How Amazon + Netflix Will Revolutionize Healthcare
Could Amazon + Netflix actually revolutionize how healthcare is experienced? This question isn’t too far of thought of many as of late. Not all effects of COVID were negative: the radical change might have actually been the straw on the camel’s back to catapult healthcare toward an easier and more patient-friendly experience. Plainly stated, we are closer now to serving the consumer in a new, on-demand way.
If you – like most people – are wondering why our healthcare is still running on analog during our digital era, you’re not alone. The pandemic, though, has forced the healthcare industry to rethink how they interact and engage with patients. Many had to pivot quickly and find innovative ways to provide care.
Long before COVID, healthcare leaders were challenging the status quo when it came to bettering patient experience – the coronavirus just helped expedite this widely-known issue and to faster revolutionize healthcare.
Today, many people rely on rapid, convenient service – think the familiar favorites: Amazon and Netflix. Both utilize a more customer-centric world based on a customized or individualized approach directly tied to better consumer outcomes. So, what if healthcare was more like Amazon or Netflix? Why can’t healthcare follow in its steps and do what’s best for the customer or patient at all times?
Amazon has a stellar customer experience, and the on-demand customer-centric experience is innovating in order to keep up with the consumer’s expectations. Imagine if there were more to support this type of experience in healthcare.
Amazon has already transformed daily activities, allowing consumers to order and receive almost anything in two days or less with Amazon Prime; in some areas, delivery can occur in under two hours with Amazon Prime Now. Amazon’s Alexa (virtual personal assistant), Echo (smart speaker), and Dash (ordering button) allow customers to order from Amazon without a computer, access the news, listen to music, set alarms, control smart home devices, make phone calls and send text messages. By incorporating these technologies into healthcare, the way consumers access to care will also change.
Amazon could also inspire innovation in other ways. It recently established a stealth lab, called 1492, that focuses on healthcare technology. While little is known about the products being created, speculation is that the retailer is developing tools to mine data from electronic health records, new telemedicine technologies, and healthcare applications for its existing products.
In the early days of the pandemic, many clinics and medical centers were forced to limit and, in many cases, close off in-person contact with patients. Further, they had to adapt on the fly and adopt new strategies for delivering critical patient care and health information.
A recent survey found that more than one-fourth of patients said they had changed providers because of a poor digital experience during the pandemic. Another 49% wished their digital experience was smoother and more like the ease with which they can interact with companies like Uber and Netflix, the study showed.
Unfortunately, answers for improving the healthcare system are much more complex than instating a ranking feature, and confronting that kind of complexity doesn’t happen overnight. Over recent months, though, many have learned valuable lessons about what works – and what doesn’t – in digital health, which a group of experts and strategists shared during a recent webinar on “Designing a Digital Patient Experience for the On-Demand Consumer” hosted by U.S. News & World Report.
Until Amazon figures out how to fully revolutionize the infrastructure, here are steps to better customize the healthcare experience for your patients:
- Understand your patients’ needs and desires so you can exceed their expectations. These needs and desires may have shifted dramatically since the pandemic – send a survey to help you map where they are and dig into the analytics of who uses what technologies, how often, and when. Ensure that you then have the data to enact the right systems.
- Do a digital walkthrough for patients on how you communicate. What are you saying? What should you be saying to align with your brand and offerings? Think holistically when dissecting the walkthrough, noting experience, accessibility, UX, and portals.
- Create better UX for each audience segment. Much like Netflix caters to various preferences, healthcare should be able to do the same. How do providers meet the needs of both healthy 20-somethings and ailing seniors on Medicare? Different population segments or audiences should be sent to different tracks on your websites or intranets depending on age, demo, location, treatments, etc. How does this compare to Netflix? Personalizing technology in the way that Amazon and Netflix do is key; everyone’s Amazon page looks different because of different shopping histories. Replicate that individualization on your platform(s).
- Pay close attention to where your patients are falling out of the funnel. Find the gap and close it. Use the data you collect and go a step further to sit down with key patients to reevaluate the journey, noting where they get lost and where they drop off. Try to innovate with real, actionable, compassionate tasks, not another marketing campaign.
- Rethink your value proposition. Recent history has proven that most people accept that they have to wait to see a doctor or a healthcare professional. The unspoken industry mentality of “I’ll see you when I get to you” is the opposite of a truly patient-centered approach. Misaligned messaging and behaviors aren’t something that healthcare can afford to settle for anymore.
- Ensure accessibility of information. Find and leverage chat boxes or SMS text messaging to combat missed or forgotten information. Doing so in a timely manner is key to providing a digital experience that patients are going to expect.
Amazon + Netflix could very well revolutionize healthcare if we work together. In light of the pandemic and the upheaval it has wrought, what the healthcare industry can learn from Amazon, Netflix, and their counterparts are has to do with customer-centric delivery, expectation, and experience. Though not every practice has the resources of these massive corporations, there are ways to focus on your patients and provide top-quality care.
As a Healthcare Marketing Consultant, I work alongside you and your leadership to further build a brand your patient’s experience including addressing gaps in your digital experience and realigning your one big idea with how you want to be remembered.
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