Much has been written about how we moved from the Age of Information to the Age of Experience. Customer Experience (CX) was deemed the winning strategy for this era, with many technology-enabled businesses winning customers over with digitized experiences (DX). Underlying that view is the secular trend to improving User Experience (UX) — popularized by the world of new technology and human-computer-interfaces.
What does all this mean for the healthcare industry? In this age of experience, there’s a lot of discussion about patient experience.
What constitutes the dimensions of Patient Experience (Px) and how to improve Px?
Are we really moving from the realm of prescriptions and procedures (“ Rx World”) to one where Px is a winning strategy, as other industries seem to think?
Can we bridge the worlds between cures (drugs, devices, and procedures) and care delivery to improve Px?
Efforts to evaluate and enhance Px at the healthcare-sector level will need us to consider not just healthcare delivery, but also medical devices, medical procedures, drugs, and our access to affordable care.
We’ll take a look at Px in care delivery in this post. Many fundamental shifts are afoot in this area alone. We’ll look at Px in other aspects of the healthcare industry in future posts.
Patient or Impatient?
When we visit a clinic, wait-times weigh heavily in influencing our experience. The scheduling gymnastics that physician’s offices do to accommodate patients and keep themselves afloat evokes images of airlines overbooking flights. More data on this aspect of Px (e.g Healthgrades and even Yelp), has thrown the spotlight on this issue and perhaps re-calibrated our expectations in the last decade.
Enter Covid-19! Our notion of Px is now thrown in disarray. But Covid may well be the (unfortunate) medicine that the doctor ordered that makes us rethink care delivery and adjust our expectations. As shown below, how we access health services has changed dramatically.
Typical office visits in a brick-and-mortar clinic took a nosedive with Covid-19. Our cars became our waiting rooms, should we needed to make trip. Telehealth visits, which were until now an afterthought and had restrictions for use, are expected to reach 200 million in 2020, from a previously expected 36 million.
This is despite the fact that countless technology challenges await the hapless patient on their pathway to a video call with their physician (e.g. devices used, video software used, browser cookies!). The physician and their staff in-turn navigate a host of challenges from scheduling video calls, solving technical issues, while adapting to care delivery remotely.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that all that maybe worth it to avoid the hassle of wading through traffic and bypassing waiting rooms to receive care from the comfort of your home.
Caring: In-Person to Virtual
The transitions in care delivery are not limited to a physical visit to a clinic turning into a video or phone-based Telehealth visit. New communication technology-based services (CTBS) are enabling care to be delivered non face-to-face. i.e. based on a virtual interaction between the patient and the clinician where neither party is face-to-face norareinteracting in real-time, as shown below in scenario 3.
These virtual visits — Telehealth and other emerging Telemedicine services — are expected to exceed a billion visits in 2020.
Virtual Care — Complementing Classic Care
The market forces behind this evolution of care is just gathering momentum — from patient expectations to provider operations to policy-making.
Telemedicine services are not a one-for-one replacement for classic office visits. They have the potential to dramatically improve access to care and healthcare economics.
Real-time Telehealth visits combined with other asynchronous care may have an as-yet-unquantified effect on the way we get health services and how we manage population health.
Healthcare delivery may have been irrevocably altered by an unfortunate public health emergency. We have likely crossed an inflection point between face-to-face care and non-face-to-face care.
Patient expectations have changed. That in itself may drive more changes in this decade. Let us at least hope it has provided a boost to much-needed innovations in healthcare, starting with how we get access to care from the comfort of our homes.
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Stay tuned for more posts in this series on the evolution in healthcare from Rx to Px. Checkout Plethy for how non face-to-face care can be delivered in Orthopaedics.
Published By Cerebrus
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.