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Are you becoming a more consumer-centric organization?

You’ve all experienced, one way or another, patients demanding change in how they receive healthcare. Is that what’s happening? Or were patients always asking for healthcare services where and when it is convenient for them and you’ve just started listening and responding?  

You’ve spent the last decade focused on gathering data and reporting on metrics as regulated by governing agencies. Often when performance against such metrics doesn’t measure up, you ask why and find that you have failed to keep the patient or consumer at the center of all that you do. So, what can you do about that?

To share the responsibility for improving health, you might provide easy-to-use patient portals that make it more convenient for patients to engage. Or you could provide access to the appropriate level of care closest to the patient’s home or work during the hours that the patient needs service.

Other consumer-centered initiatives you might be focused on include:

  • Easy prescription filling and completion of follow-up orders as a result of the services being housed in the same location. Patients can obtain the medication or the lab or imaging service in one location, perhaps where they saw their clinician in the first place.    
  • Primary and specialty care via telehealth. Now acute care is readily available to individuals living in rural communities, which can dramatically improve patient outcomes.  
  • Concierge-level service if a patient doesn’t want to wait for the next available appointment. They may pay more, but it is money well spent to the consumer paying for that convenience.
  • Accepting self-reported clinical data via patient portals or mobile applications. Organizations are working to reduce the number and complexity of these portals and applications.

How do you know if your efforts are working? Organizations are measuring the impacts of these initiatives by conducting customer satisfaction surveys immediately following each patient encounter. In addition to the required metrics tracking, they are also monitoring market share, trends in revenue dollars per patient, and physician alignment.

It isn’t all smooth sailing from there. Along the way, many organizations identify opportunities related to infrastructure, explore the legal and safety ramifications of using patient-reported data in the physician’s decision support workflow, and seize opportunities to manage organizational and operational change.

In keeping with the patient’s expectation that they are at the center, they expect their medical record data to move with them as they live their life and move from one provider or community to another. One of the largest yet unresolved opportunities lies in developing and complying with data sharing standards between organizations and vendors.  

Many of you are viewing this as the next hurdle to overcome and are actively working with vendors and regulators towards a successful resolution. 

Are you one of those individuals? Feel free to reach out to me at jpomi@bluetreenetwork.com to hear how we can help.

Jeanne

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