I was recently doing some research on another topic and found this global healthcare survey. It was conducted this past summer by Salesforce (of all companies) who surveyed 6,000 consumers about their expectations for healthcare in this new digital and connected era. Salesforce has been investing in “new” healthcare over the past year, first by hiring Ash Zenooz, MD to head up their healthcare efforts and then with active efforts to improve the use of CRM in healthcare. Salesforce has has done previous research on healthcare consumers and the broad conclusions aren’t very surprising, on two fronts. First, consumers have grown accustomed to ready, coordinated, and personalized access to services in general and expect the same from healthcare; and second, healthcare is not delivering. With only 2,000 people interviewed in the US, the results probably aren’t statistically valid, but I am confident that interviewing 20,000 or 200,000 people would lead to the same outcomes. Again, not surprising but nonetheless still disappointing.
Right at the outset, the report states:
“The patient or member receiving personalized, proactive engagement from retailers, for instance, may wonder why their provider, their insurer, or other parts of the healthcare and life sciences ecosystem can’t do the same.”
Furthermore, it highlights:
“Almost half of consumers — including 57% of Americans — say the healthcare and life sciences industries are more focused on their own needs than those of patients.”
And finally, the point of my post:
“69% of consumers say that extraordinary retail experiences from retail companies raise their expectations for healthcare companies.”
Big Retail is quickly raising the bar for healthcare to follow. I have previously discussed the absolute need to fundamentally rethink through how we are serving healthcare consumers. I personally believe that Service Design (as described here and here) is essentially non-existent in healthcare due to its monopolistic history (limited options, network lock ins, and constand demand), underlying power balance (physicians as only source of truth), and its unfortunate payment model (fee for service creating unnatural and unhelpful incentives). Little in traditional healthcare is designed to delight the end user – and it really shows.
Among the other findings (like patients researching and self-diagnosing because they can and no one else is helping), the report notes that fragmentation in the health sector has forced consumers to take on the job of connecting the dots between providers and between their various areas of care and health. The level of difficulty in doing this work is not described specifically, but when added to the burden and complexity of managing insurance benefits and healthcare costs, the frustration index is certainly through the roof. The list continues with the standing request and cross-generational expectation of more digital, always-on, and responsive systems like the ones we are developing in the Connected System of Health.
Big Retail has done an excellent job of creating “full stack” experiences that aggregate, organize, and streamline consumption options. Given the multitude of retail organizations that can do this flawlessly, the inadequacies of the neolithic Big Health consumer efforts stand out in sharp—and painful—contrast. But then again, so does Crossover Health. We have laid out our Master Plan, sent fan mail to future Health (Diva), and introduced our roadmap for “One Nation Under Health.” While we can safely assume that the “extraordinary experience” is very rare within healthcare, at Crossover Health, we plan to be the exception to exceptional health. We plan to learn from, build on, and improve the very best in retail to become the very best in health.