Times have changed
How are you? A lot has happened in the past year, and often we barrel through life without taking a moment to stop and reflect.
Operating a healthcare business during a health crisis is no easy feat. Depending on the nature of your work, you either had more than you could handle or experienced near closure—perhaps having to pivot services simply to stay afloat.
In talking to healthcare organizations in 2020, we found the shift that occurred for many during the year was nothing short of remarkable. Although digital adoption was comparatively slow before COVID, and the transition to new ways of working (such as telehealth) put initial strain on some providers, the advancement of digital strategies is set to deliver widespread ongoing benefits.
For example, consumer demand for telehealth services means we’re likely to see it grow to $250 billion of current US healthcare spend. Digital healthcare ecosystems are also being embraced by progressive companies seeking to drive efficiencies, cost reductions, and a better customer experience.
A critical point in time
COVID-19 aside, transformation was always going to be essential for healthcare providers as they gear up to manage the growing medical needs of an ageing baby boomer generation.
Baby boomers are typically far more savvy, health-conscious and engaged in their medical care than previous generations. They’re also more technologically advanced than some might give them credit for; equipped with their smartphones and an expectation of digital services that would rival even younger generations.
Also in constant flux are changes to legislation that affect healthcare providers, such as HIPAA in America, the GDPR in the UK, and the NDIS in Australia. Each of these have required businesses to shift some aspect of their practice—and in the case of the NDIS scheme, may have required a complete pivot in service delivery to ensure funding.
An industry experiencing so much organic change is welcoming new technologies to help ease the burden. Particularly those that allow businesses to do more with less while exceeding customer expectations.
Clients are no longer patient
We’re stepping into a new era of healthcare—driven by consumers who proactively seek a state of wellness rather than reactively responding to ailments.
Known as the “consumerization of healthcare”, organizations must be able to meet the needs of these new age customers by providing:
- easy access to their personal health data
- the ability to self-serve with appointment bookings
- personalized experiences with every interaction
While meeting customer needs is essential to sustainability, this shift offers excellent prospects for providers too. In addition to attracting a broader cohort of paying customers, forward thinking healthcare organizations well equipped with leading edge digital systems can revolutionize their operations.
Consider the benefits of everything from AI-driven automation to self-serve data analytics for business groups such as accounts payable, marketing and leadership. What opportunities could this unlock in your business?