The Keys to Taking a True Consumer-Centric Approach

Today, our healthcare system expects health consumers to behave in a certain way to get the care they need. We expect them to be able to visit a clinic at a certain time, to be able to fill a prescription at a pharmacy, to know the "language of healthcare,” and more. Ultimately, these expectations create barriers, making it more difficult for consumers to access high-quality, affordable care.

By placing the burden on the consumer, we have created an inefficient and ineffective system that generates low consumer engagement rates. Research and experience tell us that disengaged consumers are less healthy and more costly to the entire system. So how do we fix this?  

True and effective consumer engagement doesn't require the consumer to carry the burden. And if we are going to engage consumers in a way that drives better outcomes and delivers best-in-class service, we need to augment conveniences like mobile apps and extended clinic hours with additional resources. This allows us to provide care that is personalized, accessible, and responsive to each consumer’s unique circumstances.

The move toward true consumer-centric care requires a shift in our approach. And we can boil the process down to three key elements:

Deeply Understand the Person

We must prioritize understanding the person behind every patient. And not just at the surface level. We must leverage data and analytics to deepen this understanding and proactively engage consumers through one-on-one interactions to learn about their comprehensive needs beyond an initial clinical diagnosis, but also including other social and environmental factors that may impact their health. In this way, we can truly put consumers front and center, enhancing our knowledge of their specific needs and developing a trusted, ongoing relationship.

Surround Every Person with Individualized Support

Instead of forcing consumers to find and connect with care on our terms, we must surround them with the support that enables them to enter the system when, where, and how it works best for them. This support can take on a variety of different forms from health literacy education to transportation services to behavioral health counseling. Ultimately, these forms of support should provide consumers with a choice for how they access and receive care in a way that is convenient and affordable to them.

Empower the Person to Take Control of Their Health 

By deeply understanding the needs and circumstances of each consumer and surrounding them with a suite of support tools and resources, we empower them to take control of their health, and engage with their doctor or care team as needed throughout their entire healthcare journey. This leads to longstanding, trusted relationships between providers and consumers, better health outcomes, and a seamless, more coordinated care experience.

Overall, to truly put the consumer at the center, we need to shift our approach. We must invest in deeply understanding each consumer, surrounding them with a suite of support tools and resources, and empowering them to proactively take charge of their health. By doing so, we can change how we’ve traditionally approached care and create a model that’s built around the consumer and grounded in the power of trusted, ongoing relationships rather than one-time, episodic encounters.

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