Elevating Patient Experience

The strategic imperative for today’s healthcare organizations

by Chris Johnson

The healthcare landscape is in flux, influenced by technological advancements and changing demographics. While medical proficiency remains crucial, there’s an emerging battleground that healthcare organizations can’t afford to ignore: patient experience. No longer a secondary concern, optimizing the patient experience has become a business-critical initiative. Here’s why it’s time for healthcare leaders to focus on this transformative frontier and the strategic pathways to achieve it.

The Virtuous Cycle: Listen, Act and Continuously Improve

Active listening is one of the most fundamental yet transformative steps in enhancing patient experience. Gathering feedback, whether solicited or unsolicited, offers invaluable insights into the patient’s journey. But listening is only the first part of the equation; it’s what organizations do with that feedback that counts. By operationalizing these insights, healthcare organizations can continuously refine their services, setting a virtuous cycle of improvement in motion. This iterative process enhances the patient’s experience and helps organizations adapt to changing needs and expectations.

Gen Z and the Emotional Paradigm Shift

Generation Z, those born from about 1997 to around 2013, is rewriting the playbook on healthcare expectations. According to a national study by LaneTerralever, 56% of Gen Z individuals place a high premium on the emotional components of their experiences. This is a profound shift from older generations, who are often more concerned with functional aspects like cost and efficiency. The study also revealed that Gen Z is the least satisfied of all age groups with the healthcare experiences they currently receive. Clearly, healthcare organizations need to recalibrate their approach to meet these emotionally driven needs if they wish to capture and retain this emerging demographic.

The High Stakes of Ignoring Patient Experience

In a consumer-driven healthcare environment, the cost of ignoring patient experience is steep. Data from LaneTerralever’s study indicates that 47% of Americans would consider switching healthcare providers for a better customer experience, and 41% would make the leap after just a single negative incident. In a saturated market where patients have numerous choices, these statistics underline the urgency of making patient experience a top strategic priority.

The Digital Front Door: Make the First Impression Count

In today’s digital-first society, a patient’s first interaction with a healthcare provider often occurs online. A seamless digital experience can set the tone for the entire patient journey. For instance, our team at LaneTerralever created a 128% increase in organic online appointments for a national healthcare provider by focusing on a patient-centric digital strategy and implementation. This strategy empowered patients with easy access to their medical records, simplified appointment scheduling, and provided efficient communication channels with healthcare professionals.

The Way Forward: Making the Strategic Leap

The compelling evidence is in, and the message is resoundingly clear: Patient experience is not a peripheral concern; it’s a strategic asset. Now is the time to make it a core pillar of organizational strategy if it is not already. After all, healthcare is not just about treating diseases; it’s about treating individuals — with respect, empathy and an experience they will remember and appreciate.

Chris Johnson is CEO of LaneTerralever.


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