Technologies Driving Improved Healthcare Experiences

by | Aug 9, 2022

The Consumer, the Patient, and the Way Forward

Despite the substantial resources that have been poured into the healthcare consumer experience, it remains a tough nut to crack fully open. Health care organizations and payors will have to work hard to improve the overall experience of the communities that they serve, just to keep up with bare bones patient-as-consumer expectations – and to ensure compliance with the growing number of CMS initiatives and state regulations being rolled out aimed at building stronger protections for both patient rights as well as satisfaction with the care experience.  Overall, there is a compelling correlation between patient-reported experience surveys and hospitals’ financial performance.

Patient experience remains difficult to effectively measure, because it can be derived from so many different aspects of the care journey, and because it incorporates expectations, which can differ widely.  But this has not deterred many vendors from entering the market with offerings that range from highly specific to quite broad, as they aim to replicate the consumer experience in healthcare with new patient-centric capabilities and leverage an array of technologies.

In our upcoming report on the customer experience in healthcare, we’ll look at how the consumer and patient experiences are best defined; how vendors are applying UI/UX (design thinking), the different types of interactive tools and educational deployment mechanisms, use of AI/ML, and even workflow changes on the provider side. These are all intended to produce a desired type of overall experience from the perspective of the patient-as-a-customer.

What is covered in this research?

While nearly every sector of the economy has adopted some degree of high-tech functionality to give their clients the best possible experience, US healthcare remains far behind (surprise, surprise!). Starting from the first point of access to care, through the collection of patient reported outcomes, it has indeed been a long journey of promising implementations, but all too frequently, has ended with many disappointing market failures. Nevertheless, there are vendors in the market pushing the consumer experience to a new level.

In the report, we focus on 15 leading vendors and their functionality through the prism of innovation, following Chilmark Research best practices to bring readers clarity into the patient experience market.

Experience is a broad word that is being interpreted differently even within healthcare. As such, clearly defining ‘patient-as-a-consumer experience’ is the starting point for our comprehensive exploration of the sector. For a successful patient experience strategy, payors and vendors need a well-structured comparative analysis of their options, while vendors striving to lead the market need an understanding of where they sit in relation to their competitors on key product functionality. This latest report will provide such an understanding.

Key product functionality at the forefront allows us to find similarities among the wide range of vendors, and to focus on the trends we believe will drive the market in upcoming years. Consumerization is a huge force of impact to all sectors and unique to different generations of individuals, which adds further complexity to the overall market. 

In this report, we focus on solutions and vendors that:

  1. Satisfy patient healthcare needs within a self-contained workflow loop. That is, not purely intermediary solutions or a component piece of a larger healthcare interaction.
  2. Are at least partially patient-directed. These are solutions where patients can engage with a solution or provider to resolve direct healthcare needs.
  3. Are available on-demand. Patients are increasingly demanding access to healthcare whenever they need it, regardless of time of day or appointment status.

Issues to Address

Increasingly hard-to-meet patient expectations are coming at a time in which provider burnout has never been higher. The societal focus on health inequity and access to care are also receiving much more attention than they have historically. The interplay of these large market forces are complex, and achieving some of these goals renders it more challenging to achieve others. One of the most glaring examples of this would be that improving access to care will increase healthcare resource utilization, further worsening provider and clinical staff burnout. If we can only solve one problem by creating or worsening another one, we are certainly not innovating. These complexities are numerous and greatly impactful on people’s lives and must be carefully handled, lest the intervention inadvertently reduce overall utility.  Truly innovative approaches are thus clearly needed to be successful within the market. Within this report, we will carefully explore how vendors and providers are handling these types of paradoxical market forces.


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