What Matters most to the Patient?
by Reesie Fox, BMH Radiology Manager
“They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou
What by definition is the purpose of healthcare?
A definition from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement reads, “The fundamental purpose of healthcare is to enhance quality of life by enhancing health.”
To answer the million dollar question of what matters most to the patient, Deloitte conducted a study using the Consumer Priorities in Health Care Survey. In this survey the consumer (the patient) prioritized their healthcare interactions. The survey was conducted online and had 1787 respondents. It surprised me to learn that even in this day and age when technology is so prevalent…
“Digital connectedness to manage healthcare: came in fourth and least important on the priority list.”
Third was, “Convenience-driven use of care, showing that the patient still values the when, where, and how of care and assistance in navigating details.”
Second is, “Economically rational coverage and care choices.” The average healthcare consumer wants transparency and the financial information for services rendered to be accessible. Clear answers, such as, whether their insurance will cover services.
Finally, the first priority to the healthcare consumer is, “Personalization expected via providers.” The patient wants to feel that connection with the medical staff, the feeling that their concerns are being heard, that they are not just a number. They want clear instructions, and non-rushed appointments.
So how do we meet the needs of the healthcare consumer?
An article posted by Leslie Read and Matt Kaye, of Deloitte, on October 16, 2017 suggests these survey results indicate:
“To start, health plans can:
• Recognize the importance of the provider-patient relationship, identifying opportunities to enable better patient engagement, such as evaluating how much customer experience design and investment should be done internally versus alongside external stakeholders;
• Reevaluate(but not reduce) digital investments, refocusing on tools that improve these top consumer priorities(provider experiences and affordability) and tracking how consumers interact with digital resources;
• Increase the transparency and accessibility of personalized cost, billing, and claims data, thinking beyond the standard Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statement and simplifying product design to demonstrate value; and
• Prioritize customer segmentation as a key component to removing existing barriers to convenient and accessible care for all consumers.”
As healthcare grows and changes, we need to realize that the consumer wants a more active role in their healthcare. As discussed, the patient has made it abundantly clear that they prefer value over volume!