Healthcare organizations will need to leverage artificial intelligence and create engaging user experiences to see success in 2019, Forrester predicts.
Data Analytics 2019- Healthcare organizations that want to get ahead in 2019 will need to prioritize the use of artificial intelligence, virtualized care, and technologies that offer intuitive user experiences, according to Forrester’s predictions for the upcoming year.
The ability to aggregate, analyze, and utilize big data to identify business opportunities and engage users will become even more valuable as traditional healthcare entities battle for market supremacy against a new wave of technology powerhouses, the survey-based brief says.
“Major disruptors, like Amazon and Walmart, will make good on their promises, delivering the personalized experiences that customers have been yearning for from healthcare organizations (HCOs),” the report projects, leaving providers and payers with a strong imperative to leverage the data they have to offer similar benefits to users.
“HCOs need to develop raving fans to survive, as all sectors face the entrance of new disruptors looking to own more of the customer journey,” Forrester added. “They must build digital experiences, including virtual care, based on an understanding of the customer’s evolving needs. Great customer experiences will be crucial to drive loyalty and revenue.”
Advanced analytics capabilities, including the use of tools driven by artificial intelligence, will be required to fulfill these expectations.
Healthcare organizations will need to let go of outdated measurement processes and approach the development of user-friendly systems in the same manner as other industries, the report stresses.
Star ratings and CAHPS scores may become less important as providers and health IT developers adopt new measurements for engagement and satisfaction.
“This requires listening to the voice of the customer (VoC) and the employee (VoE),” said the authors. “To drive change, HCOs will move past the delayed feedback and insights of traditional approaches. They will embrace tools to capture real-time VoC and VoE, use other CX metrics (like net promotor score [NPS] and customer effort), and tap into emotion — as other industries have done for years.”
Delighting users by enhancing convenience and quality through virtual care will be an important strategy, Forrester believes.
“It’s the beginning of the end for traditional healthcare delivery,” the report says. “Virtual care encounter volumes have started to outpace those of outpatient care. More patients seek digital experiences that are far more convenient and personalized than physically going to brick-and-mortar locations. Seventy-four percent of US online adults have either used or are interested in using at least one remote health support service. And this number is expected to grow.”
2019 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for healthcare organizations that haven’t yet embraced the ideas of telehealth, secure messaging, and the Internet of Things. Organizations that do not successfully enter the world of virtual care may find themselves being outpaced by new players in the field, such as the combined CVS-Aetna, Walgreens, and Walmart.
These companies have all made convenience and access a priority, both through their retail clinic options and their expanding opportunities for digital engagement.
Consumers who cannot find the assistance they need – at the precise moment they need it – from their primary care providers are likely to turn to these emerging options.
As a result, healthcare organizations will need to do all they can to get ahead of the game. Artificial intelligence is likely to play a major role in enabling predictive analytics and managing patient interactions with providers and payers – even if the customer doesn’t know it.
While some organizations are using AI chatbots and other customer-facing tools, most AI will support back-end functions, such as clinical decision-making, predicting no-shows, or modeling clinical risk.
“In 2019, AI solutions will continue to spread across the healthcare continuum thanks to the promise of improved experiences and outcomes,” Forrester says.
“The key vector will be the growth of commercial AI solutions — from FDA-approved, AI-based diagnostic tools to specialized chatbots for managing patient engagement — that are easy for HCOs to buy, available through enterprise health clouds, and increasingly easy to integrate with existing systems.”
However, organizations may not find it quite as easy to aggregate and normalize the data they will need to train and fuel these tools.