Personalization is the North Star of the patient journey

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Provider organizations operating in today's fragmented, ultra-competitive healthcare ecosystem can differentiate themselves by paying close attention to consumer signals and personalizing the patient journey.

During an October webinar hosted by Becker's Healthcare and sponsored by Salesforce and Medallia, Medallia's Toni Land, BSN, solutions principal and head of healthcare experience, moderated a discussion about the patient journey with customer journey and clinical experience leaders, including leaders from Phoenix-based Banner Health. Panelists were:

  • Christen Castellano, vice president, customer experience channels, Banner Health
  • Valerie Monet, senior director, customer experience strategy and insight, Banner Health
  • Sindhu Pandit, MD, global clinical lead and industry adviser, Salesforce

Four key takeaways:

1. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated five key trends that were already transforming healthcare. These key trends are propelling the industry to 1) move from being reactive to being proactive and predictive; 2) reorient itself from a one-size-fits-all approach to care, to personalized care; 3) shift from institution-centered to decentralized; 4) evolve from paternalistic to empowered; and 5) phase out volume-based business models in favor of value-based ones.

"The undercurrent of what's happening in healthcare is consumerization: people's best experience anywhere becomes their expectation everywhere," Dr. Pandit said. "That sentiment is much more mature in other industries, but it's impacting healthcare now and helping the healthcare experience in a way we haven't seen before."

2. Providers are meeting rising consumer expectations by transforming organizational routines and partnerships. They are incorporating new technologies that improve and/or complement health services and facilitate patient engagement, such as telehealth and targeted outreach (i.e. sending the right content to the right person at the right time). They are also forging better connections between healthcare professionals and patients.

One decisive factor that empowers organizations to make the most of technology and connections is having the right partnerships. "As you think about your partners and vendors, it's not only the product that you may be purchasing, but also your compatibility with the company to adapt, grow and change with you as your needs evolve," Ms. Castellano said.

3. Keeping personalization top of mind helps organizations deliver superb experiences. From a consumer perspective, personalization means meeting each individual where they are at the exact moment when they need care, while from the perspective of physicians, personalization might mean that they are correctly matched with potential patients when these individuals seek information online. In both scenarios, it is important for organizations to collect data and then act on relevant insights.

4. Unifying fragmented data sources is critical for supporting personalization at scale. Because healthcare is so fragmented, the data sources that participants use and the data outputs that various players generate are fragmented as well. To analyze diverse data points in the interest of designing excellent health services, providers can create data lakes from which to triangulate various streams of data as needed. Periodic reviews, audits and updates to data architecture are essential to ensure accurate and consistent data quality over time.

As healthcare transforms to become a more consumer-centric industry, providers will need to deploy technologies that enable leveraging data to achieve personalization at scale as part of delivering superb patient/consumer experiences.

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