Only 23% of healthcare providers measure their consumer relationship, study shows

Healthcare consumers are increasingly demanding efficient and smooth electronic experiences as they take a greater financial role in their care. However, healthcare providers, payers and pharmaceutical companies lack significant progress toward becoming more consumer-centric, according to new research by global brand and marketing consultancy Prophet.

To develop the research, Prophet conducted qualitative interviews with 50 executives at hospital systems, payers, pharmaceutical companies and digital health companies across the U.S., Europe and Asia to identify shifts organizations must focus on to move toward consumer centricity.

The five shifts identified were: "Moving from tactical fixes to a holistic experience strategy"; "moving from fragmented care to connected ecosystems; "moving from population-centric to person-centered"; "moving from incremental improvements to extensive innovation"; and "moving from insights as a department to a culture of consumer obsession."

The consultancy also surveyed 240 respondents from healthcare organizations, healthcare payers and pharmaceutical companies worldwide to determine how much they have moved forward in those efforts to become more consumer-centric.

Overall, the research found health systems, health insurers, and pharmaceutical companies have not made significant progress on any of the shifts, although the most progress was apparent on the fifth shift of "moving from insights as a department to a culture of consumer obsession," according to Prophet. The least amount of progress was on "moving from tactical fixes to a holistic experience strategy."

"Particularly in the U.S., many healthcare companies are feeling squeezed by new value-based metrics and by pushes from financiers of healthcare — such as governments and employers — toward a more cost-efficient consumer system. Yet adaption to the consumer is stunted and digital naïveté is pervasive," said Scott Davis, Prophet chief growth officer.

Here are more findings about healthcare providers:

1. Twenty-seven percent of healthcare providers said they believe the most important innovation in healthcare is from digital companies, but only 11 percent said they are comfortable partnering with digital startups.

2. Only 11 percent of healthcare providers said they want to consider bringing in leaders from consumer-centric industries, such as packaged goods, while more than half (56 percent) said they want someone with a background in medicine or clinical care.

3. Fifty-two percent of healthcare providers said they measure specific experience metrics, such as satisfaction with an appointment. However, only 23 percent measure consumer relationship metrics, such as net promoter score, which indicates the willingness of a patient to recommend the organization to a friend.

Read more about the research here.


More articles on patient engagement:
Accessibility for all — Why removing barriers from web interaction should be a part of your organization's business model
Physicians and patients differ on concept of good communication, study finds
Why healthcare needs 'patient leaders' to make new solutions work

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