As key stakeholders in the healthcare industry are working towards improving patient care and reducing the cost of care, experts at Infiniti Research identify three key touchpoints of consumer engagement in the patient journey to focus on to achieve this.
Consumer engagement in the healthcare industry continues to grow with the advancements in technology. From identifying and accessing new channels of care to monitoring and sharing healthcare data, consumers are now actively engaged with their healthcare and treatment decisions. Healthcare industry experts believe that consumer engagement in healthcare could be instrumental in achieving better patient outcomes and reducing costs. Patients who are well-informed and well involved in their treatment process are more likely to have better health outcomes and also incur lower costs comparatively.
According to experts at Infiniti Research, there are typically three key touchpoints in the consumer engagement with healthcare providers wherein their active interaction peaks: while the consumer searches for care, when they gain access to new channels of healthcare such as digital tools and at-home testing, and while sharing personal health information with the providers. As life sciences and healthcare organizations continue to evolve, their strategies must also transform to accommodate the changing healthcare consumer expectations. In this article, we offer strategies for healthcare providers to enhance their key consumer engagement touchpoints.
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Enhancing consumer touchpoints in healthcare
Searching for healthcare and providers
One of the key points of consumer engagement in healthcare involves finding the right healthcare providers to cover their treatment needs. Some of the important factors that affect these decisions include physician’s availability in their health plan’s network, reputation, convenient hours, and the costs. Technology for scheduling and accessing lab tests online is another critical consideration especially for the younger generation of healthcare consumers. This indicates that healthcare consumers are laying increased focus on the quality ratings, convenience, cost, and accessibility of services.
Using new healthcare channels
Healthcare consumers are increasingly becoming open to new channels of treatment through digital tools and apps. Investing in digital tools and at-home diagnostic tests has the potential to enhance health outcomes through faster diagnosis, round-the-clock access to health coaching, and the ability to recognize mood and lifestyle changes that could affect adherence to a treatment plan. Thereby, the quality of patient care can be ensured with reduced hospitalization and treatment costs.
Tracking and sharing personal healthcare data
Relying on technology to track health and monitor fitness has become a prominent trend over the past decade. The data generated through wearable devices that capture health and fitness data can help significantly improve population health, advance clinical research, and enhance the performance of the device. Consumers are also becoming more willing to share this data with their personal doctors to improve their care. Sharing this data can help both providers and consumers be more proactive in their health management. However, today data often resides in multiple medical records across different providers. This makes the complete picture of a patient’s health unavailable to doctors, researchers, and the consumers themselves. Consequently, it becomes difficult for people to get the targeted care they need at the most critical times. Several companies have introduced applications to help consumers manage their data and collate medical records. But this may require interoperability between the various organizations that currently store consumers’ health data.
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