The healthcare industry might be fraught with turmoil, but the industry is also full of exciting change for providers and patients alike.

As I discuss in a recently published column for Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review, patients have more opportunities than ever to research the care they need. They can visit a wide range of touch points such as social media and third-party physician review sites to find care. They can use scheduling tools on smart phones to book appointments, and after they’ve received care, they might use their smart watches and devices to monitor their health using a provider’s wellness program. These devices and channels have helped patients act like savvy multichannel consumers.

For providers, the opportunity is to respond to the rise of the multichannel consumer. As I assert in the column, succeeding in an omnichannel world requires healthcare systems to provide a connected patient experience across the entire patient journey, from awareness to choosing care. Doing so means harnessing data and contextual content to guide patients through the right touch points at the right time.

But thriving in a multichannel world is no slam dunk, and doing so does not happen overnight. Medical providers need to undertake a number of steps, such as understanding their patients’ journeys, creating a foundation with location data, optimizing content for each channel and device, and combining data, content, and the user experience to create patient access. Check out my column to learn more, and contact us to discuss how SIM Partners can help you improve patient acquisition and retention in a multichannel world.