3 secrets to achieving consumer-centric care

The first steps to delivering consumer-centric healthcare involve reducing wait times, improving the customer experience and giving patients more options in how they receive care, according toPhysician's Money Digest. article.

Healthcare system CEOs and chief medical officers can take several steps to improve the patient experience, Nick Christiano, national managing partner for healthcare at Tatum US, says in the article:

  • Make healthcare more like a concierge service by providing extended hours, home visits and telehealth consultations to make it more convenient to meet with a doctor
  • Set the tone for employees by working with other executives to identify areas that need transformation, identify the tools needed to make the transition, communicate the need for changes and explain each employee's role in the transition
  • Redesign the organization to cut costs for activities that "do not produce value" while providing better care to the target patient population

"Today, the issue for many providers is that their cost structure needs to come down considerably, with pricing determined by performance and the quality of service provided, rather than being contractually guaranteed," Christiano said. "Factoring customer engagement and satisfaction into the reimbursement structure will help drive the shift toward a more customer-centric model."

Different healthcare systems approach the shift to customer-centric models in their own ways. For example, Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia, is transitioning patients from primary-care settings to patient-centered medical homes that provide a proactive, team-based approach to care. In Southern California, Cedars-Sinai Health System is working with Anthem Blue Cross and six other health organizations to expand its geographical reach with a program that requires insurance copayments but no deductibles.

At the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, meanwhile, executives look to Global 1000 companies like Disney and Zappos for ideas on how to improve customer satisfaction and use "secret shoppers" to evaluate success.

For more information:
- read the article