Healthcare and the Patient Journey

Medical professionals are under immense pressure to communicate with their patients outside of the traditional office space.  At the same time, patients are becoming more empowered than ever to conduct research and self-diagnose with a myriad of online tools at their fingertips. According to PWC, 86% of all patients consult “Dr. Google” before and after diagnosis.  Adding to the complexity is the ever-present challenges of regulatory and legal concerns that are driving many healthcare marketers into a marketing paralysis.

HCPs and other medical professionals must uncover new ways to connect with patients at a point when they’re searching for information and solutions to their issues. Trying to communicate with patients when they need it most makes for meaningful communications – something patients desperately need – AND DEMAND. Motivating patients to act once confronted with an ailment or diagnosis makes the patient journey more effective on both sides.

It has always been difficult for healthcare companies to communicate with patients, but that’s changing rapidly. There are many changes on the horizon that are easing the burden of successfully intercepting patients across their journey. More communication is key, but that’s just one part of the equation. There needs to be a motivator. What can you offer the patient as incentive to take care of their problems and get them the help they need?

Healthcare can bring an entirely new, holistic approach to understanding the patient journey. A patient will engage with their doctor when these conditions are met:

  • Their current health state matters to them
  • They understand and take their condition seriously
  • They value their doctor’s recommendations

That last point is significant because it means there is potential for open dialogue to exist beyond the doctor’s office. Patients who take their illness and treatment seriously make their physicians’ attempts at engagement that much easier.

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The customer experience is paramount going forward as healthcare companies strive to boost their relationships and the means with which they communicate with their patients. The industry is seeing vast changes in the way everyone communicates. These are some of the most often used methods technological platforms use to drive the HCP-patient relationship dynamic:

  • Mobile health technologies
  • Electronic health records
  • Online patient engagement

Armed with the information and experiences gleaned from these sources, patients now expect personalized care, taking their newfound knowledge into consideration.

For healthcare companies, the goal is to have the “right” type of interventions at certain touch-points to help patients overcome barriers and empower them to stay with their treatment, medication and therapy. Empowerment is key to creating happy and healthy patients.

Using data to help engage patients 

Mobile health technologies are being developed, but these will work only with the patient’s continued participation and that is paramount in moving the needle. With patients being more proactive in their wellness than ever, the right data and technologies are the keys to unlocking the right plan. There is no one-size-fits-all model for patient engagement – every patient’s journey is unique. That means every approach and solution should be unique, tailor-made to fit each journey. That’s where data comes into play. Real, actionable data helps chart a course for successful HCP-patient engagement.

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