Is it time to move from a linear and reactive healthcare experience to a circular and proactive healthcare journey?
As we go about our day, regardless of the service or product we’re buying, we’ve become accustomed to ubiquitous data and technology enabling faster, easier, and more enjoyable customer experiences. As a result, our lives are more convenient and we’re often able to save precious time that we can utilise on more important things. COVID-19 has accelerated these consumer expectations and placed a spotlight firmly on the healthcare sector.
COVID-19 has also forced us as individuals to take a closer look at our health and adapt to a rapidly evolving healthcare experience. And, as our ability to travel, attend events and spend time with loved ones has been restricted, vaccine passports and our health records have become front of mind for many.
The Linear Patient Journey
In many sectors, data and technology have enabled organisations and governments to implement vastly improved customer experiences that would not have otherwise been possible. But, despite superhuman efforts from the healthcare sector over the last 2 years in response to COVID, the patient journey remains a reactive and linear experience. This is no surprise, given the complexity of the journey and number of different entities that are involved.
When an individual has a health problem, they usually embark on this journey, where they interact with healthcare providers in a linear fashion. Health records are kept by individual providers or institutions that often don’t talk to each other, doctors’ appointments are usually transactional and at a time when the patient is reacting to symptoms, and the doctor doesn’t have access to all the potential patient data that could be made available to them. Ultimately, patients are the only consistent throughout a patient journey that might involve several providers, yet they don’t own their data
The Patient Lifecycle Today
But, for a moment, imagine if we could move away from this linear, reactive journey and create a proactive circular experience; A patient journey that gives the patient ownership of all of their data in one place, making us all adept co-producers of better personal health, which in turn would allow service providers to collaborate and operate in a more targeted way.
A McKinsey report noted that the pandemic caused a massive acceleration in the use of telehealth, with U.S. consumer adoption soaring from 11% in 2019 to 46% now using it in lieu of face-to-face healthcare visits since May 2020. The pandemic has also led to increased dependence on technology to support remote patient care monitoring, tele-behavioural and tele-psychology, and the use of organization-approved, integrated apps that can support patient interactions and engagement. Could this be the start of a revolutionised healthcare experience?
Leveraging Service Design to Reimagine the Patient Journey
We’re not healthcare experts, but we love helping those that are to design services and experiences that make the world a better place. We regularly look at the SIGNALS – things we can observe in the world today, that provide a glimpse into what the future might look like. These signals allow us to draw out themes, from which we can imagine how we might design for the challenges and opportunities ahead.
With this in mind, and with insights gleaned from our partners and clients in the healthcare ecosystem, we’ve begun to reimagine what the patient experience of the future might look like. The model below visualises what this might look like, centred around a Single Patient Record:
The Patient Lifecycle Reimagined
In this Think and Make series, we’ll be exploring each of the 4 Pillars of this journey (Stay Healthy; Pre-Diagnosis; Diagnosis; Treatment) and addressing some of the big challenges and questions it raises. Achieving this would by no means be easy, but it would mean patients are more informed, more in control, receive a better patient experience and ultimately far better health outcomes
One Common Enabler
Digital Health is a large and complex area, but could The Electronic Health Records (EHR) be the single common enabler?
In the UK, the NHS have has already invested significantly into the EHR, which dynamically and systematically registers your medical history and can be shared across medical institutions to provide more personalised and potentially more proactive healthcare services.
In the UAE, the Alhosn app, created in partnership between the Ministry of Health and Prevention and local health authorities, has also played a key role in protecting citizens by sharing health data in the fight against COVID-19.
But technology and data alone are not enough. We need to leverage this platform to bring healthcare providers together, to enable a patient experience that matches the needs of todays consumer, and future proofs against the expectations of tomorrows consumer; A journey that gives the patient ownership of all of their data in one place, making us all adept co-producers of better personal health, and enabling service providers to collaborate and operate in a more targeted way.
Click here to read more on this Healthcare Think and Make series, where we explore the first pillar of a reimagined patient journey – Staying Healthy
Or better still – join the conversation and have the opportunity to influence this discussion with our expert panel including David Hadley from Mediclinic and Dean Pollard from Bupa. This British Business Group event, sponsored by Engine Service Design, can be attended either live and in person if you are in Dubai, or virtually if you are anywhere else in the world.
Book time with a Service Design expert