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Patient Experience Competencies to Drive Your Consumerism Strategy

The concept of consumerism in healthcare delivery is rooted and shaped in the world of retail services. To keep it simple, patient experience competencies should drive your consumerism strategy. However, it is primarily driven by high deductible health plans, changing technology, shifting patient demographics and value-based care payer contracts, healthcare care consumerism and the experience of patients should be a key growth strategy for today’s healthcare providers.

Healthcare consumerism is a movement that advocates patients’ involvement in their own healthcare decisions. It is a movement from the ‘doctors says/patient does’ model to a ‘working partnership’ model. Empowered by technology, patients and their loved ones have more leverage, higher expectations, and a greater likelihood to change how healthcare services are provided than ever before.

Simply stated, a patient’s experience revolves around the following three elements and questions:

Effectiveness – Was I successful in achieving my goal?
Ease – How easy or hard was it for me to accomplish what I wanted to do?
Emotion – How did all my interactions make me feel?

Healthcare providers need to keep patients safe from harm and ensure they are doing things “with” rather than “to” the patient. They also need to make it easy for the patient to derive value from their experience. First and foremost, healthcare providers must genuinely care about the patient as a person.

Successful patient experiences in the era of healthcare consumerism further hinges on 5 experience competencies and their level of organizational maturity.

5 Critical Patient Experience Competencies

Focusing on improving these competencies will lead to greater patient input and involvement in design efforts and higher organizational readiness around integrating people, processes, and systems in support of patient focus.

Patient Experience Competencies

1. Culture

Creating a cultural transformation through a formal patient experience vision that will drive a system of shared values and behaviors, reinforced by leadership, to deliver a patient experience aligned with your brand promise. Developing strategies and tactics to combat compassion fatigue and burnout by engaging employees, physicians, and patients enabling the delivery of the intended experience.

2. Governance

Developing an organizational structure to provide oversight and prioritization of key initiatives that will improve patient experience while building organizational capability.

3. Research

Creating mechanisms that will enable leaders to listen to patients and their loved ones, trend themes and inform future organizational strategy by using in-depth voice of the customer insights acquired through qualitative and quantitative research.

4. Design

Moving beyond the process and lean six-sigma to engage patients, employees, and physicians in experience design and improvement to deliver the brand promise.

5. Measurement

Creating a more meaningful measurement system that moves beyond surveys. Patient experience measurement is critical to quantify outcomes, steer design and improvement efforts, and contribute to an ongoing business case for patient experience transformation.

These same competencies can also be leveraged to improve the employee experience.

Patient and Employee Experience 

Patient, employee, and physician experiences are inextricably linked. A poor employee or physician experience often leads to a poor patient experience. Fully embracing a strategic approach and developing the noted competencies will enhance the experience for all people involved in the healthcare journey. It is important to acknowledge that the patient experience competencies referenced above can also be applied to improving the experience of employees and physicians.

A sound patient experience strategy is a keystone in developing the desired organizational culture and addressing many of the challenges facing today’s healthcare consumers and providers.

As healthcare providers continue to evolve their market position against traditional and non-traditional competitors, patient experience becomes a critical corporate strategy that enables healthcare providers to differentiate and close the gap between patient expectations and their brand promise.

Blue & Co. now has a Patient Experience team with industry-specific success available to assist you to improve the state of your patient experience. We help you better leverage insights and empathically engage patients and your workforce to increase customer stickiness, catalyze culture, and improve the bottom line.

To learn more about how our Patient Experience team can help your organization, please contact either Tom Malasto or Crystal Bingham.

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