Improving Customer Focus via a MedTech Mobile App

by Robert Kazmi
Blog Post

Healthcare is Becoming More Customer-Centric

There’s no denying that we are currently living in the age of the consumer.

In the past, businesses ultimately held most of the power. They provided consumers with products that they anticipated people would find useful. However, today’s consumers take on a much more impactful role, as they’ve grown to expect not only great products, but great support and experiences as well.

The average consumer today expects his or her voice to be heard. Instead of simply purchasing a product from a business, the modern consumer wants to feel a connection with that business.

Consumers today want to feel like their patronage is valued, and businesses that fail to put their customers first will fall victim to plummeting rates of customer loyalty, and eventually, revenue.

Healthcare providers and businesses in the medical sector are no exception to this shift towards increased customer-centricity. But unfortunately, the healthcare industry has been one of the slowest to adapt. A recent study of online physician reviews found that 96 percent of complaints related to the customer service that a patient received, and only 4 percent of the complaints referred to the quality of service.

Healthcare organizations are meeting this challenge head on by focusing on improving patient experiences. The 2017 State of Consumerism in Health Care: Slow Progress in Fast Times report by Kaufman, Hall & associates provides powerful evidence for the trend of customer-centricity in healthcare:

  • About 90 percent of survey respondents claimed that improving key elements of the consumer experience was considered a high priority at their organizations.
  • 69 percent of the healthcare organizations surveyed have already implemented an online patient portal.
  • Approximately 43 percent of the respondents have implemented tools to enable both patients and providers to communicate via online messaging services.
  • 61 percent of the respondents surveyed would switch healthcare providers if it meant that they could book an appointment quickly when needed.
  • 51 percent of patients would change their healthcare provider for improved customer service.

The Benefits of Customer-Centric Healthcare

Putting the customer first isn’t necessarily a groundbreaking philosophy for B2C businesses, but it’s still a fairly new perspective for the healthcare industry.

David Goldhill, author of Catastrophic Care, claims:

“…A guiding principle of any reform should be to put the consumer, not the insurer or the government, at the center of the system. I believe if the government took on the goal of better supporting consumers — by bringing greater transparency and competition to the healthcare industry, and by directly subsidizing those who can’t afford care — we’d find that consumers could buy much more of their care directly than we might initially think, and that over time we’d see better care and better service, at lower cost, as a result.”

Goldhill’s argument is that putting the patient at the forefront of healthcare, and truly treating patients as customers, would lead to higher rates of satisfaction in patients while improving medical results at much lower costs.

How a MedTech Mobile App Can Improve Your Customer Focus

Advancements in technology, the availability of complex data, information transparency, shifts in insurance coverage, regulatory reform, and consumer frustrations have set the stage for a new era of healthcare service.

It’s time for healthcare organizations to put their customers first by providing practical, convenient ways to receive improved care. This is where these organizations can benefit greatly from a comprehensive MedTech mobile app.

The MedTech market is expected to grow to $280.25 billion by 2021, as both clinical and non-clinical information systems are deployed. But if you’re considering building and deploying your own MedTech app, you’ll want to thoroughly strategize exactly how you’ll be providing more value to patients via your solution.

While building a MedTech mobile app, consider addressing or accounting for the following business attributes:

  • Hours/Appointments. What hours are you open? Are you available when it’s most convenient for your patients? Do you expect patients to skip work or school to come see you? How far in advance do patients need to schedule an appointment? Do you accommodate “walk in” appointments?
  • Interactive Booking. Can patients book appointments online? Can they cancel or reschedule online?
  • Information Collection. Does your organization make it easy to provide the personal information necessary for a patient’s visit? Are patients able to provide information online before their appointment, or are they expected to fill out forms upon arrival to the office? Do patients have to provide information that has already been previously provided?
  • Electronic Communication. Can patients reach out to you via email? Do you respond in a timely manner, or do you have automated systems to respond for you?
  • Response Time. How quickly do you respond to a patient’s request? Do you have defined guidelines for this? What about responding to a question via email or phone?
  • Pricing Transparency. How transparent and upfront are you about your pricing? Are patients regularly caught off guard when they receive their bill?
  • Information Sharing. How do you communicate which procedures you’ve performed on a patient, the results, your analysis, and your conclusions? What does your information archive look like? Do you provide a list of the charges you’ll be submitting to the patient’s insurance company? Is the patient given an opportunity to discuss these charges with you?
  • Quality of Service. Do you follow up with patients and ask for feedback? Do you distribute post-treatment satisfaction surveys? Do you measure and record patients’ waiting time? Do you measure NPS?

Carefully evaluating the business attributes laid out above,and critically asking yourself each of these questions will give you the foundation of knowledge necessary to begin strategizing what your MedTech mobile app will look like, and how it will put patient expectations at the forefront the services you offer.

Final Thoughts

In the same way that there’s no denying we are living in the age of the consumer, there’s no denying that the healthcare industry is adapting to be more patient-centric.

This opens up opportunities for healthcare organizations to provide useful and intuitive MedTech solutions, such as mobile apps, that make patients’ lives easier while at the same time enhancing the quality of the care that they receive.

At the same time, these MedTech applications will increase productivity for healthcare organizations. As a result, these organizations will be able to deliver higher quality care at lower and lower prices.

Considering building a MedTech solution? Be sure to check out the following resources:

Want to discuss your next MedTech development project? Koombea has a team of qualified experts that will help you build and deploy a solution to improve your patient-centricity, and ultimately boost your bottom line. Contact us today!

by Robert Kazmi
Blog Post