Legacy Healthcare Organizations Continue to Lag on Consumer-Focused Efforts

CHICAGO, June 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — An overwhelming 88 percent of U.S. hospital and health system executives agree that their organizations are vulnerable to consumer-friendly offerings from non-hospital competitors, such as Optum, CVS Health, and Amazon. Yet many are not doing enough to develop the strong, consumer-centric foundations their organizations need to compete in today’s online, convenience-obsessed, and increasingly consumer-focused world, according to a new Kaufman Hall report, titled 2019 State of Consumerism in Healthcare: The Bar Is Rising.

Kaufman Hall is a leading provider of management consulting services, and enterprise performance management and decision support software. (PRNewsfoto/Amendola Communications)

The fourth annual report provides a lens to industry performance related to consumerism, based on survey responses from hospitals and health systems nationwide. It found that top performers kept pace with previous years, while many underperformers fell further behind. The Kaufman Hall Healthcare Consumerism Index ranks participating organizations based on an overall measure of how well they are meeting rising consumer demands across the core areas of consumer access, experience, pricing, and infrastructure. For the second consecutive year, just 8 percent of organizations rated as Tier 1 performers and only about a quarter rated as Tier 2. The most significant changes occurred in the lower tiers. Thirty-nine percent of organizations ranked as Tier 3 this year, compared to 52 percent in 2018. Meanwhile, those in Tier 4 increased from 17 percent in 2018 to 29 percent in 2019.

Much of the backsliding is due to legacy providers’ continued focus on relatively traditional, physical access points. As with previous years, the majority of survey respondents said they offer widespread urgent care (61 percent), ambulatory surgery centers (51 percent), and free-standing diagnostics facilities (41 percent). By comparison, nearly half said their organizations had no retail clinics. Other types of access initiatives aimed at increasing convenience for consumers are even less prevalent. For example, only a third of organizations offer widespread online self-scheduling for existing patients, and just 16 percent offer this service for new patients.

“Many hospitals and health systems remain focused on a brick-and-mortar model of offering consumers access to their providers,” said Dan Clarin, senior vice president, strategic and financial planning at Kaufman Hall. “Consumers are accustomed to the convenience of being able to access the goods and services they need on their smartphones, tablets, and computers. Healthcare organizations that want to connect with new or potential consumers should adapt their delivery models to remain relevant in an increasingly digital environment.”

Looking at consumer experience initiatives, an overwhelming 81 percent of executives responding to the survey identified “improving the customer experience” as a high priority for their organizations. Yet only 11 percent said they had best-in-class customer experience capabilities in place. Few organizations offer real-time scheduling and communications necessary to keep pace with today’s digitally connected consumers. For example, 66 percent of organizations offer limited-to-no opportunities for real-time patient feedback, while half offer no real-time updates on in-office wait times and 38 percent offer such updates only on a limited basis.

“As consumers continue to gain greater digital access to information and services in other areas of their lives, they expect the same of their healthcare experience,” said Clarin. “Providers must introduce digital best practices as part of their overall customer experience strategies, and begin to think in terms of ‘delighting’ rather than merely ‘satisfying’ consumers going forward. Doing so will require substantial investments in infrastructure and training.”

About Kaufman Hall

Kaufman Hall provides a unique combination of software, management consulting and data solutions to help society’s foundational institutions to realize sustained success amid changing market conditions. Since 1985, Kaufman Hall has been a trusted advisor to boards and executive management teams, helping them incorporate proven methods, rigorous analytics and industry-leading solutions into their strategic planning and financial management processes, with a focus on achieving their most challenging goals.

Kaufman Hall services use a rigorous, disciplined, and structured approach that is based on the principles of corporate finance. The breadth and integration of Kaufman Hall advisory services are unparalleled, encompassing strategy; financial and capital planning; cost transformation; treasury and capital markets management; and mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, and joint ventures.

Kaufman Hall software includes the Axiom Software Suite, providing sophisticated, flexible performance management solutions that empower finance professionals to analyze results, model the future, and optimize organizational decision making. Solutions for long-range planning, budgeting and forecasting, performance reporting, capital planning, and cost accounting deliver decision support, reporting, and analytics within an integrated software platform. Kaufman Hall’s Clinical Analytics empower healthcare organizations with clinical benchmarks, data, and analytics to provide a higher quality of care for optimized performance and improved patient outcomes.

Press Contact:
Philip Anast
Amendola Communications (for Kaufman Hall)
Email: [email protected] 
Phone: 312-576-6990

 

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