Consumers today live in a vastly different environment than decades past. Thanks to conveniences led by mobile devices and artificial intelligence, we expect everything to be immediately available at our fingertips and personalized to our needs. Unfortunately, illness doesn’t care about your schedule or whatever else you have going on and as a result, you may need to wait longer and travel further than you’d like.
According to data from the Pew Research Center, millennials find going to the doctor to be inconvenient and are also “significantly less likely to schedule preventive visits.” That is no surprise when you consider that the average wait time for an appointment with a new family medicine physician in many major cities is now 29.3 days. Millennials represent the largest group in the U.S. labor force and as they interact with the healthcare system more, the industry needs to meet the demand for personalization, convenience, and ultimately, give people greater control.
Here are 3 ways that convenience will be driving the future of healthcare:
Convenience and workflow simplification: Integrated platforms make it easier to be more informed and engaged patients
Today’s consumers are more likely to be cost conscious and driven to seek out and research information they need to make health care decisions. Millennials are used to being able to easily search for and compare any type of product online and expect to see personalized recommendations and ads as they browse. User accounts and payment methods can be easily integrated with different websites, facilitating an end-to-end experience. Where time spent on a website used to be an important metric, it’s now more about measuring the ability to accomplish more desired tasks quickly.
The healthcare industry needs to shift its focus to delivering a great user experience with valuable treatment insights, with the goal of making health care decision making simpler and more informed. The convenience play here is about respecting consumers’ and providers’ time in being able to get a diagnosis and begin treatment faster and easier.
For consumers, the healthcare industry needs to take note of how tech and retail industries engage with consumers to keep up. Easily accessible data on what to expect, costs, and insurance coverage empower people to have a conversation with their care providers about treatment options. Consumers should be able to seamlessly learn about, decide, and buy healthcare services like they do anything else.
For providers, an integrated approach can offer a complete 360-degree view of a patient by aggregating demographics, eligibility, potential gaps in care, future clinical and utilization predictions, and pharmacy, medical and dental claims. This information often takes a great deal of time to digest, but with an integrated platform, a patient’s health history can be presented in an easy to absorb way, resulting in more time to discuss options and a patient’s preference rather than spending limited time reviewing an inventory of history and symptoms.