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Why healthcare organisations need to start thinking like consumer brands

20 Apr 2017 · Mark Dwyer
consumerbrands

The Age of Information has changed us all. Unprecedented access to information has transformed the way we think and behave. People are becoming more diligent and informed in their decision making, whether it be for everyday purchases or lifesaving medical treatment. With greater understanding and autonomy, comes a desire for greater personalisation, convenience and transparency — so what does that mean for businesses today?

Ultimately, businesses with a people-centred approach – in particular, healthcare organisations who use a patient centred care model – are investing in the best path to success because they’re addressing the fundamental shift in how people communicate and behave.

In contrast, companies using outdated and obsolete technology stand to lose the most, through perpetuating systems that dehumanise and disengage people who want to engage with the products and services that shape their lives.

 

Success you can bank on: putting the customer at the centre of your business.

What can Healthcare learn from the banking sector?

Commonwealth Bank’s digital evolution over the past decade is one of the best examples of how a people-centred approach can transform a business. It all started at the peak of the Global Financial Crisis as part of their “Finest Online” project. At the core of this initiative was an understanding of how consumer behaviour was changing.

Their rapid adoption of innovative technology has set them up as the frontrunner in Australian banking — for years they’ve stayed strong as the reigning champion of retail customer satisfaction, online and mobile banking, small business banking and more. Today, Commonwealth Bank has a fully connected suite of products across online banking, phone apps, ATMs, direct deposits and ability to withdraw money with a text, far exceeding what competitors offer.

This cohesive experience gives the customer control and access to information when they need it. The benefits of a people-centred approach extends further than just convenience. Committed and continued investment in their approach has led to higher revenues, productivity and innovation for Commonwealth Bank. For healthcare organisations, the potential to provide higher quality care through shaping their services around their patients is enormous.

 

From patient centered to patient centric

What’s the difference and why does it matter?

Patient-centred care

A patient-centered care model is a way of thinking and doing things that see people using health services as equal decision makers in planning, developing and monitoring care. It’s about considering their desires, values, family situations, social circumstances and lifestyles. 

 

Patient-centric care

A patient-centric care model extends the above notion by introducing patients as owners of medical data and active partners in their health, participating in a connected care ecosystem. With innovation around every corner and fast-adoption of technology across healthcare, we’re seeing a shift away from fragmented care to integrated models: organisations, communities and providers all coordinating to provide a connected care ecosystem.


The benefits of making patients an active partner

With patients wanting greater influence over their healthcare, an era of patient-centric care is emerging, and organisations that embrace this shift will reap the benefits. These include:

  • Increased accountability and transparency for patients.
    Clear communication and education respects patients' preferences, encourages compliance to treatment and reduces anxiety about the illness.
  • Co-shared responsibilities with medical practitioners.
    Effective treatment often requires assistance from different medical specialists and ancillary services. Prioritising patients means they’ll receive thorough and personalised treatment.
  • Better healthcare provision through an integrated model.
    No longer is patient data spread across different and incompatible systems, nor are patients waiting too long for test results. An integrated model reduces inefficiencies and ensures patients receive treatment faster.

 

The next steps toward patient-centric care

Transitioning to a patient-centric care model often involves pivoting your current organisational structure and re-educating teams. First and foremost, the success of a patient-first approach relies on the strength of your team and the processes they use. Are they on board with your vision for patients first and do they have the tools to deliver?

Create a community of connected care

A patient’s journey starts before they walk in the door, and continues long after they’ve gone home. Their ongoing experiences of healthcare spans many medical practitioners, so integrating with other care providers is one of the best ways to form a connected care ecosystem

Leverage technology to facilitate a cohesive patient-centric experience

The principles of people-first care lives and breathes through the daily decision making of practitioners and patients alike. The technology you use needs to support this by moulding to the way your teams work, rather than the other way around. The best technological solutions for teams facilitate integrations for a cohesive experience and collaborative healthcare partnerships within a practice and across partnering services. Successful implementations of patient-centric practice sees everything from streamlined patient and practitioner communication methods to reduction of administrative inefficiencies so that patients receive important test results and other information faster, and more efficiently.

 

Conclusion

Whether it’s for big businesses and leading banks, or for thriving practices large and small, putting people first emerges as the most effective approach. A model that encourages patient-centric care enables practices to stay at the forefront of the healthcare industry.

Taking the essential steps to evolve your organisation, for improved patient experience and financial outcomes, all begins with adopting the right mindset – specifically, an entrepreneurial mindset. We’ve created a useful guide for learning the key skills, crucial for sustainable growth. Simply click below to download your complimentary guide!
 

Clinic to Cloud does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for independent professional advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. See the Clinic to Cloud Disclaimer for further information.

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Mark Dwyer

Mark Dwyer

With over a decade of experience scaling SaaS companies across the globe, my days are spent helping our teams share the vision, challenge the status quo and delight our customers at every turn. I believe that we are empowered by smart technology and together, we have the responsibility to transform healthcare.