It May Be Time to Reassess Your Consumer Digital Interface

It May Be Time to Reassess Your Consumer Digital Interface. Image of a sad app user with her phone staring at a happy app user with her phone.

A recent study indicates that new and expanding health care disruptors are outperforming 90% of health systems in providing a seamless, integrated digital experience for consumers. The “Healthcare Consumer Digital Experience Analysis” shows that many provider organizations lack the digital engagement expertise to compete effectively with leading disruptors in health care. The analysis and research were conducted by Navigant, a Guidehouse company, and Centric Digital, which offers a platform to measure an enterprise’s core digital footprint.

Among the findings:

  • Only about one-third of health systems publish emergency department (ED) wait times on their websites vs. 60% of the top urgent care facilities.
  • Less than half (45%) of health systems allow prospective patients to search for available appointment times or request appointment information without logging into a portal, compared with 75% of health care disruptors.
  • Disruptors outperform health systems by 34% in search engine optimization for care needs.

What disruptors and leading health systems are doing differently during the consumer journey chart. Journey stages impacted: awareness; consideration; selection.

These and other data in the analysis suggest that provider organizations are at risk of losing consumers to disruptors offering more patient-friendly ways to access routine, lower-acuity care.

There was some good news for providers. Health systems scored in the excellent range for providing safe and secure browsing and communication. They were also classified as leading for screen and device responsiveness on the availability of content and ease of use when accessed through different mobile screen sizes and operations.

4 Takeaways for a Consumer-Friendly Digital Experience

  1. Make it easy for consumers to consider you: Lehigh Valley Health Network was cited as a best-practice example for the site’s ability to get consumers to consider contacting the organization. The site makes a strong first impression by presenting an uncluttered user interface with obvious calls to action on how to learn about walk-in care, video visits, scheduling appointments and finding a doctor.
  2. Respect consumers’ time: Posting current ED wait times and making other essential information easy to find on your website matters to patients.
  3. Make the digital consumer experience a priority: Develop a sense of urgency and budget appropriately so that your online experience meets consumer expectations.
  4. Know your competition: It’s not just about the other health care providers in your area. Disruptors have set a high bar on meeting consumer digital expectations that must be met. Budget accordingly and always design with the consumer in mind.

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