This is the first post in our series, Notes from the Field, where we’ll share first-hand insights and explore digital trends within different industries.
Customers experience is more than just a trend; it’s the key to success. One of the industries where customer experience is absolutely paramount is healthcare. Today’s healthcare customers want it all: the advantages of a large hospital system plus the personal touch of a neighborhood doctor’s office. How do healthcare providers meet these expectations across a massive customer base at a time when personalized customer service is more important than ever?
Like most industries grappling with the impact of digital on customer experience, the healthcare industry has seen fundamental shifts in how it does business. But digital is a double-edged sword in many respects. Many of these changes, while they benefit the customer and the organization in the long run, also present challenges in the short term, particularly to smaller organizations.
However, there are several areas where improved digital experience, investing in SEO and emerging technologies and hyperfocusing on customer can alleviate some of the top challenges healthcare organizations are facing.
If you’re a large health system, you face many logistical challenges when it comes to digital. Often, you have many different websites with lots of varying content. This causes challenges with everything from governance to brand consistency. We call this “digital sprawl”. It’s understandable; you want to hone in on all the service lines your providers can offer but at the same time, it can lead to a disjointed experience for the end user, the patient.
One example of an organization that has successfully combated digital sprawl is Steward Health Care. Steward Health Care is a community-based organization with 10 hospital campuses, 24 affiliated urgent care providers, 17,000 employees and over 4M patient encounters a year. Steward needed a digital strategy that put their patient at the center.
To make their website patient-centric, Steward sought out to answer two questions:
Where do patients get their information?
How does a patient transact business?
Steward went straight to the source and surveyed 2,000 patients to understand how users engage online. Steward learned that 30 percent of patients preferred to use mobile devices when connecting with health care providers. Patients also explained that they prioritized the ability to make an appointment, get directions, and find a physician online. The team eliminated all unnecessary content pages to streamline the experience and enhance the value of the remaining content and restructured it to be patient-centric. They increased video content and all of their websites were redesigned to be mobile-friendly. Understanding that patient behaviors and preferences vary greatly they embraced content personalization strategies powered by Acquia Lift.