Building a cohesive, comprehensive, consumer-centric digital strategy that provides any healthcare, anywhere, anytime.

Consumerism and the demand for digital services are not letting up as the pandemic abates. Despite staffing and financial challenges, healthcare organizations must keep their foot on the accelerator to engage consumers and maintain and grow market share while evolving their service models. Healthcare organizations have a unique opportunity to emerge from the pandemic with more significant market share and a superior competitive position in the hearts and minds of current and prospective consumers.

Consumers are paying more and expecting more

Consumerism in healthcare goes beyond transporting the current experience to digital. Patients and members want more value, convenience, and integration with their lives and budget because they’re responsible for more of the increasing cost of care, and more of every dollar is going to healthcare. They want relief from increasingly complex services and pricing, opaqueness, and frustration that’s become healthcare’s reputation today. And they’re ready to switch to get it.

When you consider these stats, it becomes clear why consumers expect more:

What’s wrong with your current digital strategy?
It’s creating more chaos, fragmentation, and frustration.

In addition to consumer choice and expectations, there are three standout reasons why taking a cohesive approach to digital strategy is critical now. Many are familiar – regulations like the No Surprises Act, industry competitors and outside disruptors like retail and big tech, value-based care, and cost pressures – but some are not as obvious.

Product vendor offerings are driving your digital strategy

Many payer and provider organizations are finding their digital transformation journey led by what technologies are on offer rather than driving strategy by focusing on their capabilities and desired value stream.

The unintended effect has been that digital transformations have been susceptible to accumulating yet more point solutions, thwarting payer and provider goals by further increasing the chaos and adding fragmentation, inconsistencies, and greater frustration.

This lack of cohesion pushes consumers away – rather than drawing them closer and engaging them more deeply. Product vendors often provide pieces of the solution absent a broader strategy that aligns with the organization’s business and care goals.

The unintended effect of all these point solutions is that payers and providers are thwarting their own goals.

Disjointed tools, experiences, and lack of interoperability

Why do digital strategies and solutions fall short? Figure 1 represents some of a member’s touch points with their health plan. While the visual looks organized and straightforward, the real-world journey can be fraught with disjointed tools, lack of data interoperability, and poor digital experiences. This is particularly true when digital experiences and tools collide rather than blend seamlessly in support of in-person services, live member service, or care navigation calls.

Example of member touch points with their health plan.

Figure 1: Example of member touch points with their health plan.

Unsustainable tangles of tools and experiences take the consumer further away from their goals, create more barriers to quality care, and financial viability for the organization. Beyond complexity, however, digital strategies fall short because organizations don’t account for all integration factors. Plans that do not integrate solutions and technologies from the customer viewpoint fail.

Taking an inside-out approach

Many product vendors convince organizations to start with the tool or what their stakeholders want to push out to consumers. Conversely, a consumer-first approach to digital journeys should ensure that technologies, information, and experiences are integrated from the front-end interfaces and apps to back-end systems and data sources. This approach to a cohesive digital strategy works holistically and incrementally, delivering on significant consumer- and business-driven needs toward more complete customer experiences and organizational capabilities.

Go beyond the Digital Front Door – Create seamless, simple, and comprehensive consumer encounters across all channels. Download our eBook

Beyond the digital front door to digital health experiences

While many working within a traditional healthcare setting may balk at the thought, healthcare is a digital-dependent industry today. The only way to realize a positive future state is to embrace and reimagine healthcare from the vantage point of creating impactful digital health experiences.

Digital health experiences should be born out of a cohesive, comprehensive, and person-centric strategy that eliminates friction. It should seamlessly connect consumers to the most appropriate level and channel for care, communication, and service at the time and location they want it.

Rather than focus on letting consumers in through a digital front door, your digital imperative is to meet the consumer where they are with simplicity, personalization, and transparency. The survivors and leaders will be those who embark on the journey and execute it with a clear strategy.

What should a digital strategy do for your organization?

This consumer-driven digital journey is one of foundational change, incrementally achieved.

Figure 2 highlights a host of key performance indicators (KPI) that can result from a holistic approach to digital strategy. Additionally, these KPIs can reveal if you are already falling behind and most vulnerable to disruption.

Improving and personalizing digital experiences and services for patients and members is just the beginning. Internal and external stakeholders and partners will experience less frustration, greater efficiency, and productivity while having greater affinity for working for and with your organization. A better digital strategy translates into a host of improved business processes and relationships.

A comprehensive, consumer-centric digital strategy can achieve the Quadruple Aim.

Figure 2: A comprehensive, consumer-centric digital strategy can achieve the Quadruple Aim.

Our approach to building a cohesive, consumer-centric digital strategy

We aim to uncover and address all the sticking points toward creating seamless, consumer-centric healthcare journeys and experiences. Figure 3 shows how organizations can build digital maturity through a comprehensive yet iterative methodology.

Digital Maturity Model
Figure 3: Digital Maturity Model

Creating digital strategies for healthcare payers and providers entails addressing the following seven areas:

  • (1) Human-Centered Design and (2) Intelligent Personalization deliver consistent, frictionless consumer experiences that delight
  • (3) Orchestration services enable delivery of personalized journeys that are adaptable, scalable, and bridge traditional silos built between consumers, partners, back-end systems and data, moving towards a consumable architecture 
  • Back-end (4) Process Improvement and Optimization, (5) System Integration, and (6) Data Integration enable end-to-end journeys
  • (7) Data Analytics and Data Science provide continuous improvement in value and real-time personalization 

Our Digital Health Experience Maturity Assessment provides input for creating digital health strategies. It received high praise from Gartner for its completeness, detail, and insight. It meets the client where they are and sets the stage for a successful roadmap.

Equipped with assessment results, a holistic strategy framework, and an iterative approach, we can architect composable journeys of dynamically-generated, personalized experiences that internal and external stakeholders expect.

Creating a strategic roadmap and addressing fragmentation doesn’t mean closing the door on valuable niche products. Quite the contrary. It does; however, require knowing the gap those product vendor products fill, how they will integrate, and incrementally building the underlying platforms that will allow rapid, seamless incorporation of more service partners as an expected part of the new healthcare ecosystem.

This perspective born out of capabilities will allow you to more accurately map solutions to the member-patient experience and journey. This will reduce the risk of further fragmentation since, with this approach, your experience and capabilities will drive decisions. 

Let’s address fragmentation head-on. It starts with a conversation.

Building digital health experiences that go beyond the digital front door requires a holistic vision and incremental execution. Our approach to creating seamless, end-to-end digital healthcare journeys starts with your patients and members, understanding your objectives for improving consumer experiences, clinical care, operational processes, and business KPIs. Through our unique outside-in approach, we add value to your existing and future digital strategy while delivering on your business imperative. Let’s connect.

Art Moore
Art Moore

Arthur “Art” Moore leads the Process Optimization and Design Thinking Solutions teams for SDLC Partners. His career spans software development, practice management, methodology development, training and strategic consulting, in...

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