Put the Healthcare Consumer at the Center of Both Care and Education, Even Outside the Doctor’s Office

In a survey on patient loyalty from health technology vendor Welltok, 84 percent of patients said they would feel a greater sense of loyalty if their overall health and wellbeing was supported outside of a clinical setting, such as help with nutrition, stress management, and weight loss.

Additional findings support the idea that, for most patients, a healthcare journey extends outside of the provider setting:

  • 75 percent of patients said they want “continuous interaction” with a provider between appointments
  • More than 80 percent said they are more likely to follow a treatment plan if it is personalized

The need for ongoing patient education outside of a clinical setting is gaining traction for many reasons. More people are being diagnosed with – and living longer with – a chronic condition that needs to be carefully monitored and treated. For example, about 1 percent of Americans lived with Type 2 diabetes about 60 years ago. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number is now closer to 10 percent, with the rate more than tripling between 1990 and 2010. The CDC estimated the annual medical cost of Type 2 diabetes in 2017 at about $327 billion – up 33 percent over a five-year period.

Healthcare Consumerism & Personal Understanding

Another reason is the merging of two key trends. One is the rise in healthcare consumerism, in which healthcare consumers are more invested in monitoring and tracking their health. Smart watches, IoT data, and healthcare apps that track sleep, diet, and exercise all give consumers more control and insight into health behaviors. The other is a solidifying consumer expectation for a personal understanding from the brands they engage with. This expectation is true in healthcare just at is in for retail, banking, travel and other industries with a brand-consumer dynamic.

A 2021 Dynata survey, commissioned by Redpoint, aligns with the Welltok findings and highlights the confluence of healthcare consumerism and the desire for a personal understanding. In the survey, 60 percent of respondents said it is important that a provider show how well they understand a consumer beyond basic patient data, and 40 percent defined a deeper understanding as greater personalization – such as consistently updated information accessible across all channels.

In short, healthcare consumers expect more control over their experiences across an omnichannel healthcare journey, and they expect providers and other stakeholders to demonstrate an understanding of them as an individual healthcare consumer – far beyond the data that’s shared and compiled during a visit to their doctor. With access to a high volume of real-time personal health data, healthcare consumers expect their providers to use the same data to improve health outcomes.

As those expectations relate to ongoing education around a chronic condition such as Type 2 diabetes, a highly personalized care plan might include help with prescription adherence, diet and nutrition advice, blood sugar control and home testing, blood pressure and cholesterol checks, etc. Other chronic conditions have similar long-term treatment plans that require education and assistance outside of a provider setting, and will often include education for family members in addition to the patient.

Being diagnosed with a chronic condition is a life event. Highly personalized care plans recognize that a patient’s healthcare journey encompasses not only many stages, but a multitude of physical and digital channels that may be accessed. Consistent patient engagement across every channel throughout a journey helps drives improved outcomes because, as the Welltok survey shows, healthcare consumers react positively to personalization. (80 percent will follow a personalized treatment plan).

Close the Personalization Gap with a Single View

To close the gap between the healthcare experience that consumers expect and the one being delivered, providers need to have a single view of the healthcare consumer. Many struggle to close the gap because their view of the consumer is limited to patient data collected at the point of care. Data that could help a provider personalize care – claims data, behavior data, and social determinants of health (income, geolocation, access to transportation, etc.) is either siloed or inaccessible, belonging to and/or managed by various third parties.

By eliminating data siloes through a single operational platform that puts the healthcare consumer at the center of a holistic journey, providers are empowered to deliver a holistic experience that is always in the cadence of an individual patient. Treatment plans can be coordinated across an extensive network of caregivers (labs, specialists, clinicians, testing facilities, etc.), and education tailored to a patient’s engagement preferences.

As a simple example, a patient might be asked to drop off glucose test strips to a facility. A provider with a single view of the healthcare consumer that includes all data sources, preferences, behaviors, appointments, insurance information, etc., might send an SMS message notifying the patient of the closest facility and its hours of operation. A worrisome test result might automatically schedule a telehealth consultation as well as trigger an email with literature on how to maintain low blood sugar.

Or, to help the caregiver of an aging parent with Alzheimer’s experiencing medication side effects, a geriatrician might implement an online portal where the caregiver, a clinical pharmacy specialist, and the provider can enter data, compare notes, and regularly update a care plan. In a way, these examples are simply the tip of the iceberg both in terms of the level of personalization and the degree of potential impact possible from leveraging a single view of the healthcare consumer.

For more information about how Redpoint helps healthcare organizations deliver personalized omnichannel experiences that drive better outcomes, visit Redpoint for Healthcare  on LinkedIn, or request a demo at the Healthcare homepage on redpointglobal.com.

Related Content

Align the Healthcare Experience Around the Consumer: How an Omnichannel CX Delivers Improved Health Outcomes

It is Time to “Act as One” for the Benefit of the Healthcare Consumer

The Data-Driven Acceleration of the Consumer Healthcare Journey

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