Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Top 4 Trends in the Digital Healthcare Experience

With Sitecore Symposium in our rearview mirror and HCIC just around the corner, I wanted the chance to write about the most important insight and knowledge you need to  Own the Digital Healthcare Experience. Both Vadim Dolt and I were fortunate to speak on this subject and show how Rightpoint is helping transform the patient experience in healthcare, and we are excited to present our Top 4 Trends in the Digital Healthcare Experience:

Trend #1 – Healthcare organizations are focusing on customer experience and selecting the Sitecore Experience Platform to help them improve it.

This trend is driven by the convergence of ever increasing customer experience expectations and a wave of industry consolidation in healthcare. These two forces are creating a need for experience management technology within healthcare organizations that can create richly contextual experiences at scale, across multiple sites and brands, all while providing both brand consistency and supporting unique service offerings. These factors, combined with the Healthcare industry’s pre-existing reliance on Microsoft technologies, have made Sitecore the de-facto choice to help solve the Healthcare customer experience challenge.

Trend #2 – Healthcare organizations are looking to create a more personalized digital experience that shows they know their patients.

Just like most other industries, personalization is a crucial trend in Healthcare.  A common first step organizations are taking in improving their digital experience is called autonomous personalization, which is used to target content based on key elements they know about visitors, even when they are not logged in. This includes healthcare organizations using the time of day to make an assumption about a visitor’s wants and needs, and using a visitor’s historical behavior on the site or prior to coming to the site (i.e. search terms or referring URL’s) to suggest preferred content. Planning out all of this personalization can be a daunting task in content strategy, it is recommended to roll personalization out in smaller and measurable chunks.

In addition to anonymous personalization, Healthcare organizations are also looking for ways to provide personalized, contextually relevant content to their patients. This can be through the use of personalized email campaigns, sharing relevant content to patients based on their known medical history, or through the use of publishing personalized marketing content into Patient portals through the use of Sitecore’s Federated Experience Manager.

Trend #3 – Connecting onsite and online experiences is becoming a necessity for healthcare organizations.

Healthcare organizations are consciously trying to integrate their onsite and online experiences.  How they are doing this varies quite a bit and can even be as subtle as integrating visual, physical, and digital design systems. UPMC and Rightpoint were able to provide a subtle integration for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (, where the design of the physical space of the hospital was coordinated with the visual and user interface design of the website to present patients with a familiar experience, regardless of how they interacted with CHP. For example, the color schemes and edge treatments on the website are abstractions of environmental signage throughout the hospital bringing patients a consistent experience online and onsite.

Another significant way Healthcare organizations are looking to connect their onsite and online experiences is through content.  This can be challenging because the content for the website needs to be accurate to a localized level; however, many local operations typically don’t have the ability to have marketing copywriters on staff. To deal with this, organizations are creating Digital Centers of Excellence staffed with experts who can support local operations, and curate and enrich locally produced content to ensure consist content, all while not sacrificing the local operation’s ability to differentiate and accurately depict their offerings.

Trend #4 – Customer Experience Expectations are being set from outside Healthcare.

Patients are no longer basing their expectations on in-industry healthcare competitors. Rather, patients are looking at the everyday customer experiences they engage as the basis of what the customer experience in healthcare should be. Taking note of rising customer experience expectations, healthcare organizations are looking at customer experience leaders regardless of industry to help ensure the best possible experience. Now customer experiences, such as Amazon’s ability to anticipate what a consumer is looking for and Starbuck’s ability to welcome customers by name, are being used as models for customer experience in the healthcare industry. This trend of rising expectations will only continue to accelerate, pushing healthcare organizations to keep a watchful eye on how other brands, regardless of industry, are setting the bar for customer experience.