Healthcare Technology Won’t Fly if the Experience Sucks
The real power of technology is to make the experience better for people. The patients, doctors, clinicians.
In the past 15 years we have made EPIC upgrades, automated EHR platforms and we’re currently building AI models to find gaps in claims errors and disease prevention. But technology is only a means for a superior experience.
Much of the EHR investment seen across the US over recent years is viewed by clinicians with resentment.
It’s still clunky and overrun with poor UI. And that doesn’t make for happy patients and clinicians. Healthcare scored a low 26/40 on patient relationship and related projects.
According to the Deloitte study on patient experience, hospitals with better experience levels earn disproportionately more than they spend compared to those with lower ratings.
Patient Experience includes several aspects of health care delivery that patients value highly when they seek and receive care, such as getting timely appointments, easy access to information, and good communication with health care providers.
“Investment in Customer Experience is growing rapidly, and healthcare is rising to the challenge.”
Investment in Customer Experience is growing rapidly, and healthcare is rising to the challenge. Slowly and steadily, though much slower than other industries.
Three reasons have guided our decision to bring Customer Experience in the mix as a strong driver of business
Demand for consumer-like experiences
A good portion of the patient experience is now done with digital apps mobile and wearables. The days of subpar interfaces are over. Today’s end users are also employees of enterprises, and their expectations of the digital technologies in the enterprise are conditioned by the technology they use in their everyday lives.
Thousands of applications have emerged providing rich experiences in people’s hands, including games, shopping platforms, and social networks. The usability they see on WhatsApp has to be on par with what they see with their healthcare apps.
The good news is creating great user experiences is easier than training AI models. Or regulatory barriers for data access.
Rapid Increase in Revenue
While the design isn’t currently top of the mind for CIOs, the data is making a case for it.
According to the McKinsey 2018 design report, investments in design increased revenues by 36% and shareholder value by 45%. The ability to prototype apps and test on a group of patients make the investments tangible.
While investments in technology cost millions of dollars, a small design team can create exponential value at a fraction of the cost.
The best evidence is other industries who have been on a similar path. Salesforce beat Oracle. Slack has grown to a billion dollar enterprise. To create a competitive moat, the brand has to be at the center of the experience. Hospital and facility are already asking for it. And it’s great for the hospital’s brand to attract and retain patients. While brand value sounds intangible, it’s a become a huge differentiator between competitors.
Brand is now 20% of all Intangible value
Reduced Technology Costs
While investments in EHR and AI are long-term, customer experience has the quickest turnaround and highest and measurable short term ROI.
Just a few decades ago, digital technology was expensive and limited to businesses that truly needed and could afford it. However, during the last decade or so, and the cost of digital technology has exponentially decreased.
APIs are now freely available. Frameworks are open sourced. Even UI libraries are free to download.
New SaaS models that help control and predict costs. The best part is customers get the value immediately. Customers may not understand the complexity and costs of AI transformation, but a well-designed interface immediately puts a premium on the value they receive.
We’re reaching a Tipping Point
In the next decade, hospitals will be at a disadvantage if they delay the experience strategy. With this trend in mind, we’re guided by the experience first, and then the tech becomes the invisible force that produces smarter outcomes.
Tech pulls EHR data. The customer experience layer makes it easy for clinicians to spot these errors and act on them. AI collects and analyzes patient data. A friendly contextual chat improves the patient relationship.
This is the future we envision. And it’s important for the industry to seize the moment.
Vinit Patil heads up Devcool Media Labs. A technologist at heart and CX evangelist having built consumer-like experiences and branding for Fortune 500 companies.
Want to hear more on best practices in healthcare and wellness UX? subscribe to our blog