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Three Things To Consider To Be Forward-Thinking in Healthcare

Health-related information is sought in many forms by consumers-patients-members, everything from preventive health, self-diagnosis from symptoms being experienced, understanding a condition once diagnosed, to side effects of treatments are just a small number of examples. These all often start with a simple online search in the realm of healthcare.

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 87% of online adults believe that the use of the web helps them learn new things and stay better informed on topics that matter to them. When it comes to healthcare, we can understand why the internet is often the first point of call for researching at the start of a patient-member journey or a place to obtain additional information as they continue deeper into their journey – there’s the anxiety of one’s personal health and unfamiliarity of what outcome to expect.

There’s a strong desire to learn more and educate ourselves on what’s happening to our personal health.

healthcareWith consumers-patients-members researching online during various stages of their patient-member journey, it’s imperative for healthcare providers and payers to include this type of content on their respective websites. This shouldn’t be a once and done approach, but to anticipate and remain forward-thinking. Providers and payers can offer this information in the form of a health condition encyclopedia, detailed guides, video library, quizzes to evaluate health risks, symptom checker tool and prevention guidelines to name a few.

Offering a variety of health-related information and resources not only provides multiple touchpoints for a path that educates and improves health, but it can also increase patient-member engagement, acquisition, satisfaction, and retention.

If health-related information and resources are a strategic priority for your organization there are three things to consider to be forward-thinking and successful in your approach.

Examine patient-member journey mappings and plan accordingly

Journey mapping is widely used to depict the stages customers go through when they interact with an organization. They frequently leverage empathy maps to get a deeper understanding of customers.  Ensure your organization builds out a long-term multiple-year roadmap of the various health-related information, resources and tools based on what is learned from the journey maps your organization produces.

Once you’ve gone through the exercise of creating journey maps there’ll be a clear idea of what gaps exist in terms of needs that are not being met and those that are related to health information can be prioritized and rolled into a roadmap. It is worthwhile repeating the exercise of journey mapping as user needs evolve over time and as significant market changes take place which may lead to updates to the roadmap as new findings are uncovered.

Prioritize efforts based on Return On Investment (ROI)

As your organization invests and uses resources to build out the patient-member informational area of the website, prioritize efforts on where you expect to see the highest value for consumers-patients-members as well as ROI. For example, including guidelines for preventative healthcare can be rolled out as a minimally viable product with screening and vaccination information by gender and age or as a more comprehensive setoff guidelines with additional information including tips for better health, showcasing relevant services within your healthcare organization to drive users to, offering answers to frequently asked questions etc.

Determine scope as you work through the roadmap by meeting needs that offer the most value for your users and the most return on investment for the organization. This will ensure your organization delivers solutions at a number of critical touchpoints in a patient-member journey offering support, information and education. This will in turn drive engagement, satisfaction, acquisition, and retention.

Be aware of the on-going investment required

Going from a minimally viable product such as publishing a series of patient information guides to building out a best-in-class experience with a wide variety of patient-member education and resources that are frequently enhanced and expanded upon is not an easy task. Ensure your organization has considered the investment and resource commitments required. Investment in terms of whether a third party vendor is leveraged to deliver the content or whether it will be created internally specific to your organization.

There are a number of vendors to use that have a wide range of health information and resources available including frequent enhancements and new releases which can save time in delivering solutions. However, in-house content will be rich with information specific to your organization offering real insight into treatments to expect, educational videos from doctors that a patient can expect to see for treating their medical condition, etc.

Don’t forget that there are resources to take into for clinical subject matter experts, user experience, creative, content, development, and authoring, amongst others. Ensure there’s a plan to continue to work with agility to expand and evolve health-related content to keep it fresh and adding as much value as possible.

Being forward-thinking in meeting users needs will assist your organization in becoming a leader in this space thanks to delivering relevant solutions using a patient-member-centric approach. As the health-related content across multiple forms expands and the ability to deliver solutions in a timely manner, this will continue to add value for consumers-patients-members and ultimately improve ROI.

I would love to hear what health-related content your organization is offering and how you remain forward-thinking in your approach? What are some of the success or challenges your organization is facing for health-related content?

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Susan Kight

Susan Kight is a lead business consultant with digital experience spanning healthcare, finance, and education industries. With a core grounding in marketing, product management, and analytics, Susan is able to assist clients at the intersection of where digital, strategy and data meet. She is extremely passionate about helping healthcare organizations improve patient outcomes through the delivery of successfully executed innovative digital strategies. Susan helps clients to build best-in-class, engaging digital experiences that achieve business goals and lead to high ROI.

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