In the world of business, you either join the game or you’re left behind. This world is constantly evolving at light speed and unless you’re open to changes and adopt new practices, then your business won’t be able to stay afloat. In this sense, it’s quite peculiar how the health industry has survived for too long without getting on board with today’s trends. Perhaps it’s because the customers don’t really have any other options. Nevertheless, healthcare sectors and their customers alike would benefit greatly from implementing some changes. The best they can do is to take a leaf out of an alternative field’s book, one that operates with as much weight and responsibility. We’re talking about the financial sector.
Here are the top 7 strategies the healthcare industry can learn from financial services:
1. Turning Services into Products
There was a time when customers who needed to schedule an appointment with their financial advisor to plan for their retirement had to go through so much hassle only to change the allocation of their assets in their financial portfolio, and they had to do that at an appropriate time before retirement. Today, this process is easily done through target-date funds, simply by accessing their account.
Switching your business from providing services to offering products makes it so much easier for your clients and for you as well. Fortunately, this same practice can be applied in the healthcare industry. Instead of forcing your patients into booking appointments and traveling long distances, giving them the equipment that allows them to monitor their own conditions, will improve their compliance. This will also make your job easier in tracking their behavior and providing guidance. It’s surely a win-win situation for everyone.
2. Utilizing Technology
Speaking of optimizing your business for your customers, the financial sector has long since realized the importance of modifying their products and services to match all customers’ needs, wherever they are and whenever they want. Thanks to the technological tools we have today, anyone can use their credit cards to withdraw money from an ATM or even deposit cash into it. The equivalent of this practice would be Electronic Health Records for the healthcare industry. Even though it’s been heard of, there’s still a long way for it to be adopted effectively.
3. Optimizing the Customer’s Journey
Online banking is thriving today, and this shows just how much customers have come to love online services. What countless healthcare providers fail to realize is that their patients’ journey is not limited to the point of contact they have with them. In this world, their journey starts long before they visit them and extend for long after. A good example in the healthcare industry would be how Medicare is available to enroll online; although, as explained on this website, you’ll still be limited to an enrollment window, you’ll still be able to access the online form anywhere you are and find the regulations and policies of your specific area. It is undeniably convenient to finish this task in the comfort of your own couch.
4. Personalizing Customer Experience
Not all clients are the same. Financial sectors understand this; they develop different programs and financial aids, some of which tailored to fit the exact needs of their clients. When applying this strategy in the healthcare industry, healthcare providers dealing with patients will acquire new skills in order to address a client’s specific needs at any given time, instead of going through a routine checkup.
5. Centralizing Customers
Lack of patient centricity remains a big issue in today’s world, one that’s exaggerated by enhanced patient awareness and improved access to information. The patient needs to be heard and to feel they’re part of the decision-making process. This has been achieved in the financial services that empower clients to make their own decisions, offering them guidance only whenever they need it.
6. Providing Security Proof
It’s true that the healthcare industry has tried to implement a number of changes, such as Electronic Health Records for hospital finance solutions. However, anyone in the financial sector knows how such information is highly private and valuable; that’s how they deal with their own clients’ information. Without a secure system like that present in banks, patients can’t trust EHRs with their personal information.
7. Integrating Big Data
Solving security issues should come first for the healthcare industry, followed right away by integrating Big Data in the systems. Financial services have excelled in leveraging Big Data to provide their customers with tailored recommendations and guidance, and the same would prove beneficial for patients as well.
The financial sector wasn’t always in on the latest business trends. But once they adopted the mindset of centralizing customers, they were able to significantly improve their performance and customer satisfaction. There’s still a long road ahead of the healthcare industry, but, thankfully, it can certainly benefit from learning a thing or two from financial services.