Guest post by Chris Edwards

It’s here. We are living in the Conversation Economy. With the proliferation of messaging platforms and mobile devices, we live in an always-on, on-demand culture with instant access to each other. We “like,” we “comment” and we “share” – everything we do speaks. It has changed the way we communicate and has influenced our expectations of experiences with businesses.

However, focusing on consumer experience is still a relatively new trend in healthcare. Patients today are expecting more than just episodic care transactions; they’re behaving like consumers and want personalized, easy interactions with providers.

Is your organization ready to successfully engage consumers in the Conversation Economy? As you plot your strategic business initiatives and use of technology, here are six areas to consider:

1) Offer consumers full, immediate access to their healthcare information. To have meaningful conversations and interactions, consumers should have full access to their own records. Consumers should own their health data, and access is valuable to them. Patient-generated health data is a key ingredient in healthcare’s conversation economy.

2) Meet consumers where they are. Technology should enable consumers to engage wherever they are. Wearables or other home devices, such as weight scales or blood pressure monitors, should seamlessly flow into a consumer’s life, so information can be easily viewed and decisions easily made.

3) Make it easy for caregivers to engage. Time is precious, and for many of us, we cringe at the thought of one more login, password or sign-on. Whatever technology platform you choose to engage consumers, make sure care teams can have simple access from a secure browser.

4) Response time affects the experience. According to Parks Associates research, 72% of consumers using text messaging and secure email would tolerate a response that takes two hours. It also found that more than 70% of consumers would NOT wait more than 15 minutes when reaching out to medical professionals for real-time voice or video consultations.

5) Enable consumers to share information with loved ones. Maybe you’re a parent, or someone who’s caring for an aging parent. You also need to participate in conversations about care decisions and care plans. Technology should enable this fluid dialogue.

6) Keep learning for smarter, more personalized conversations. For technology to improve engagement and care coordination, it will need to deliver a natural experience. That type of technology has arrived and industry analysts forecast that it is still on the rise. Conversational AI and systems that leverage and learn from patient health data will deliver the tailored experiences healthcare consumers are seeking.

Bottom line: we need to remove friction and create better experiences. And the right technology is available today to help us do that. Healthcare no longer has permission to deliver long, arduous interactions. Organizations must find ways to fit into people’s lives and exceed expectations. We must do more than just have episodic transactions with patients. Today, it’s about delivering meaningful and personalized conversational experiences that create value in our relationships.

About the Author

Chris Edwards is the Chief Marketing & Experience Officer at Conversa Health, which health systems are referring to as “healthcare’s AI care navigator.” Chris has been running global strategy and marketing for healthcare technology B2B and B2C companies for over 20 years. He has been a thought leader and industry speaker at many international digital health events over the last several years. He has a passion to help healthcare deliver better experiences, and can be followed on Twitter @chrissedwards.

This piece was submitted as a guest post to Validic™. Validic neither endorses nor makes any claims as to the accuracy of the statements made in this post. The author’s contact information is provided for follow up.
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