Power To The People
The consumerization of healthcare has the customer in control: budgeting benefits, choosing providers, and navigating care. Perpetually connected consumers are comparing prices, quality, convenience, and outcomes. And, technology innovations have become the great equalizer, making it easier and faster for consumers to access information, comparison shop, and make purchases in a healthcare marketplace.
With the rapid growth trajectory of High Deductible Health Plans, Health Savings Accounts, public/private health exchanges, and Accountable Care Organizations, a patient-centric future demands engaged, enlightened and empowered consumers. Power to the people!
This Infographic, Healthcare Consumerism, looks across the health care landscape at the forces pushing and pulling the most important stakeholders.
Smart health care companies are responding by creating communities for connection, collaboration and communication. They get it…if we ask customers to take personal responsibility for their health care decisions the onus is on the industry to help consumers make value-based individual choices.
Healthcare consumerism is not a fad. In fact it’s the “bombogenesis” for marketplace change:
- Shift of financial burden and decision-making to the individual
- Increased access to relevant healthcare information
- Acceptance of (or forced) consumer health accountability
- Technology-driven innovation facilitating personalization
- “SoMoLo healthcare” is happening (social, mobile, local)
Health care brands are now inseparable from their ability to engage and empower the customer. They need to provide customers a reason to engage by guiding them through healthcare’s maze of choices and reward them with interactions that do the right thing for their healthcare. Relevant engagement yields customer empowerment…and empowered patients have lower costs and better outcomes.
Lastly, as put forth in the recent article, 2015: Healthcare’s Year of Trustability, both payers and providers need to reestablish a “relationship of trust” with today’s consumer. This means building and maintaining a personalized dialog with each customer throughout their healthcare journey. The payoff is a superior user experience, higher satisfaction ratings, and better customer retention. They will promote you, refer you and most importantly, they will become customers for life.
The linkage of health and technology has innovators racing toward the next best consumer engagement solution. Market leaders are leveraging Social, Mobile, Big Data, Hyper-Segmentation, Cloud and Wearables. In its report Healthcare IT: Digital Disruption is Knocking, Accenture Health forecasts funding of digital startups in the U.S. healthcare market will double over the next three years, reaching $6.5 billion. And, a leading health-tech accelerator, Rock Health reports consumer engagement and telemedicine in its Top Six Trends in Digital Health Funding.
Consumers will use healthcare innovations that make it easier and more convenient for them to:
- Self-diagnose a condition
- Change a habit or accomplish a goal
- Stay on a course of treatment or drug
- Interact with all their health care providers
- Achieve a healthier lifestyle and better quality of life
Disruptive innovation will affect every aspect of healthcare consumerism and be guided by a simple philosophy: first movers may sometimes fail, but last movers don't survive.