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Jul 1 2013   1:00PM GMT

Customer experience management: 5 key considerations for healthcare providers

Posted by: Jenny Laurello
Accountable Care Organizations, Customer relationship management, EHR implementation, HIMSS 2013

baskar mohanGuest post by Baskar Mohan, director, healthcare practice, Virtusa Corporation

A few months ago, I attended the HIMSS 2013 conference in New Orleans. It was an excellent experience because I was able to see how healthcare providers are preparing for EHR and EMR implementations. This is certainly a very good first step. However, some provider organizations have started to look at the accountable care organization (ACO) model and recognized its potential to transform treatment for patients and provide a great customer experience. In this highly customer-centric world, providers should focus on transforming and managing the customer experience.

There is no better time than now to evaluate how to treat customers during care and before they enter the hospital facility. This starts with creating a fully functional, fully optimized website geared towards the customer. This is important because it is the first interaction customers will have with your hospital.  A hospital should start by addressing this initial interaction, which will be done through various devices like laptops and other handheld devices. Building a robust customer portal is an important task that needs to be undertaken with utmost care.

I would like to address five key areas that providers should focus on while embarking on this journey of turning their static websites into more robust, fully functional, customer experience websites.

Visual design: This is the most important aspect of the requirements phase and requires the most amount of time. The recommendation is to create a responsive design even if there is no immediate plan make the site mobile-friendly. You will save a lot of effort and time if this is taken care of upfront, and the website visitors will get the information they are looking for at their convenience.

Content migration: Spend time on making sure the right content is migrated to the new website. The process can be less painful if the migration can be automated once the content has been finalized. This will also allow you to prioritize the information that is most important or most searched for.

Customer relationship management (CRM): This in an area neglected by providers that often sends frustrated customers to competitors. To avoid losing customers, make sure that contact information is readily available, and also have the links for patients and families, health professionals and researchers prominently located on the front page. If there was one area I would focus on it would be this one. It is estimated that hospitals lose 10% percent of their potential revenue due to poor CRM systems.

Content authoring: Put authoring power in the hands of the business and free IT to focus on maintenance and support. This will ensure that your message comes across exactly as you would like it to, and allows IT the ability to devote their time and resources to ensuring the backend runs smoothly. This way we ensure Doing this guarantees that the content on the website is always fresh and geared towards the customer. Most of today’s websites are outdated due to the fact that they do not have a proper content authoring environment coupled with a robust workflow for content approvals.

Taxonomy driven search: This is the most heavily used feature on a website. The key here is to provide the right content at the right time for the customer. Make sure this feature is implemented carefully with the utmost detail in mind. This is especially necessary for the websites of health providers, as customers generally visit the website with a specific purpose. Also, care should be taken to display the most appropriate and relevant content to the user by leveraging some of the latest search techniques.

Providers will have a successful EHR implementation and a robust, helpful and customizable website if they focus on the aforementioned areas. In my next blog, I will focus on the business side of customer experience management implementations. Stay tuned!

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