5 healthcare imperatives as patients demand more personalized treatment

EMC survey finds bulk of consumers want faster access, digital connectivity and more integrated devices.
By Jessica Davis
11:15 AM

Eighty-nine percent of healthcare providers say technology has changed patient expectations, according to a recent EMC report.

Respondents to the survey, which polled 236 healthcare leaders from 18 countries, said more than half of their patients wanted faster access to services. 45 percent wanted 24/7 access and connectivity and 42 percent wanted access on more devices. Another 47 percent said they wanted "personalized" experiences.

"Consumers buy across a spectrum of principles," Dave Dimond, chief technology officer of EMC said. Millennials buy on price. The Baby Boomer generation buys on cost and quality, and the builder generation buys based on quality and trust."

[Also: Patient engagement: 'Behavior dominates technology']

But "across the spectrum," he said, "they're interested in convenience."

To adapt to the changing landscape, respondents said they need to adopt a more digitally-focused mindset across all avenues of their organizations. EMC pointed to these five business imperatives, seen as necessary to be able to meet these evolving patient demands:

1. Predictively spot new opportunities, such as population health, value-based care and patient-centered medical home.

2. Demonstrate transparency and trust when it comes to treatment options, success rates and medical records access.

3. Innovate in an agile way: For example, clinical research, integration and the Internet of Things.

4. Deliver a unique and personalized experience "with 360-degree patient view." 

5. Providers should always be on and operate in real time using telemedicine, mHealth and medication adherence.

Fewer than 25 percent of the respondents said they address each of those five business imperatives extremely well.

"The key theme is to know your customer," Diamond says. "Go to your customer, the patient and engage them. Go with consumer-direct products like every other industry has. In the post-meaningful use world – providers are digitized like other industries."

For providers to get value from their data, he adds, they need a digital mindset: "Look at your organization as an IT leader."

Providers need to get involved with data studies to analyze all of the different platforms and devices, he adds. They also need to start finding out the best ways to use big data with pilot programs, which will help understand their network, increase productivity and provide more meaningful care.

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The report found there are six big trends on the horizon: big data analytics, automation, cybersecurity, smart communities, hybrid cloud and bring-your-own-device.

But just 19 percent of providers have the data insights needed to act in real-time at the point-of-care and only 17 percent are very good at transforming data into useful information to impact the clinical setting.

"What comes out of this is the business imperative trend to engagement patients; it comes down to loyalty," Dimond said. "To do that you have to identify them and see what needs to be done. You have to control your business that way."

Twitter: @JessiefDavis

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