Few hospitals meet consumer expectations, report finds 

Nurse-Patient-Hospital-Credit: Getty/monkeybusinessimages
Ninety percent of healthcare organizations identify improving the consumer experience as a high priority, but only 30% have built capabilities to do so. (Getty/monkeybusinessimages)

Despite an industrywide push to improve the patient experience, a new study found that hospitals and healthcare systems often fail to meet rapidly changing consumer demands.

The report by Kaufman, Hall & Associates shows that only 8% of the 125 healthcare organizations surveyed apply successful practices to meet these new expectations.

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The main problem is that though the needs of consumers are a high priority among healthcare organizations, many have been slow to address them. The report found that:

  • Ninety percent of organizations identify improving the consumer experience as a high priority, but only 30% have built capabilities to do so.
  • Only 15% of organizations are aggressively moving to improve patient access with both diverse sites of care and digital connectivity.
  • Less than 10% of organizations pursue pricing strategies and price transparency as high priorities.

“The findings should serve as a wake-up call for hospital and health system leaders across the country,” Paul Crnkovich, managing director with Kaufman Hall, said in an announcement.

“In the age of Amazon and Netflix, consumers expect more from their healthcare providers,” he said. “For healthcare executives, consumerism should not be just another item to be checked off a list. It should be a core capability, as it is key to long-term growth.”

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To help move the needle, the report suggested that organizations:

Define, evaluate and quantify their organization’s overall value proposition to consumers. This means leaders must truly understand their current market position and future needs with a comprehensive position assessment, including analysis of the market, operations, consumers, current and emerging competitors and financial strength.

Ensure that the basics within the care delivery model are done well. Hospitals must run efficiently, eliminate duplicative sites and services and eliminate unnecessary steps and costs.

Expand services beyond the traditional focus areas of inpatient and outpatient care. Virtual visits, digital assistants, medical tracking devices, transportation and wellness services are part of the healthcare picture for modern consumers and represent a significant share of healthcare revenue that is largely untapped by “traditional” providers, according to the report.