Uncover what healthcare consumers really want.

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“Today's consumers expect an on-demand marketplace driven by technology. This is expected across all industries, including healthcare.However, where industries such as retail and banking have excelled at meeting consumer expectations, the healthcare industry has not,” said David Cerino, CEO of an omni-channel healthcare engagement company, Envera Health.

Consumers are connected to the brands they use through a trusted experience. The same is true in healthcare, but the stakes are high, and patients, rightfully, can be unforgiving. "One poor experience in healthcare can destroy trust," said Mr. Cerino.

Consumers, including patients, look for control, transparency and a thorough understanding of cost in the brands they trust. Whether it is an online retailer, booking an airline ticket or banking online, consumers see value in transparency and options that allow them to stay in control when making key decisions. “Healthcare consumers would love to drive toward this type of experience, but the industry has trained us differently – the phone experience is still the predominant experience,” said Cerino.

Envera Health works closely with healthcare providers to build trust by improving the traditional phone experience with their patients and blending it with a variety of services and programs enabled by superior technology. Envera provides a wide array of services – centralized scheduling, appointment follow-ups and reminders, transitions of care management, care gap closure for population health initiatives and marketing campaign support to drive growth for health systems.

"We're able to maximize a health system's core value: time with a clinician," Mr. Cerino said. "We optimize the health system by providing that complete wrap-around service for them to work efficiently while increasing the consumer experience to levels that match and surpass other industries."

The patient journey

The patient journey is directly impacted by the workflows within health systems. Unfortunately, many of these workflows have been built to the benefit of the institution, not the patient.

"This is where control and transparency for a healthcare consumer begins yet many health systems don't have the broad infrastructure required to deliver on what the consumer expects," Mr. Cerino said. "Envera can add value by helping its provider partners build workflows that benefit all - from improved scheduling guidelines and templates for physician practices, to a more consistent brand experience through centralized phone numbers for marketing - all are designed to enhance and simplify the consumer experience across all access points.” .

"Envera can jump in and help health systems understand why patients may not be engaged with their health," Mr. Cerino said. "Our goal is to help the health system ensure the patient doesn't have a bad experience because of a basic lack of consumer engagement."
While scheduling appointments and collecting patient information is the most basic part of the patient's journey, it doesn't stop there. With Envera, health systems can customize their postoperative engagement with patients by using Envera Health's Transitions of Care Solution by confirming clarity of discharge instructions and proactively deal with any issues to avoid readmission.

"Engaging with patients drives both growth and outcomes," Mr. Cerino said. "It's a win-win business model.”

How to anticipate patients' needs

Before health systems can effectively engage with patients, they need to understand patients' needs. One way they can do this is by anticipating what a patient may need in the future. “For example, using data, could we evaluate past appointment data to proactively make future appointments on a patient’s behalf and simply allow the patient to confirm or request a change? These types of ideas could fall into the ‘surprise and delight’ category,” said Cerino.

Mr. Cerino said health systems can also look at other industries for examples of effectively anticipating customers' needs. Continuously asking consumers for their input is great, but it is not the entire approach. Anticipating needs if where you will have the biggest impact on consumers and gain their loyalty.

"Uber didn't come about by interviewing consumers and requesting to be picked up in a stranger’s car. Consumers wanted a reliable and safe way to be transported from where they were standing to a destination while understanding the cost of the trip before entering the vehicle," Mr. Cerino said. “Combine that with a differentiated business model and you see the results by looking at sparse taxi and rental lines while many are using the new ride share services (rideshare companies had 8% market share in 2014 compared to 72% in 2018).”

"Health systems need to take what consumers are saying and then read between the lines and deliver what they actually want."

Conclusion

While health systems and physician practices have a lot to learn from consumer-driven brands like Uber, taking small steps to imitate their business models can make a big difference.

"Health systems need a vision of where they want to go. Focusing on a crawl-walk-run approach can help them achieve their goals," Mr. Cerino said. "That's where Envera comes in — we're going to crawl with you first by helping pick up the phones productively. Then we're going to optimize your workflows, processes and approaches so consumers feel like they have full control over it, whether it be on the phone or a full omni-channel solution. Once we start to run, the capabilities are endless (and fun)."

To read the press release regarding Mr. Cerino's new role as Chief Exeutive Officer at Envera Health, click here

 

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