Perspective on the EY Future of Health Survey 2018.

Something that caught my eye out of the US last week was EY’s most recent Future of Health Survey.

In this US survey of 2,455 consumers, 152 clinicians and 195 executives, EY sought to understand how people think digital technologies will improve overall population health and which strategic initiatives are the priority.

Among the findings, the survey found that 91% of US healthcare businesses have undertaken or plan to undertake a technology initiative to improve the patient experience in the next 12 months. This is a startlingly high figure and shows health service businesses finally catching up with other sectors who already understand the benefits that flow from effective customer engagement and satisfaction.

In all industries there is a strong correlation between good customer experiences and good financial results. In a health setting, good patient experiences are also closely correlated to good health outcomes, making the business case for investing in patient experience a no brainer.

An interesting observation is the greater confidence in the future that organisations feel when they commit to measuring and improving customer experiences. The survey found that healthcare businesses that have adopted technology to improve the patient experience in the past 12 months are significantly more likely to feel well prepared for the future.

The EY results show that successful patient-centred transformation needs to be supported by robust patient-centric data that covers the entirety of the patient’s journey through the healthcare system. Cemplicity’s experience supports this finding; successful programmes need to be automated, designed to reach all patients at key points in their service experience and reporting must be timely.

Less than half of businesses EY surveyed had leveraged analytics to inform performance improvements in the past 12 months. However, 50% of respondents did say they were planning initiatives in this area in the coming year.

Overall, I am not surprised by the growing understanding of how digital technology can be used to measure and enhance patient experiences. However, I am pleased by the increasing recognition by health services that taking patient experiences seriously is important to their very survival, if they want to maintain relevancy in this era of consumer choice.

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