Improving the Healthcare Customer Experience | USA

I recently attended the HIMSS 2017 conference in Florida. HIMSS stands for Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and is the biggest annual gathering of healthcare and technology professionals. The aim of the society, and the annual event, is to explore how technology can be used more effectively to improve healthcare.

There was a fascinating panel discussion on the Tuesday focused on how to improve the customer experience for healthcare customers. Dr Rasu Shrestha wrote an excellent preview of the discussion here, where he outlined some issues that had come to light as a result of the #Aim2Innovate hashtag on Twitter.

In short, healthcare professionals had been using Twitter with this hashtag to discuss how healthcare could be transformed if there was more of a focus on the customer experience.

To those who have only ever had a negative experience of healthcare it might seem bizarre to hear of people in healthcare companies talking this way, but there is a purpose to this discussion. Customers can see how there has been a service revolution in other industries and they are tiring of being treated so poorly when using healthcare services.

As Dr Srestha summarizes: “The contrast cannot be starker. We freely use Expedia to book a flight, Uber to hitch a ride, Open Table to make a dinner reservation and Amazon to do that last minute shopping. Yet, when we need healthcare, we often deal with massive inconveniences, confusing complexities, and slow inefficient practices that seem to just get in the way.”

This is what is at the heart of the problem in healthcare today. Industries like banking and retail are being shaken up by companies that are designing customer-centric services. The ease of use if the primary consideration in how the service is designed. We are not really seeing this at all in American healthcare.

However, the fact that this discussion appeared at the HIMSS event shows that the industry is considering how to respond to customer demands. Customer expectations are increasing so it’s time to start redesigning how healthcare is delivered – and the first movers are going to have a huge advantage.

What do you think about the connection between healthcare and customer experience today? Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.

Photo by NEC Corporation licensed under Creative Commons.