The dawn of healthcare consumerism – putting the patient in the decision-making chair – is here.  For health system’s digital strategy, it is vital that organizational infrastructure must rapidly adapt and bring a holistic approach to healthcare to meet these rising and dynamic expectations. 

Yet, is our digital strategy really addressing the needs of all patients?  Are digital solutions leveraged effectively to bring true value to patient touch-points before, during and after the visit for enhanced patient satisfaction?  Are we creating an engaged patient? 

To harness the full potential from the digital landscape, at Odoro, we believe we must integrate our digital solutions in a holistic way to meet the ever-changing needs of the healthcare consumer. 

In this first article, we will explain our approach and why this is so important to your digital patient access strategy.

1) The digital front door must welcome each healthcare consumer

Improving the digital front door experience is a key imperative for all healthcare organizations to drive patient acquisition and loyalty. It will surely be a topic debated at the upcoming SHSMD (The Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development) annual conference in September. 

However, to enhance the front door experience, we must understand that what drives the decision-making for healthcare consumers is complex. At its simplest level, healthcare consumers want care that is like an on-demand movie. They want to schedule appointments here and now – no waiting, minimum traveling, with limited impact on their busy lives – an enjoyable experience. 

Technology must therefore adapt to consumers and not the other way round. Yet, when we are creating our digital strategy for healthcare consumers – are we really addressing our main audience?

2) Baby boomers must not be forgotten

The healthcare system is facing the silver tsunami: the population of seniors (65 and over) in the US is now over 50 million for the first time in history1 and is expected to double to nearly 100 million by 2060. This population is expected to live longer than ever before!

With chronic diseases such as cancer, dementia, obesity, and diabetes, being the major challenge to our healthcare system2 – their demand for appointments, referrals and home care will be unprecedented. Is this population really the tech-savvy audience we are imagining when we are building our digital front door strategy? 

Yes, our digital strategy must meet the rapidly rising needs of millennials and generation X and Z populations. However, for the next 20 years, the greatest weight on our health systems is not this audience, instead our baby boomers. It is therefore imperative that our digital strategy is designed to account for these differing healthcare consumer needs

3) The patient must be in the driver’s seat

With consumers controlling more out-of-pocket healthcare expenses than ever before3, the way we access and purchase care is transforming. With Trump’s recent executive order on price transparency for patients, “shopping” for healthcare will become the new norm. We as service providers must keep up and ensure the service of healthcare is as easy as getting a taxi or going out for dinner. The patient is the driver – as such, we must provide digital solutions that meet their changing needs.

To make this happen, it is critical that health systems select technologies wisely – intelligent, flexible and cost-effective systems – that work for the here and now, as well as for the future!  This is no easy task, especially with innovations accelerating at unimaginable rates. 

It is why we believe that by adopting a holistic approach to your digital strategy – focussing on the diverse and changing needs of healthcare consumers is one way to ensure you can deliver on this promise.

4) Digital patient access strategies must embrace a holistic approach

At Odoro, we see this as building an enterprise-wide platform made of multiple self-service channels designed to serve the complex needs of our differing healthcare consumers. 

For the less tech-savvy consumer, they can book quickly and efficiently over the phone using the IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system at a time that is convenient to them.  For millennials, they can book online through the health organization’s website or via messaging or our new chatbot channel. 

We are focussing our digital patient access platform on making digital engagement easy for everyone and then letting our SchedLogic engine do the work. By applying our matching algorithm and smart data management platform, patients can now book appointments quickly, easily and confidently with the best-matched healthcare specialist. One that SchedLogic automatically knows can treat their specific condition, during the time they need and is covered by their insurance or reimbursement policies. 

By digitally customizing workflows that comply with the organization’s business logic, we are allowing online scheduling across the board for improved patient experience. For health systems, this brings huge benefits in patient acquisition and retention, organizational efficiency and cost savings.  

Want to hear more?  Join me in my next article where I will discuss Odoro’s holistic approach to drive patient engagement from the first moment for increased patient acquisition. Or visit us at SHSMD, 8-11 September, Booth 821, and schedule your personal demo to see Odoro’s digital patient access platform in action.  

Digitizing Healthcare Series: Creating a Loyal Patient 

Read Part 2 

About Dikla Ranen

Dikla Ranen is the co-founder and COO of Odoro – a leader in digital patient access solutions for health systems. Over the last 20 years, Dikla has held senior sales, business development and customer success roles in both the digital health and hi-tech sector. Working at the forefront of the changing digital patient access landscape for the past 10 years, she understands first-hand the challenges and issues facing health systems. To learn more about sector best-practices and how latest digital innovation strategies are being used to improve the patient experience, please message with Dikla on Linkedin.