By Chris Edwards,
Chief Marketing & Experience Officer,
Conversa Health

We are living in the Conversation Economy. With the proliferation of messaging platforms and mobile devices, we live in an always-on, on-demand culture with instant access to each other. We “like,” we “comment” and we “share” – everything we do speaks. It has changed the way we communicate and has influenced the expectation for our experiences with businesses.

But focusing on consumer experience is still relatively new in healthcare. Patients today are expecting more than just episodic care transactions; they’re behaving more like consumers and want personalized, easy interactions with providers.

Is your organization ready to successfully engage consumers in the Conversation Economy? This initiative will require strategy, change management, the right technology and six foundational disciplines:

1. Offer consumers full, immediate access to their healthcare information. To have meaningful conversations and interactions, consumers should have full access to their own health records. Consumers want to own their health data which should be as mobile as they are, and the time to be more transparent than ever is now.

2. Meet consumers where they are. Technology should enable consumers to engage wherever they are. It should be device-agnostic so they can use their computers, smartphones or tablets. Wearable or other home devices, such as weight scales or blood pressure monitors for example, should seamlessly flow into apps, so patients can easily view information and make decisions.

3. Enable consumers to share information with loved ones. Maybe you’re a parent, or someone who’s caring for an aging parent. You also need to participate in conversations about care decisions and care plans. Technology should enable this fluid dialogue and tap into this cultural shift of sharing data with each other.

4. Make it easy for caregivers to engage. Time is precious, and for many of us, we cringe at the thought of one more login, password or sign-on. Whatever technology platform you choose to engage consumers, make sure care teams can have simple access from a secure browser and the engagement aligns with the clinical workflow.

5. Get in the right mind set. Whether you are embarking on a new “digital front door”, post-surgery communication, or medication alerts, the historical approach to patients needs to change. It’s time to evolve from the old approach of “Passivity” to a new “Predictive and Participatory” mind set and way of conducting business.

6. Keep learning for smarter, more personalized engagements. Technology can now help you have more engaging and personal conversations with your patients. Experts forecast that new technologies, like Conversational AI, will be a core aspect to learning and collecting patient health data to deliver the tailored experiences healthcare consumers are seeking.

Bottom line: we need to remove friction and create better experiences.

Healthcare no longer has permission to deliver long, arduous interactions. Organizations must find ways to fit into people’s lives and exceed expectations. We must do more than just have episodic transactions with patients. Today it’s about delivering meaningful and personalized conversational experiences that create value in our relationships.

Chris Edwards is the Chief Marketing & Experience Officer at Conversa Health, which health systems are referring to as “healthcare’s AI care navigator” delivering automated, personalized digital conversations between providers and patients. Recently Frost & Sullivan recognized Conversa with the industry’s Top Patient Engagement Technology Leadership Award. Chris has a passion to help healthcare deliver better experiences, and can be followed on twitter @chrissedwards.

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