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Four ways for better digital front door patient experiences

Kelli Bravo and KJ Jita, Log in to subscribe to the Blog

Why is it that when I visit my retail, insurance, or banking groups they’re always offering me products and services that are relevant to me and that I can actually use? However, my patient digital experience is messy, disconnected, and so impersonal. I’m constantly entering personal information online and then handwriting the same information when I arrive for an appointment. And speaking of appointments, I can change or cancel appointments online, but not schedule a new one. It’s like I’m a stranger to them. Do healthcare organizations really know me or my family?

There’s nothing more personal than health, and consumers today expect their healthcare experiences to be even better than their retail, insurance, or banking ones. Consumers expect interactions to be frictionless across their preferred methods of communication. Where many healthcare organizations go wrong is thinking that the website is the only digital front door for patients, when in fact, in this age of hyper-consumerism, it’s just one of many such as: mobile apps, chatbots, telephony IVR, voice AI, SMS, emails, portals, Alexa, Twitter, Facebook, and more.

What if consumer experience professionals could configure an application incorporating all digital entry points using design thinking and incorporating human-centric design so no matter how patients engage, their experiences would be the same?

Establishing a patient-centric approach

You may ask if EMR’s and EHR’s are already fulfilling this role. The answer is, not completely. Their focus is on the needs of the healthcare organization. But in today’s world, that focus needs to shift to the patient. They are racing to meet that need but their architectures are tightly coupled into their products and one channel: the patient self-service website. What they need is a center-out architecture that’s uncoupled from channels and uncoupled from hospital applications. This is what the retail, insurance, and banking sectors have been quietly doing: adopting technological innovations, digitizing their operations, and implementing connected workflows that put customer needs in the center. Healthcare providers are in a unique position to learn from the evolution of the consumer sector’s service digitization and put patients first.

With that as the backdrop, there are four strategies that any Healthcare Provider can take on the road to differentiating their organization while creating a better digital front door consumer experience.

  1. Centralized intelligence – working enterprise-wide across all channels, functions, and interactions to deliver a consistent, personalized, and in-context experience to all your patients. This enables your organization to better engage, support, and nurture a patient through their entire health journey. The first step to personalized patient engagement includes the first point of contact, which many times is your website. But it also includes consumers using a tablet and those engaging via their mobile devices. This centralized intelligence must work seamlessly and in real time across all the channels that make up the entire digital front door of your organization. If it isn’t centralized, it will rapidly become disjointed and disconnected from other channels, with different segments of the organization doing different things. This is exactly where a lot of healthcare organizations are right now—developing siloed experiences by channel that just further confuse and frustrate patients. Instead of just talking about next-best-action for all interactions, your organization can start to deliver and benefit from it too by using a centralized intelligence across your organization.

  2. Complete patient view – supporting the full patient journey which does not end when the patient enters the front door. To improve the patient care experience and outcome, organizations need to ensure access to a personalized patient 360 view. This ensures all care team members have the right information needed at their fingertips when interacting with patients, including telehealth visits. This view reduces friction and streamlines service and care navigation for patients and staff.

  3. Breakdown the silos – freeing the patient data lying in siloed legacy applications. To improve the patient experience, health organizations must integrate patient data and streamline interactions through integration, automation, and connected workflows. By making patient touchpoints (including the contact center) more efficient and effective in handling patient needs, organizations can support the entire patient journey spanning care navigation, service, and outreach. This will help provide the underpinning for patient 360 views and enable predictive analytics and AI to generate actionable insights.

  4. Build for change – enabling the single most important strategy for healthcare organizations to transform. Don’t only look for solutions to these challenges because, as the COVID-19 pandemic has painfully shown, our world is constantly changing. Your organization’s strategy must solve for these needs today while providing tools and flexibility that can evolve and adapt as market and business needs change.

The future of healthcare is now

With today’s technology, you can already meet health consumers’ digital experience expectations and guide them to better health outcomes. By delivering smart, simple, and personalized engagements, patients and their caregivers can review helpful reminders, complete assigned tasks, and access resources and their care network on any device.

Imagine anticipating, automating, and intelligently guiding the patient during each interaction with your organization to best meet their needs on their personalized care journey. Deliver enhanced engagement, increased collaboration, and improved health outcomes. Sounds like personalized healthcare to us. Healthcare is constantly changing, make sure your strategy lets you build for change.

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Tags

Industry: Healthcare Product Area: Customer Service Topic: Digital Transformation

About the Author

As Global Vice President of Healthcare and Life Sciences at Pega, Kelli Bravo helps healthcare and life sciences organizations develop digital transformation and engagement strategies that build relationships, simplify operations, and improve the way healthcare is delivered.

As a Senior Solutions Consultant, KJ helps organizations focus on innovation, automation, and optimal customer experiences.