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Four pitfalls to avoid in transforming the patient experience in healthcare

  • Posted on May 23, 2022
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Avoid 4 pitfalls in patient experience

A recent Wall Street Journal essay stated this: we are informed, empowered consumers in other domains from clothing to coffee. But none of those compare with the stakes or complexities of healthcare, where many choices are irrevocable. Higher stakes, indeed.

So, as consumerism takes hold in healthcare, and technology capabilities catch up with patient expectations, providers must strike a balance between elevating the patient experience and maintaining their duty to a patient’s wellbeing. Here are four pitfalls to avoid as this sector seeks to leverage technology to modernize and transform the patient experience:

1. Failing to address blind spots on the patient journey. How is the patient interacting with the system, and how is the system communicating with the patient? Not many providers can answer that critical question because of their siloed departments. This inoperability of a 360-degree view of the patient has patients getting blasted with emails that offer irrelevant information, ask repetitive questions, or present confusing information. An opportunity exists to eliminate these blind spots and foster collaboration on behalf of the patient. And, backend system integration will become even more prudent as the payor model catches up to the new hybrid visits model and remote monitoring is properly reimbursed. A combination of virtual, in-person, and home care will only add to the complexity of tracking patient care.

2. Beginning without a roadmap. Healthcare systems embarking on a CRM program don’t always consider the roadmap and strategy required for implementation. They become focused on point solutions that address the specific interests and needs of one department (again…silos), which soon constrains them – not just with multiple vendors, implementation timeframes, and contracts – but with applications that aren’t designed to grow with their needs and may get discontinued. An experienced technology consulting advisor will eliminate the burden and frustration of these narrow solutions with a comprehensive technology strategy built on a single, scalable platform that also incorporates a master data management plan for storing and securing data.

3. Ignoring the employee experience. At Avanade, we often see executives dictating how the system should be designed without input from the end users. Understanding what they need to make their jobs easier is priceless in accelerating adoption. For example, can a waitlist be generated to fill valuable time when a virtual patient doesn’t show up for an appointment? Can clinical data be translated before it’s dropped into a patient email, enabling a more productive interaction between patient and staff? We’ve also engaged with customers who want to use CRM for recruiting and onboarding tasks, such as staying connected with candidates, welcoming new employees, tracking certifications and licensures, and managing orientation. Providers should also consider what human functions can be automated. Instead of bogging down nursing staff with check in calls, send patients daily assessments that are self-scored, branch based on responses, and trigger alerts if an issue needs to be escalated to a nurse.

4. Forgoing a change management program. Tightly linked to the employee experience is the development and thoughtful management of a change management program. Implementing an end-to-end solution is a major undertaking that must be people driven. It requires changing the business processes and day-to-day jobs of everyone from contact center staff to marketers to back office administrators to clinicians. Organizations must invest time in helping all internal stakeholders not just understand but get excited about the bigger picture of how a CRM program benefits the patient.

These common mistakes usually result when technology alone is expected to be a silver bullet rather than the foundation of a comprehensive patient CRM program. The right platform, such as Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, implemented by the right partner focused on value-driven outcomes will ensure that you can innovate and transform patient care rather than compromise it.

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