August 31, 2016
How can you meet the challenges of today’s digital consumer, continuous healthcare evolution, and exploding technology advancements? Try five “Ps.” One thing hasn’t changed in healthcare: Consumers continue to seek healthcare providers and solutions that meet their needs. Those needs have become digital, as evidenced by the 43% of consumers who report looking online to evaluate treatment options and 28% who say they have searched online for physician quality information. Ten percent of consumers also share their healthcare experiences via social media, completing the feedback loop. In fact, according to research from PricewaterhouseCoopers, personal experiences and peer recommendations matter more in healthcare than in any other industry. Your organization can meet these types of needs effectively by understanding, engaging, and influencing consumers. In doing so, you create an opportunity to create a memorable patient experience and grow market share at a lower patient-acquisition cost. Other industries have already taken advantage of digital advances to attract and keep customers. For example, online purchasing and appointment setting with integrated peer referral make retail solutions available to more people, 24 hours a day. Eliminating lines and allowing guests to preorder food (Hyatt, Starbucks) while leveraging digital wallets makes the hospitality industry more engaging for consumers. So what do modern healthcare consumers need? They demand care that is: Patient-Centered: Consumers value convenience, predictability, and an easy-to-use digital experience. CVS has mastered this aspect of care (as well as most of the other five Ps) with its easily accessible retail clinics, coupled with curbside pickup of online prescription orders. Curbside pickup is facilitated by mobile geo-detection technology to recognize when the customer’s phone has arrived in the parking lot. Prompt: Help consumers access both health information and healthcare more quickly. Offer walk-in appointments. Let them renew prescriptions with one click. Or, like CVS, have prescriptions ready when they arrive at the pharmacy, and bring them out to the patient. Personalized: Improve adherence to a patient’s plan of care by personalizing it. Consider the socioeconomic variables affecting their ability to leverage care. Think about their personal preferences and lifestyle goals. Personalization is important across marketing channels (web, mobile, in-person visits) and care scenarios (finding a doctor, referring a friend). Pathway-Oriented: Traditionally, healthcare organizations have thought only in terms of the current visit. Marketers may also think of postal mail campaigns as separate from online search and social media campaigns. But to build a lasting relationship with patients, you must go beyond a single transaction or a specific campaign silo. For example, focus on providing information to get patients to the proper provider and treatment venue in the first place, and concentrate on coordinating their information and care to prevent readmissions and generate quality outcomes. Portable: Over half of consumers say they would use a smartphone for personal health monitoring if they could integrate their medical records with downloaded information on conditions and treatments. Consumers now search for most health information on a mobile device, and act on that information within an hour. To maximize the utility of healthcare information, it must be portable and always accessible. How is your organization meeting the challenges—and needs—of today’s digital healthcare consumer? To understand, engage, and influence this key demographic, use the five Ps of modern healthcare.