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healthcare evolution

Healthcare Providers Compelled to Adapt or Wither in a Fast-Changing World

Starting to Build the Foundations for Seamless and Frictionless Virtual Offerings

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Consumers have greater virtual access to care than ever before, but remain overwhelmed by the proliferation of choice and unconvinced that their healthcare experiences as consumers have improved. The market entry of non-traditional healthcare players with strong competencies and extensive experience in consumer marketing are sensing the opportunity to disrupt the status quo by providing healthcare consumers with more convenient and personalized experiences. And traditional healthcare players feel threatened, and need to identify strategies that can eliminate friction points in virtual care and transform data to deliver seamless and personalized care experiences. 

AVIA, a digital transformation market intelligence and advisory firm to more than 50 healthcare organization partners, recently hosted a “Going Virtual: Navigating the Future of Virtual Care webinar with healthcare provider and consumer marketing thought leaders that provided a snapshot of the current status of healthcare organizations’ restructuring for digital enablement. It also covered the impact virtual care platform solutions are having on provider strategies and consumer experiences. Against the backdrop of 2021’s outsized investments in digitally-enabled care services, approximately one-third of Americans are reported to have experienced some form of engagement with telehealth. And indications are that consumers and physicians are both interested and expect more in digital experience offerings.

  • Citing consumer research conducted by an AVIA health system member, a majority of consumers are interested in health systems offering digital experiences in the future: live chatting with a staff member (77%), mobile apps which guide or aid in care or recovery (78%), and online appointment scheduling (81%).
  • The American Medical Association reports that physicians have overwhelmingly responded positively to telehealth and its integration within their workflow: increased the timeliness of care (85%), allowed them to deliver high-quality care (75%), and are motivated to increase telehealth use (70%).

Today, AVIA identifies several predominant trends in vendors’ virtual care platform strategies:

  • Significant consolidation among digital health players as they integrate capabilities on one platform in an effort to increase market share.
  • Independent startups and ventures from within larger corporations are creating hybrid coverage and care delivery offerings centered on virtual care and patient experience.
  • Established solutions that are expanding their virtual care offerings in other service areas across the care continuum. 

Providers have been assessing approaches to digitally enabling care from multiple perspectives:

  • Staffing Models: Health systems are identifying optimal staffing models as they observe emerging patient trends and address workforce challenges.
  • User-Centered Design: Patient and consumer expectations for convenience and ease of use coupled with provider burnout issues need to be considered
  • Business and Operating Models: Exploring opportunities for new revenue streams and the emergence of new business models
  • Piloting Innovate Care Models: Digital use cases span chronic care, pre- and post-surgical, digital therapeutics, hospital at home, consults, new geographic markets.
  • Asynchronous Virtual Care: Rise in asynchronous virtual visits as an additional access point for on-demand care as well as for provider consults.

Webinar panelists reiterated the importance for their organizations of being able to facilitate access and meet consumers where they are across their virtual care solutions, and that business transformation, rather than technology implementation, is the challenge to making it work. Moreover, understanding how to implement platforms that make the consumer experience seamless and frictionless, as well as a data architecture that reflects the sum of all the individual digital experiences, will be essential for delivering personalized care navigation and coordination across the consumer healthcare journey. The consumer marketing challenge for healthcare organizations is their ability to develop the digital competencies that will allow them to attract, engage, and retain each individual consumer, and to create opportunities for learning throughout for continuous improvement in managing patient experiences.

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