Former Partners CIO: Time to rethink how innovation enhances the patient experience

Tech advancements create opportunities to transform consumer experiences, but enhancing these experiences involves considering patients as consumers, according to an op-ed by a veteran hospital executive in Harvard Business Review on Nov. 11.

John Glaser, PhD, is an executive in residence at Boston-based Harvard Medical School. He previously served as the vice president and CIO of Boston-based Partners HealthCare, which is now named Mass General Brigham, and as a senior vice president at Cerner.

Below are three principles to keep in mind to improve the patient experience, according to Dr. Glaser:

  1. Patients are consumers.
    Patients are consumers because they make a decision about obtaining a product or service, such as whether to seek additional care or change physicians, Dr. Glaser said. Hospitals will need to not only provide great medical care but also an outstanding consumer experience.

  2. Technology can create exceptional experiences.
    Patients expect that hospitals are using advancing technology just like other industries are, according to the op-ed. Hospitals and providers will need to consider how to use digital advancements to streamline every part of patient care, such as using wearable technology that can enhance a digital health experience.

  3. Consumers' experience goes beyond tech.
    Patients want more than the ability to make an appointment using their phones. They expect it to be within the timeframe they are looking for, at the location they want and with the clinician of their choice, according to the op-ed. Patients are judging their experiences based on how accessible care is, the tech and human aspects of their care journey and how paying for the service is handled.

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