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How to Advance Digital Health Programs by Focusing on Consumer Needs and Outcomes

Executives at leading healthcare organizations recently shared their thoughts on the importance of consumer feedback to better direct their digital health capabilities, accelerating the shift to consumer-centric care.

OUTSIDE-IN APPROACH: DEEP CONSUMER INSIGHTS TO SCALE DIGITAL HEALTH PROGRAMS

In an ongoing discussion series, C-suite executives reconvened in February to share perspectives and insights on the critical barriers and opportunities associated with scaling digital health initiatives. They focused on a unique attribute of programs that have achieved digital transformation: an outside-in approach that leverages deep consumer insights to drive program strategies for growth and sustainability. Leaders agreed that healthcare organizations have largely fallen behind other industries when it comes to understanding whether consumer-facing technology and digital capabilities are meeting their end users’ needs. They discussed the growing demand to co-create value with consumers and tailor capabilities to meet their needs, focusing on 3 building blocks of the outside-in approach that drive digital transformation:

  1. Highlighting consumer insights and orientation.
    Digital health programs must first build a structured approach to capture and channel consumer insights on how care is accessed, experienced, and maintained. Organizations positioned to succeed are those that use consumer journeys, personas, prototyping, testing, and feedback as part of their digital health deployment strategy. The goal is to co-create value by linking consumer needs with digital capabilities.
  2. Designing products and services to optimize outcomes.
    We need to measure outcomes that matter to both consumers and providers, not simply check boxes for creating new digital offerings. Organizations must arrange initiatives and services into outcomes-focused programs and look outside the normal lens of the provider ecosystem. There has to be a strong cohesion between offerings and the overall strategy that caters to the consumers’ evolving healthcare needs.
  3. Promoting awareness and increasing adoption.
    Digital transformation will not happen overnight. Providers must align resourcing and communications strategies to build capacity and drive adoption and transformation, iteratively, over time. Collaboration among stakeholders; formalized governance processes; and consistent, ongoing consumer marketing are critical for promoting internal and external awareness and differentiation of mature digital offerings.
A CALL TO ACTION:

The technology has been implemented. But what now? Healthcare organizations are uniquely positioned to harness a myriad of consumer information from a variety of engagement channels: patient portals, websites, and other digital modalities. With this deluge of incoming data, healthcare organizations must make this information actionable. By developing a thoughtful, scalable, and (most importantly) measurable process to understand patients’ unique needs, organizations will achieve a differentiated care model that tailors experiences for the populations they serve and cultivates loyalty in their markets.

© 2022 The Chartis Group, LLC. All rights reserved. This content draws on the research and experience of Chartis consultants and other sources. It is for general information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.

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