Today, consumers accessing healthcare demand a seamless experience. And nowhere is it more important to recognize and meet these expectations than in an ambulatory setting, such as a provider practice or an outpatient hospital-based service, where many consumers first experience a health system.
With consumers having more options than ever before when it comes to ambulatory care, and competition increasing between traditional providers and industry disruptors, reimagining access is not only critical — it’s a mandate. In fact, more than 70 percent of consumers said they would consider switching providers if they had a poor experience accessing services from their provider.1
Achieving and sustaining the desired result of putting the consumer in the driver’s seat to access care on their own terms is becoming increasingly difficult. It has always required unwavering leadership commitment, focus, and discipline. Now, you must leverage consumer insights and integrate digital solutions with a focus on creating a personalized experience for each consumer that is positive and memorable. Moreover, evolving access in the ambulatory setting requires strong alignment from physicians on why access matters and their critical role in the quest to create a purpose-built consumer experience.
Do it well, and you can expect a significant upside of serving 15-30 percent more patients on top of your existing provider base. Get it wrong, and you risk losing patients before they even set foot in the door.
A Dual Imperative...
Garnering consumer insights to help validate which offerings are valued most is imperative to success. To build a knowledge foundation on your consumers, you will need to develop tools and capabilities to continuously gather, evaluate, and act upon consumer insights. It is no longer sufficient to use dated surveys alone; additional techniques for proactively and systematically acquiring knowledge about your consumers is required. Techniques like consumer personas and journey maps, along with more intensive approaches, such as ethnographic research and prototyping, should be considered as you build out capabilities in this area.
Offer Options to Find and Access Care
Today’s healthcare consumers expect ease of access and support before, during, and after visits. They're demanding options to initiate contact, navigate the health system, and secure the services and information they want and need. Leading health systems are also looking for ways to engage consumers — both potential and established patients — in a personalized and proactive manner to connect them to information and services, and in doing so, engender loyalty to the health system. Creating options that are effective and scalable will require you to lean in hard to digital solutions to automate, streamline, and support the access experience for all involved.
© 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.