In Part 1 of this blog series, I explored how data can guide hospital and health system leaders to make decisions that better align their organizations’ capabilities with consumer-centric priorities.

Here I’ll share some practical applications for effectively accessing, analyzing, and leveraging data to embrace the importance of the consumer experience by:

  1. Offering incentives based on consumer-based metrics
  2. Evaluating organizational success measures based on consumerism initiatives
  3. Compiling robust benchmark data in a timely fashion
  4. Building the infrastructure for a consumer-friendly pricing strategy

Reporting and analytics solutions are extremely useful in delivering the insights needed to complete these four tasks, but take note of which metrics are cited below, because having access to the right data in a timely manner is critical to the success of consumer-driven initiatives.

Offer incentives based on consumer-based metrics

Support for consumer-based initiatives must start at the top, but two-thirds of hospital organizations either don’t have consumer-centric performance scorecards or use them on a limited basis. Executive incentives on consumer performance don’t exist in 64% of organizations, while 69% don’t incentivize providers or do so in a limited way — according to Kaufman Hall’s 2019 State of Consumerism report.

To develop a consistently outstanding consumer experience, leaders must capture the organization’s performance, highlight areas of opportunity, and incentivize leaders and staff at every level.

Without an all-for-one mindset, health systems will lose ground to competitors with more consumer-friendly offerings.

Evaluate organizational success measures based on consumerism initiatives

It’s not surprising that 64% of organizations measure unique patient growth and 57% monitor the average patient wait time between scheduling an appointment and completing the appointment with the provider, according to the consumerism report. Those metrics can be attributed to consumer-centric performance. A better measure of patient loyalty, however, is the share of patient healthcare spending within the health system, a measure assessed by just 14% of organizations.

It’s impossible to compete on the consumer experience without tracking the right metrics. Those metrics include new patient acquisition trends, new patient retention rates, net promoter scores, and share of patient healthcare spending with your organization. Patient feedback metrics should be captured in real time, combined with meaningful analytics, and assessed by data analysts who have experience in consumer research.

Compile robust benchmark data in a timely fashion

Hospitals typically analyze enterprise-level data that’s 9 months to 2 years old, which makes competing on consumer experience difficult. Data from internal and external sources should be captured and evaluated monthly, not quarterly or annually.

Metrics should be developed on consumerism measures throughout the health system, including service line, physician practice, department, treatment type, and more.

By developing a strategy and collecting the right information, a health system can assess its consumer offerings and compare them to competitors. The same data can point to areas for future investment that promote a more consumer-friendly experience.

Identify opportunities to improve patient care and outcomes

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Build the infrastructure for a consumer-friendly pricing strategy

Few healthcare organizations have procedures in place to share out-of-pocket cost information with consumers before a physician visit, test, or procedure. Just half of organizations that participated in the survey respond to price requests via phone within a defined period of time. And less than 20% have given staff the tools necessary to respond immediately to patient questions about costs.

During a time when more than one-third of consumers shop for healthcare services based partly on price, hospitals must do better. Critically, hospital executives must revamp their approach to price transparency. Consider the following best practices:

  • Quantify your margin risk for shoppable services against the offerings of competitors
  • Benchmark your prices against market payment levels, not just charges
  • Consider such variables as consumer elasticity, the hospital’s brand premium, and maturity in the local market for determining charges per service

“The customer is always right” wasn’t a phrase formerly associated with healthcare, but evolving consumer demands and the rise of patient satisfaction scoring have caused a fundamental shift.

Hospitals and health systems must invest in the right approach to capture, analyze, and share consumer data within their systems. That’s the only way to improve the quality and transparency of services and compete on consumerism.

Meet the Authors

Kermit S. Randa

Chief Executive Officer, Kaufman Hall Software
As Chief Executive Officer of Kaufman Hall’s Software division, Kermit Randa oversees all product development, sales, implementation, training, and support functions for the firm’s...
Learn More About Kermit S.

Read Part 1