Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Is Patient Experience Management the New Healthcare Imperative?

The new healthcare consumer is seeking information on great outcomes and experience. That's right, great outcomes and experiences, not ordinary outcomes or experiences. You are expected to care. You are expected to provide high-quality care. Telling the healthcare consumer that you provide compassionate care and high-quality medical care, is falling on deaf ears. Especially, when the experience doesn't even come close to the claim.

And as time moves along, healthcare consumers will bypass those hospitals and healthcare providers that have less than great outcomes or experiences.

I am not saying that is fair, or right. It is a reality of a changing marketplace.

When healthcare executives are surveyed, the majority say that Patient Experience Management is a critical business success factor along with patient safety and cost reduction. But at the same time, the majority of healthcare CEOs, admit that they really don't know where to start on successfully managing the patient experience.

If you read my previous seven posts on Customer/Patient Experience Management, you would have a clear rationale and model for moving forward. Clarity, purpose and resolve provided.

And it is just not hospitals. Insurance companies, specialty pharmacies, PBMs, home health and others, that are experiencing the same challenges in managing patient, consumer or member experience.

Considering the ever increasing role of satisfaction scores in the CMS value purchasing programs, it has a direct financial outcome. Do well and receive additional revenue, fail and it will cost you. Insurance companies will follow CMS and move to more value purchasing arrangements as well.

A financial whammy approaches that requires new ways of doing business for the healthcare provider. Change and you can prosper. Refuse and find financial difficulties caused by market share losses.

Patient Experience Management is all about the culture.

It is not managing to a survey.

It is not just patient satisfaction. Patient satisfaction is an outcome of experience management.

It is not just a program.

It is not just a one-time activity.

Experience Management is about changing the way you deliver care to the patient by your employees, based on an understanding of what the patients expectations are, not yours. Experience Management is culturally and organizationally uncomfortable. And that is because it's not about you anymore.

You have to have a formal definition of patient experience and that only comes from talking to patients, or consumers, or plan members.

So I answering my own question, patient experience management is the new healthcare imperative.

The speed of change in healthcare has accelerated beyond the point of no return. Healthcare providers no longer have the time to engage in endless internal dialogue, and paralysis by analysis planning loops, before moving forward. Individuals expect you to care. Individuals expect you to have high-quality outcomes.

The only way you can differentiate is through creating and maintaining that exceptional patient experience. And that only comes through active management of the experience process.

So, tell me, what you are still waiting for to get started? Time to deliver.

You can continue the conversation, linkup or follow along with me on:

For more information, or to discuss your strategic healthcare marketing, customer experience management, marketing/sales integration or start-up needs, you can learn more at my web site the michael J group; email- michael@themichaeljgroup.com; or phone by calling me at 815-293-1471.

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