90% of healthcare consumers believe that advanced technology is available to connect them with providers. But the same research by Black Book says that under 10% of providers believe they are meeting those same demands.
This growing demand for better patient digital experiences is apparent in numerous market surveys.
- 77% of patients expect to schedule themselves online.
- 68% want digital payments in their doctor’s office
- 70% of millennials say they would choose a primary care doctor who offers a patient mobile app for self-service over one that does not.
Among patients under age 40 over half say they will choose their next medical provider based on digital capabilities. But remember, only 10% of providers say they’re ready to meet those demands. That makes closing this gap between what providers can do and what customers expect a critical priority for payers and providers.
The urgency of this demand is amplified by competitors using digital second opinions and telemedicine to enter in new regions, and by the entry of tech savvy insurgents from other industries. These factors make closing the patient experience gap essential for sustaining or growing healthcare enterprises.
One Medical Group Plays for Retention
The need to create digitally savvy care was a frequent topic of conversation at this Fall’s marketing conferences, SHSMD and HCIC. The conversations between sessions often turned to finding useful examples of digital patient experience. More than once, I found myself passing around my own personal health information in the app from One Medical as an example of a health interface that is helping to drive change.
Naturally, people were interested in the design and functionality of the One Medical app. But the healthcare marketers I talked to tended to get even more interested in the difference between One Medical’s patient goals and those in traditional practices.
Fewer Better Scoreboards
When I joined One Medical a few years ago, and I asked my provider how his practice differed from other places. “Fewer scoreboards over your head” was his reply. According to my doctor, One Medical elevates two linked performance measures: customer satisfaction and retention.
One Medical’s business model is like a regular doctor’s office except for their annual membership fee of $200 per year. This makes them more focused on business retention; while others may emphasize increasing efficiency or new patient acquisition instead of retention.
Once you know how important satisfaction-driven retention is to One Medical, their digital experience takes on a new dimension.
- What’s the benefit of zero-wait time scheduling? Higher satisfaction and no need to seek more convenient treatment alternatives.
- Why is online bill pay so important? For the same reason it is at Uber, no cash changes hands in the office. Co-pays are electronic, and charges can be applied to credit cards and managed through the One Medical Application. This use also keeps charge card information up to date, removing a potential snag in the renewal process.
- Why is messaging a big deal? Quick responses by providers to text messages, and the 24x7 option of telemedicine delivers radical convenience and increases the perceived value of membership through anywhere, anytime access.
One Medical Group’s digital play isn’t about gaining patients, per se. It’s about keeping them happy and retaining them year after year. They know their strong digital health experience will differentiate them and attract new members through positive word of mouth, just as I’ve done at this year’s healthcare marketing conferences.
Making Healthcare Experiences and Relationships Bankable
Last year I wrote about how my colleagues at Connective DX help quantify the value of customer relationships using what I call value buckets. The idea is that the greatest asset most enterprises have is the equity contained in customer relationships. So, it makes sense to assess changes to customer experience by how they affect the value of those connections.
One Medical’s focus on retention does exactly this. By making better digital customer experiences, they are providing better and more enjoyable care across their customer lifecycle.
My colleagues at Connective DX love building digital experiences that make a difference for enterprises and patients. Having fewer, better scoreboards focuses us all on measuring the right kind of improvement. That’s what One Medical has done to meet the growing digital demands of their ‘patient members’. And it’s a more provocative starting point than the fractured portals that are far more common in both payer and provider digital experiences.
In the new year, I’ll be looking at ways that health innovators of all stripes are using digital tools to change care. One example of this is the doctorless Minute Clinic that the second-largest insurance company in China opening in 1,000 locations over the next few months. Learn more here.
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