Digital Customer Journey Mapping and its Importance for Healthcare
Consumer demands for digital experiences are high, especially in the healthcare industry. Each customer wants to feel personally addressed, so it’s all about aligning products and processes with the wishes and needs of customers.
In the course of digitization, customer focus has become even more important, since the consistent look through the customer’s eyes is considered essential in the digital transformation of the healthcare industry.
Customer service will be a key factor for customers. Who best designs the customer journey along the touchpoints? Who manages to answer customer inquiries quickly and competently on the relevant channels?
The difference from other industries lies, on the one hand, in the particularly strict data protection requirements, and on the other hand, in the involvement of several partners in the process for the patient.
Patients and members of a health insurance company basically have the same expectations of the service that customers have of their bank, insurance company, or energy supplier.
You would like to have your request resolved quickly and without wasting a lot of time via the channel of your choice.
A bank customer has no tolerance for queuing on the phone or a doctor customer who wants to make an appointment for an examination.
However, opaque, inconsistent and complex procedures have a serious impact on the healthcare industry.
If a patient or insured person feels let down or badly advised when it comes to their own health, they won’t hesitate to go to another place.
It is all the more important that health insurance companies, doctors, and clinics deal with the expectations, fears, worries, and needs along the customer journey. Healthcare customer journey mapping has proven itself as a very useful optimization tool.
With the help of the touchpoint analysis, processes can be analyzed and investments in the patient experience can be planned.
Service touchpoints are points of contact where the patient comes into contact with the hospital. This goes from the recommendation of the referring doctor to the hospital website, the parking space in front of the clinic, the reception desk in the entrance area of the healthcare provider, etc. to aftercare or the bill.
Once all service touchpoints have been identified, the search for the so-called hotspots begins. Hotspots are the service touchpoints that are of great importance to the patient, where you can achieve noticeable improvements with relatively few resources.
The competition for patients is in full swing. The aim of companies seems to be to treat as many patients as they can in the shortest possible time.
To achieve this goal, the service provider must be able to positively affect both the referring physician and the patient.
Medical competence is only one aspect of the service package that patients and referring physicians want to receive.
A modern digital presence, easy accessibility, informative content, and good user guidance are all necessary to stand out from other companies in the long term.
The cost pressure on healthcare providers keeps increasing. The development shows a trend among resident physicians towards group practices or physician networks and in the area of hospitals, there is a shift towards central hospitals at the expense of regional hospitals.
The economic reality shows that larger organizations are better able to absorb all the costs. In addition to the organizational changes within the service provider organizations, there are also opportunities to shift activities from the internal organization to the referring physicians or the patients.
By entering the data themselves before entering the hospital, including personal preferences, patients can save a lot of time, and in return have all important appointments copied to their agenda.
Hospitals that implement it in this way report three effects:
- firstly, new admissions are faster,
- secondly, there are fewer patients who show up late or at the wrong place,
- and thirdly, the patients are happier because the hospital has satisfied their needs.
The regulatory requirements in the healthcare sector have already been very high in the past and with the introduction of the EPD and the revision of the Data Protection Act, the requirements will continue to increase.
The security of medical data, the identification of actors and the authorization of activities by patients, and the traceability of access to medical data are clearly in the focus of the legislator.
This can be seen very easily from the fact that most of the technical regulations in the EPD relate to the topics of identification, authentication, and authorization.
Remember to identify value-adding processes that are suitable for digitization and which can positively advance the development of your own organization.
When implementing digital processes, IT security must be considered at an early stage, because nobody can afford to lose trust. Customers can easily replace one provider with another in the healthcare sector.