Better together: Healthcare customer experience networks enable collaborative innovation

As healthcare organizations adapt to address a rise in healthcare consumerism, they must reimagine the customer experience.
08:01 AM

The customer is king. As healthcare organizations adapt to address a rise in healthcare consumerism, however, they are realizing that they cannot single-handedly produce a customer experience worthy of royalty.

Why? Consumers of healthcare products and services must engage with a variety of organizations on their customer journey –  each of which has an impact, not only on customer experience but also on health outcomes. As a result, healthcare organizations must reimagine the healthcare customer experience by co-creating with their ecosystem through a Customer Experience (CX) Network. According to research firm IDC, CX Networks arise when “an organization connects and embraces co-innovation from entities in a customer’s journey, including customers, employees, business partners, and suppliers — all collaborating and co-innovating to deliver improved customer experiences and customer journeys.”1 In healthcare, a CX network centers around the patient and could include hospitals, health systems, payers and pharmacies as well as medical device, pharma, consumer wearables and genomics companies – all of which play a role in shaping the patient experience. By activating a digital thread that better connects all stakeholders along a patient’s journey, there is an unprecedented opportunity to deliver a more personalized, engaging healthcare experience.

“Through CX networks, organizations embrace co-innovation and open themselves up to working with others to create much more comprehensive, immersive customer experiences than they ever could on their own,” said Shawn Ryan, vice president product marketing, digital as a service, Axway.

But in healthcare, where patient data resides in multiple silos across the care continuum, building a CX network will require organizations to overcome common data access and collaboration challenges. Greater adoption of APIs (application program interfaces) in healthcare will make it easier for organizations to connect, collaborate and innovate with their digital ecosystem, including patients. From a technology perspective, APIs are really changing the game when it comes to supporting collaborative innovation, and are the foundation for building CX networks.

“With this collaboration, different players across the ecosystem can contribute value that impacts the outcomes for the patients,” Ryan said. “Innovation needs to be addressed in an orchestrated fashion. Otherwise, you have a patient who all of a sudden has 15 apps and none of the data from those 15 apps is synched, and the quality of the insights you get is not valuable. Collaboration creates an experience that is superior to what each organization could create on its own.”

For example, a chronically ill patient might use multiple online portals and apps to track different aspects of their care, such as monitoring of glucose data, medication adherence, physician appointments and health insurance claims. What if all of these interactions and data were more connected, enabling patients to receive meaningful insights and recommendations to better manage their health?

The CX network could bring together data from this patient’s glucose monitor, their medication adherence data and other relevant nutrition and fitness data to provide a complete view of the patient’s health and enable their healthcare provider to deliver more personalized recommendations and treatment. Similarly, this data could be used by the patient’s insurance company or local pharmacy to make recommendations that help the patient take better control of their health. 

“Not only would patients have a complete picture of what’s going on with their health, the data would also be available to the physicians who could intervene when things are not going well. Or the data could trigger the health plan to suggest certain wellness or dietary programs,” Ryan said.

To create CX networks, organizations must become much more transparent with one another and adopt technology platforms that support data sharing.

“CX networks require an API-enabled integration strategy that enables legacy IT systems to interact with newer technologies such as mobile and IoT devices, enabling data to move through them and between them,” said Joanna Gorovoy, senior director of industry solutions marketing at Axway. “In healthcare, that means pulling data out of proprietary systems such as the EMR (electronic medical record) and being able to expose that data to mobile devices in a way that enables the right people to access the right information at the right time – so they can take action on it.”