Advances in technology have smoothed many of the rough spots in keeping patient records, billing, and communication. The flip side of that is that healthcare consumers become more demanding all the time. Healthcare providers need to increase their focus on patient engagement to keep up. Urgent care operators actually have a great advantage in this area, as the nature of our business is inherently more consumer-oriented than, say, a traditional primary care office. The retail model, which is geared specifically toward keeping customers happy, applies more to urgent care than any other setting. A new research report from Prophet, a marketing consultant firm, identified five “shifts” an organization should focus on to become more consumer-centric:
- From tactical fixes to a holistic experience strategy
- From fragmented care to connected ecosystems
- From population-centric to person-centered
- From incremental improvements to extensive innovation
- From insights as a department to a culture of consumer obsession
While those shifts all apply to organizations in any industry, the report also offered counsel to healthcare providers. The main message there is that less than 15% of the healthcare organizations studies have made “full progression” toward changes needed to be fully engaged. Recommendations to close the gap include more openness to digital health partnerships; implementation of relationship metrics; finding new forms of leadership; and building a “consumer-obsessed insights team.” JUCM has covered patient engagement from a uniquely urgent care perspective; read all about it in Six Elements of a Winning Patient Experience in our archive.