The Healthcare Experience Through Time
Healers, midwives, barbers, and trained medical professionals have existed for millennia, doing their best to keep humanity as a whole on track to better health, with mixed results. As our understanding of science has improved, so too has the modernization of healthcare. In the 1800s, medicine became more and more professionalized, requiring licensure to prevent untrained amateurs from claiming advanced medical knowledge. But doctors and healthcare providers existed before then, and so did the healthcare experience.
Whether doctors visited patients in their home when they were sick, or if the patient went to seek an apothecary when they were in need of a healing herb, healthcare professionals have often had a position of trust. That trust is key to the customer experience for the modern healthcare experience as well.
Health care providers have quickly adapted to the COVID crisis. With telehealth appointments, digital consultations, and limited in-office interactions, will healthcare ever return to the status quo prior to the pandemic? The only way to answer this question is to look at what creates a better customer experience for patients. There is another side to this as well. Pharmaceutical businesses can improve the experience for healthcare providers.
The Healthcare Experience Is Evolving
Doctors have adapted well overall to the constraints of the pandemic. Offices that need to remain open for physical exams have remained open, while telehealth has grown 63% since the start of the crisis. How can Doctors deliver the best possible experience? As with many businesses, the answer begins with data. While privacy regulations protect most patient data, there are ways to advertise, connect, and interact with patients ethically. Their biographical information as entered online, the information they’ve opted-in to use in experience improvement, and with new technologies, IOT data can be used as well.
Consider a pulmonology practice. While in the past, the only data points they might have from customers could be a sleep study, and then however many appointments they had with the patient, today there are new data possibilities. With permissions from a pill tracking app, they could know if the patient is taking prescriptions on time and regularly, or with an IOT connection to a web-enabled rebreather, CPAP, or other machine and with permission, they could track the patient’s sleep, breathing, or other vital health information. Then, using a series of real-time rules and decisions, the automated system can contact the patient or health care provider. From there those individuals can make changes to the treatment plan. If they are part of a larger care team, this information can be synchronized to create a better health plan.
Using Data For Better Healthcare Provider Experiences in Pharma
While the experience for patients is critically important in the healthcare industry, the experience for Health Care Providers matters as well. For a pharmaceutical business, they need to be able to target, engage, and support their healthcare providers. This differentiation can make an enormous difference in the prescriber’s willingness to prescribe their medication. That willingness has impacts on the bottom line, and on patient health.
Targeting The Right Healthcare Providers
Often the data challenge that pharmaceutical businesses face in messaging to the healthcare industry is extreme. Businesses often silo their data between business units or practices. Not only that but different providers, vendors, and ad servers all store it with different levels of data privacy and protection. To address this, pharmaceutical companies need to synchronize their data and use it properly to communicate with the right providers at the right time.
Why does this matter? Because a cardiologist does not need to know the same information about the latest psychopharmaceutical offerings as a psychiatrist. While they will need to be briefed on potential interactions with drugs they prescribe, you don’t need to sell a cardiologist on the benefits of psychopharmacology. Ad spending, sales team time, and other resources spent on someone in the wrong specialty are wasted. To address this, target based on the individual provider or practice level. Use their expressed interests, their specialty, and demographic information you have available to make the experience great.
Creating the Best Experience for Healthcare Providers
Once a prescriber is plugged into your sales team, the job isn’t over. Perhaps they have interacted online or created a profile. They still might fit one of several personas or behavior profiles. For example, some doctors may be skeptical of new medications. Other providers are willing to try anything that has been adequately tested. Still others rush to be at the cutting edge of the field. Each of these needs different messaging approaches to stay engaged.
Often, doctors will tell pharmaceutical brands this information. If it isn’t directly, then it can be inferred from their behavior. By creating these deep profiles, targeting based on persona, and using the cross-sections of persona, specialization, and other information, a better experience is possible. It comes back to data, but the real hero for solving this challenge is real-time decisioning. When a provider comes on your site, you need to be able to adapt actively, to give them the best experience right away.
Starting Customer Journeys
Whatever your industry, the customer experience truly matters. For pharma and healthcare, the stakes are higher than ever with the rise of COVID, so getting the experience right can be a matter not just of convenience, but rather life and death. To get started, we encourage you to read the Customer Journey Maturity Model. It’s a powerful tool to help you build the foundation for great experiences at your business.