Sunday, February 15, 2015

The healthcare consumer lives in a multi-channel environment; the response is?


The other day I was updating my Healthcare Consumer & Patient Experience Matrix, when from the sheer size; I counted over 145 different touch-points along eight dimensions of interaction, that a healthcare consumer is exposed too for engagement and experience. That is an awful lot of information used consciously and subconsciously by a healthcare consumer or patient.  And there probably a few more as well that play a role in the process.

Agreed that it is an eye chart, but it visually indicates the challenge in developing a coherent and meaningfully integrated strategy, based on the multi-channel informational needs and expectations of the healthcare consumer or patient, and becoming customer focused.

This really means, that the strategy and process that a healthcare provider must use, needs to be multiple in scope, parallel to other efforts and integrated across multiple channels and touch-points. If a healthcare provider says “We don’t do social media.”, or focuses a major effort only on improving patient satisfaction, or providing canned disease educational materials when there is an inpatient encounter, then they are missing the opportunity for total experience management, engagement and customer focus improvement.

In order to improve the experience and engagement, the effort must be across all healthcare consumer and patient touch-points.  Also indicated by the eye chart, is the need for an all inclusive process, which is broken down into manageable bits worked on simultaneously. For experience and engagement to be successful, the major requirement is that a true customer focused organization needs to exist. And that is a major cultural and business focus shift which I have written about previously.

Marketing is your partner and collaborator in all of this, not just there to make things look pretty.

But the first step in this with primary market research in the service area.  Today primary market research is a hit or miss proposition. Some do, some don’t.  Once the data is in, make data-driven decisions based on the needs of the healthcare consumer or patient, not the hospitals in the development of engagement and experience strategies for change, which will meaningfully impact the needs of the audiences. Once you know this, then it’s all hands on deck. 

The healthcare consumer is multi-channel in how they gather information, engage and experience the healthcare enterprise. 

Embrace the challenge and focus on their experience and engagement needs to be successful.

If you would like the pdf of The Healthcare Consumer & Patient Experience Matrix, please email me at and I will send.

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