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Healthcare: Treat Members and Patients Like Digital Consumers

By Dr. T. Greg McKelvey Jr. MD, MPH
VP of Health at ASAPP

ASAPP - Healthcare: Treat Members and Patients Like Digital Consumers

The pandemic has put the spotlight on digital health touchpoints. Tools like telehealth and remote monitoring in healthcare have been center stage, as insurance companies and providers have had to quickly pivot to use technology to care for members and patients. They’ve been able to accelerate the implementation of digital tools in months versus years. And members and patients have been quick to adopt the new technology – and are eager for further consumerization and more virtual, contactless options for services.

Greg McKelvey

Healthcare organizations have a clear opportunity to accelerate digitization to serve their patients and members. It’s time to act.

Digital health has gone from “we’re exploring” to “we must implement.” For many members and patients, this has been a longtime coming. To meet new expectations around the delivery of holistic and digital experiences, healthcare payers and providers must offer personalized, information-rich services whenever and wherever their members and patients need and want.

The organizations who meet this demand for omnichannel engagement can provide better care, improve satisfaction scores, and lower operational costs at the same time.

A thoughtful digital strategy will address key challenges

Healthcare organizations have been slow to move, in part because of historical business processes and franken-stacked IT systems. As they consider digital solutions, they want to be certain to address key challenges.

The ideal technology will:

  • Eliminate silos, integrate channels
    Provide personalized, seamless member/patient experiences across web, mobile, and phone interactions
  • Consolidate fragmented technology
    Streamline things for service representatives that must click into 4, 10, 16 (!) different screens and systems to resolve customer issues
  • Avoid playing keep-away from the agent
    Use automation to assist your representatives rather than simply deflect – and frustrate – your patients and members with simple chatbots as the primary touchpoint for digital interaction.
  • Gain a clear consumer focus
    Move beyond what you can do based on current systems and focus on consumer expectations – and the opportunity to make more than incremental improvements.
Putting humans in the digital mix

To meet consumer expectations organizations need to have a clear plan to be responsive to patient and member needs on whichever channel they engage – which means they have to plan for human engagement. A holistic approach will include a means to optimize the efficiency of the representatives interacting with members and patients.

In healthcare, even basic interactions regarding explanations of benefits, handling of prescriptions, and coordination of access to care services can quickly become complicated. Too often, resolution requires multiple points of contact, creating long delays. This fragmentation and lack of scalability is a root cause of the disjointedness and friction that typifies healthcare interactions today.

Fortunately, today’s artificial intelligence technology makes better interactions possible. AI can learn in real-time from every member/patient interaction on every channel – and guide service representatives on what to say and what to do in similar situations. Reps can often address issues without searching in multiple systems, and very often on the first contact.

This intelligent augmentation of service representatives on both voice and modern digital channels is the key to scaling healthcare’s hard-won knowledge to the scope, speed, and personalization demanded by today’s consumers. Augmentation can make appropriate expert knowledge readily accessible to care representatives in real time as they interact with members and patients.

If you’re ready to start your digital journey, download: “The Digital CX Gap in Healthcare What Patients and Members Expect and Need in a PostCOVID-19 World”

Dr. T. Greg McKelvey Jr. MD, MPH is VP of Health at ASAPP. In his role, Greg leads teams of doctors, designers, data scientists and software developers to create products enhancing patient engagement, access, and experience.

Prior to his role at ASAPP, Greg was the Chief Medical Officer at KenSci. He trained in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and in Occupational & Environmental Medicine and Biomedical & Health Informatics at the University of Washington (UW). Greg received his Masters of Public Health (M.P.H) from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and his Doctorate of Medicine (MD) from Dartmouth Medical School.

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