As the front door to healthcare organizations becomes increasingly digital, these rules for engagement are fast becoming the keys to unlocking patient loyalty.
As healthcare digital innovators, we are witness to a fundamental shift in consumer experience expectations. With rising costs, increased quality of care expectations, and access to an expanding array of choices in care, consumers are demanding greater control of their healthcare experiences – and their loyalty to any specific system or organization is tenuous.
Specific to patient engagement, expectations are fast becoming nothing short of high-value interactions delivered before, during, and after the engagement – making a seemingly impossibly complex, physical/digital moment of interchange look and feel effortless.
The days of being “in the moment” with consumers have yielded to the necessity of being with them in the micro-moment. The micro-moment – a synchronous, personalized moment of interplay where needs are met, decisions are made, and loyalties are earned at the precise moment the consumer requires service – is the current and future direction of digital patient engagement.
How do modern healthcare systems address this fundamental shift from digital unilateralism to experience-based nuance and deliver value in the micro-moment? What are the ideal archetypes that can be studied for counsel and inspiration?
The hotel concierge represents an ideal archetype from whom to derive inspiration. The art of a concierge lies in an innate ability to think small while performing large tasks, an instinctive capability to anticipate and account for small needs, and to ensure that simple requests are handled with speed, discretion, and good taste. The concierge is human-centered, discerning, and fanatically focused on delivering the utility in the moment.
Effective experience design to address micro-moments through mobility requires a commitment to similar principles. Executing on these principles – and doing so in a way that appears effortless – requires an understanding of the new realities that are influencing this market-changing shift in consumer desires.
The focus must be on these four tenets of mobile user experience design to effectively address micro-moments:
1. Digital (more specifically, mobile) engagement has made the patient experience transitory
The micro-moment consumer experience is necessarily transitory – it travels with the user from engagement to engagement. This requires instant service accessibility for consumers – such as wayfinding for navigation – quickly and with precision.
The success or failure of micro-moment engagement strategies are defined in the execution of transitions from medium to medium, dialogue to dialogue, and context to context.
2. Utility is the new currency
Utility is the new instrument of value between brand and consumer. Similar to the concierge, digital innovation leads must work to remove barriers and instead offer efficiencies to provide consumers more of what they value most.
3. Understand user intent, not just context
Location-aware firmware capabilities of smart devices and IoT smart objects are uniquely equipped to provide digital innovators with rudimentary contextual knowledge of the micro-moment experience, but these often only provide superficial clues. Connecting the dots between context and intent requires an integrated understanding of the patient.
This integration requires an understanding of a patient’s historical care engagements with portable visibility into their care profile that can travel with them from engagement to engagement across the care spectrum.
Coupling deeper patient profiling with the contextual implications of time and location allows for deeper engagement with users with precision, good taste, and delivered in the micro-moment.
4. Evolve from accessibility to anticipation
Digital innovators must be prepared to provide utility to consumers not only when initiated by the consumer but be equipped to initiate contextually relevant, intensely personalized experiences proactively.
Establishing success in the mobile micro-moment requires an evolution from simple accessibility to more complex anticipation. Accessibility requires an understanding of connectivity and content. Anticipation requires a preemptive and predictive understanding of consumer desires and context.
Anticipating transitions and communicating with patients – with consideration of context and knowledge of your consumer – is where the battle for your consumers’ loyalties will be won.
Strategies with an exclusive focus on digital front door services are ultimately fundamentally incomplete. Consumer expectations for holistically integrated experiences across the spectrum of care are forcing digital healthcare innovators to develop strategies to personalize these experiences in this newly emergent, and patient-driven reality.
Healthcare digital innovators must devise, develop, and execute strategies from the fundamental premise that experience is not a product of technology, but a product of emotion. Technologies and products can be commoditized, but experiences cannot, especially in the micro-moment.
About Scott Forshay
Mr. Forshay leads business development for MEDL. He is an experienced innovation agent collaborating with healthcare systems to balance the art of possible with the discipline of pragmatism in digital experience strategy.