Consumer Strategy

  • What are the key points of entry for consumers into your hospital or health system?
  • How does consumer access to your physicians and services compare to expectations?
  • Do you offer patients access to care in the setting that they would prefer?
  • Are you innovating in consumer-facing technologies?
  • Is your pricing rational, transparent and competitive?
  • Are you offering a consumer experience that would cause a patient to choose you? Stay with you?

Healthcare has often been compared to other “stodgy” industries such as banking and utilities - change-adverse industries that experienced consolidation and some degree of technical revolution for the consumer. But, what if healthcare is in for a more radical change?

We believe that in the coming wave of consumerism, patients’ demands will center around these five elements:

Access (When):

Patient access is typically the patient’s first experience with any healthcare organization. Ultimately, patients will demand real-time access to healthcare services on a 24/7 basis. The traditional, linear approach to patient scheduling and communication will no longer do. At a minimum, patients will be offered walk-in availability, same day appointments, extended hours, and 24 hour options. The day of the week will no longer have an impact on patient access. The winners will develop options that we believe have not even been fully contemplated. Access will include emergency services, appointment and walk-in availability to physicians and advanced care providers, mental health, outpatient testing, ease of paperwork, healthcare information and the patient medical record.

Setting (Where):

Traditionally, healthcare organizations have offered patients services in a limited number of settings – inpatient, outpatient, ED, and physician offices. In the not-so-distant future, the setting will be defined by the location of the patient rather than the provider. While the traditional sites of service will still exist, patients will want access to healthcare where they are – home, work, the car, kid activities, and vacations to name a few.

Technology (How):

The notion of giving patients open access to healthcare in whatever setting they desire seems daunting, given the traditional model of care. But, should all healthcare delivery rely solely on highly-trained human capital? As we know, physicians and advanced care providers are a limited resource that is not keeping pace with increasing demand, much less responding to the desires of the consumer.

The answer lies within the development of technology and innovation around models of care. This includes patient diagnosis, treatment, communication, documentation, follow-up, and monitoring. Imagine documenting your symptoms online, having a technology-based initial diagnosis, and a telephone or facetime-esque conversation with an advanced care provider for treatment – when you want and where you want. Obviously, there would be a separate path for higher acuity needs.

Pricing ($$):

Over the years, much has been written about pricing transparency. Transparency?? Can you imagine telling consumers in other industries “OK, you win, we will tell you what some things cost before you buy them.” Pricing will need to be rational, competitive, and yes, abundantly transparent.

Rational simply means that there must be a sound basis for how the price was developed. Pricing that is set to maximize the remaining % of charge contracts will be at great peril, and likely not very competitive.

Experience (😊):

Ultimately, the right combination of the above will determine the patient experience and degree of satisfaction. Hospitals, health systems, and physician practices that innovate how to best treat their customers, will win, just like in every other industry. Rather than an experience rating based on an episode of care within a single setting, the experience of the patient will need to be measured based on their interaction across the entire spectrum of care.

3d Health is working with clients now to proactively provide consumers with what they want, when they want it, where they want it and how they want it – in order to better serve existing patients as well as attract new ones.

Are you ready to start?

We provide our current and prospective clients with detailed proposals on a per project basis.  Our proposals include the purpose of the engagement, project scope, underlying methodology, experience, timing and a fixed project fee.

Find out how we can help:

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