Recently Nader Mherabi of the NYU Langone Medical Center published an intriguing article that challenges healthcare systems to “transform themselves into digitally enabled institutions.” By “digitally enabled,” Nader means organizations that incorporate digital health technologies to improve the patient experience as opposed to simply embracing high tech for the sake of embracing high tech. He cites a few exciting examples, based on the efforts of NYU Langone Medical Center:

 

  • Technologies such as electronic health record systems create a foundation for enhancing the patient experience. Setting the foundation with data “allows [NYU Lagone Medical Center] to continually improve and remain agile as we explore new technologies and capabilities.”

 

  • Tools such as personalized, online portals improve the patient experience throughout the entire patient journey, before, during, and after patients receive care. As Nader writes, “Focusing on the entire patient journey, we have digitized many of the traditional in-person or paper activities involved, and have empowered patients with tools they need before, during, and after they visit.”

 

Our take: setting a foundation for care goes hand in hand with creating a better experience well beyond a hospital visit. At SIM Partners, we believe the three elements of providing great care locally are data, content, and experience. Nader’s article focuses on how digital enhances the experience.

 

In addition, setting the proper foundation means combining accurate data about your providers and facilities with deep content, such as your providers’ mission statements and information about patient wellness care. Medical centers need to ensure that their provider and facility data (such as names, addresses, and phone numbers) are kept accurate and shared wherever patients search for care. On the other hand, content helps patients choose the right provider after patients have located them.

 

Providing a great experience goes well beyond the four walls of a hospital. For instance, publishing user-friendly, find-a-provider directories contributes to a successful experience (and those online directories are often a patient’s first exposure to your hospital).

 

Providing better experiences through digital is one of the hot-button topics in PwC’s Top Health Industry Issues of 2017. PwC challenges healthcare systems to ambitiously examine a wide range of emerging technologies:

 

The health industry lags behind other industries, such as retail and telecommunications, in the deployment of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, drones and virtual reality. Yet these technological innovations loom on the health industry’s horizon with great potential to disrupt. 2017 is the year to prepare for the eventual arrival of these technologies and their impacts on business models, operations, workforce needs and cybersecurity risks.
I agree with Nader Mherabi: it’s not the adoption of emerging technology that matters — it’s using technology to improve the patient experience. Contact us to discuss how we can help you use location marketing technology to improve your patient experience.