Forrester research shows patients are acting more like consumers

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Do you believe your patients treat healthcare as if they were consumers? Do you believe all of your patients have the right to access your care equally, regardless of their age? If so, what are you doing right now, to meet your patients where they are? Even the older ones?

Study after study, article after article show today’s patients are consumers. Consumerism is part of the healthcare sector whether healthcare wants to admit it or not. Continuing to ignore this fact puts providers in jeopardy as the rest of the county moves on. Technology is a big part of the way today’s consumers shop, purchase and pay for goods and services. Ignoring that fact as well as believing that older people don’t use technology is a bad business move.

Hospitals are obsessed with patient satisfaction. A white paper published by Forrester Research, “No Immunity to Patient Experience Obsession,” focuses on patient satisfaction and what providers need to be concerned with as they work to save their market share. In a September 2017 poll, Forrester asked 260 U.S. hospital patient billing strategy decision makers this question:

“How important are each of the following for your job at your organization?” Extremely important was selected as the answer by the following:

  • 66% – Health Outcomes
  • 57% – Patient Experience
  • 44% – Business process improvement[1]

With health outcomes and patient experience at the top of the list, why are hospitals not making the shift toward what will truly help consumers? A consumer model that starts with a true retail experience powered by technology.

Forrester Research’s white paper sums up what we’ve been saying for quite a while:

“Today’s patients must be viewed in the same way other industries learned a decade ago to see their core customers – as device-hopping, empowered customers who demand what they want, when and where they want it. Patients move through a customer life cycle much like other customers do, and as they do so, they want tools that help them make smarter choices and stay informed about treatment follow-ups. Furthermore, they demand that this be easily accessible and part of a cohesive digital experience – from their first touchpoint until their last.[2]

Forrester goes on to suggest: “In short, hospitals must adopt a perspective of being obsessed with patient success and satisfaction and will require a review of tools and processes in order to satisfy that obsession.”[3]

Improving patient satisfaction includes reaching out to all patients, including older Americans. Sylvia Romm, MD, MPH, pediatrician and vice president of medical affairs at American Well, recently published an article on LinkedIn. Sylvia discusses her 73-year-old mother’s use of technology to keep Sylvia in the loop of her battle with congestive heart failure, since Sylvia lives across the country from her mother. Dr. Romm gave her mother an iPad so she could face time with her mother and the physicians during those appointments. This allowed Romm to be part of her mother’s healthcare journey in real time. Romm says, “Many of the clinicians who saw her said that this was their first experience with any form of ‘telemedicine.’ Her pride in introducing this new technology to her physicians we only matched by my relief from knowing that I was connected with her team and updated on her often very confusing care plan.”[4]

Romm notes that “If older Americans are talking with their virtual feet, they are saying loud and clear that they are interested in the same convenience from technology as other age groups.”[5]

Boomers ARE using technology and they want easy access to affordable healthcare just like consumers of any age. Meeting consumers where they are means providing healthcare options via technology tools that they already use such as smartphones and tablets. This includes access to telehealth as well as the ability to shop online for procedures and services.

HealthQRS’ robust medical marketplace has the platform to allow consumers to connect to telehealth services in addition to other services and procedures. Not only do we have an online marketplace that provides a full retail experience including accurate pricing (not just estimates), but we are enabling technology that provides telehealth connectivity as well. Our technology enables people to connect to more cost-effective, consumer-oriented healthcare options. We can even help them find a ride to an in person visit, whether via Uber, taxi cab, public transportation or other.

People of all ages are looking for cost-effective, consumer-oriented solutions. What are you doing to meet this demand? HealthQRS can help you get there today.

We suggest you give your patients options and you start right now. The solution is HealthQRS. We can help you offer people a total e-commerce platform that has your business rules built in. You can even offer terms or build in a loan. You can do this if you partner with HealthQRS. We can help you starting today with just a low monthly fee because we offer our solution as a software as a service (SaaS), so there’s no capital investment.

We have over 12 years of experience developing healthcare retail experiences for people and our founders have over 50 combined years of e-commerce experience. Our E-Commerce Medical Marketplace Flyer provides more information. Click here to download the flyer. We invite you to contact us right now for more information or click here to schedule a demo.

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[1] “No Immunity to Patient Experience Obsession,” Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commission by Simples, Oct. 2017, https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/498900/Forrester%20Patient%20Experience%20in%20Rev%20Cycle%20TLP.pdf

[2] “Healthcare Must Embrace Digital to Win in Consumer Engagement,” Forrester Research, Inc., Nov. 8, 2016.

[3] “No Immunity to Patient Experience Obsession, “Forrester Research, Oct. 2017.

[4] Sylvia Romm, “Older Americans Keep Telling Us They Like Using Health Care Technology … So Why Don’t We Believe Them?” LinkedIn, Mar. 15, 2018, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/older-americans-keep-telling-us-like-using-health-so-we-sylvia/

[5] Ibid.

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