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Patient-centric innovation isn’t a numbers game – it’s a people game

As companies tweak processes to fit in today's digital age, healthcare organizations have followed suit as patients have grown accustomed to rapid, convenient services in other areas of their lives. But we can't forget exceptional experiences that deliver positive outcomes should always have the patient top of mind.

When you talk about what changes healthcare organizations need to make in order to transform to stay with the times, you hear a consistent message. They should be innovative like Apple or have the customer service of Amazon, and quite frankly, this is the gold standard most brands are held to today.

The Apples and Amazons of the world work on numbers, and when the experiences they provide aren’t up to snuff, consumers switch to competitors. But, the healthcare industry is different. When humans with complex needs and health issues are involved everything needs to be built around people.

At the end of the day, companies aren’t winning on experience solely off of innovative technology, but by keeping their customers at the heart of everything they do.

The patient experience is more than numbers in a dashboard

In healthcare it is easy to fall into the pitfall of having the patient experience become simple numbers in a dashboard, especially when you consider there are thousands of patient voices waiting to be heard. Companies like CHRISTUS Health recognized the importance of highlighting patient voices in order to help drive meaningful experiences.

“We needed to amplify the voice of the patient so that it was as loud as the numbers. To drive real improvement, we knew we had to add emotion and personal stories to the data,” said Brandi Jaco, Director of Patient Experience at CHRISTUS Health.

By analyzing open-ended responses from patients, they surfaced critical issues that affected patient satisfaction ranging from dining options to the provision of emergency care. They then put those insights directly into the hands of on-site teams who could respond.

Too often companies pit human centric approaches against data driven ones when they can in fact do both. When healthcare organizations like CHRISTUS Health operationalize patient voices it can lead to more informed decisions, higher patient satisfaction, and increased loyalty.

“Our leaders don’t just look at numbers anymore; we look at what the patients are telling us, and we’re seeing that patients will tell us what we need to do to improve,” Jaco said.

Patients crave digital experience with a dose of empathetic bedside manner

The healthcare industry differs from most others in that despite the convenience of self-service options, patients overwhelmingly prefer to get medical advice from a human.

According to our research 36 percent of patients prefer talking to someone on the phone when scheduling a medical appointment and 48 percent prefer to meet with someone in person to receive medical advice about a minor issue.

When healthcare organizations use technology that enables a complete understanding of a patient’s emotion, intent, and effort across every interaction, digital experiences can feel more human.

But more importantly, when that data is shared with the right teams, at the right times, employees are better equipped to care for their patients on a deeper level.

The age of patient empowerment

Due to the rapid advancement in technology, today’s patients are better equipped, more knowledgeable, and able to conduct their own research into their health care needs.

To stand out from the competition, it's critical healthcare organizations base their support, processes, and experiences they provide around patient needs and priorities to better stand out in a competitive landscape.

This cannot happen without a patient-centric approach in place across the entire organization, from the nurses and doctors to customer service representatives. This approach will build trust, build reputation and help patients make better decisions.

Rachad Davis // Content Strategist

Rachad is an experienced and highly skilled content specialist with a passion for storytelling. With an extensive background that includes stints in the public and private sector, Rachad spends his time at Qualtrics bringing customer stories to life and championing all things Experience Management.

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