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Slow, Steady Progress in Healthcare Consumerism

by Laura Clemons | Aug 09, 2018

Consumers have become accustomed to convenience, quality and finding good deals when making purchases, whether in person or online. They can even shop for and buy a car online and have it delivered to their door. While this level of consumer experience is becoming the standard in most industries, healthcare is lagging behind in its investment in consumer-focused programs.Consumerism

In its 2018 State of Consumerism in Healthcare: Activity in Search of Strategy report, Kaufman Hall shared results from its annual survey of over 200 hospitals and health systems in the US. In general, the survey found that while hospitals and health systems are working more on meeting the demands of healthcare consumers, there is still a lot of room for improvement in this area.

Results from the survey and report include:

  • Investments in consumer-focused strategies have increased, but remain slow, as traditional approaches are often favored over newer innovations.
  • 90% of survey respondents said that improving CX is a high priority, which is a significant increase from 30% in 2017.
  • 64% say that digital tools are vital for consumer engagement, up from 14% in 2017.
  • Less than one-tenth of respondents are considered tier 1 performers for their pursuit of consumer-focused strategies, and less than one-fourth are considered to be tier 2 – piloting consumer initiatives and assessing where those needs fit into their overall strategy.
  • While healthcare organizations see the value in increasing consumer access to their services, they are still lagging in providing services such as telemedicine, retail clinics, video visits and e-visits.
  • Only 28% of respondents have customer-friendly billing statements and only 18% allow for patient feedback in real time.
  • Price strategy is one of healthcare’s worst-performing areas, with only 5% of organizations ranked as tier 1 for aggressive pricing and price transparency.

Consumers have become accustomed to better experiences in most other settings. Healthcare must acquire a new way of thinking beyond its traditional approaches.

Are you interested in consumerism in healthcare? Plan to attend the 22nd Annual Healthcare Internet Conference in November and sign up for the Consumerism pre-conference session on Monday morning, November 5th. 

  • consumerism

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