In an interesting article, HealthCare to enter third wave of digital, Erin McCann, Managing Editor, Healthcare IT News, June 15,2015, thought leadership at Accenture in the report The Era of Living Services published on June 15, speaks to the third wave of digital. Accenture also produced a great infographic that illustrates the third wave.
Now this is very important as another transformational innovation anticipated to impact healthcare first that will directly impact the hospital, health systems, physicians and other medical providers. This isn’t pie in the sky and few years out. This market changing digital third wave is coming over the next couple of years. Bad news as the digital channel for most healthcare organizations hasn’t been mastered to really any great degree in the second wave of digital. That by the way is not a slam at any hospital, health system or vendor it’s just a fact.
What does it all mean?
The healthcare consumer is increasingly in control. Period. They are in control of their heath and health data through wearables, mobile health platforms and self tracking devices. They are in control of the experience. They are in control of the expectations for services.
In the digital third wave instead of healthcare services being static, they become what the Accenture people call living services with liquid expectations. And therein lays the marketing opportunity for healthcare providers, in understanding those living services and leveraging liquid expectations.
Marketing steps to take now.
1. Market research to understand how the market segments especially how the Silver Surfers are using digital health, the internet of everything, as well as their expectations around those channels.
2. Understand the nature and function of the hospital or health system digital brand. Does it meet the expectations uncovered in the market research?
3. Embrace the trend don’t fight. That means marketing leadership and participation in hospital or health system strategy development.
4. Understand and this is important for senior leadership and clinicians, all services in this new environment are liquid. Clinical serves are no longer static and unforgiving of expectations.
5. Understand the experiences that the healthcare consumer has in other industries and is transferring to healthcare. Learn and emulate.
6. The healthcare consumer is moving between mobile, online, wearable and smartphone devices expectation for a seamless digital experience. Can the hospital or health system deliver on the expectation?
7. Development of internal marketing educational programs for all levels of staff about the third digital wave and what it means when the patient is searching for a providers and when they are in-house.
8. More difficult but now essential transition from a provider centric business model to a consumer centric business model.
9. Use digital to establish and manage engagement. That is where the healthcare consumer lives and expects to be engaged. Seamlessly across all digital platforms.
10. Focus marketing efforts around the healthcare brand and value proposition around outcomes, price, experience and expectation.
Things have just gotten a lot harder in healthcare. The healthcare consumer is gaining control faster than hospitals and health systems can keep up. Not good. Not good at all for the digital deaf providers.