Patient experience is a buzzword in healthcare, but health systems may not be investing enough in consumer preferences, says Dr. Maulik Majmudar, chief medical officer and co-founder. Biofourmis.
“If you look at what patients are used to in other parts of their lives in the real world, banking or making hotel reservations or airlines or grocery shopping, just like anything else in life, it’s not the same experience they have with health care, right?” he said.
Biofourmis, which offers AI-enabled remote patient monitoring, also recently expanded into care delivery. Before ViVE, Majmudar sat down MobiHealthNews to discuss why healthcare is struggling to invest in the consumer experience and how healthcare systems can improve without overburdening already stressed providers.
MobiHealthNews. Why do you think health systems may struggle to address consumer and patient experience concerns?
Maulik Majmudar. I think there are several factors that come to mind. Part of that is that I’m sure they all recognize the importance of consumer experience and patient experience to drive better brand loyalty or better market penetration or growth. But, in most healthcare systems, the actual execution of that is very distributed, right? There are many different decision makers and many different people involved in how decisions are made and how investments are made. It’s very complex, I think organizationally and structurally, and it’s a little difficult to act on some of those ideas.
Second, it is culturally difficult to adopt from all the different aspects of the health care system. To know about all the priorities of a health system, a hospital, how do you prioritize the patient experience when they’re also concerned about quality and cost and labor shortages and bed capacity and all these other things they’re worried about?
The third, I’m sure, is the value equation. How does one actually monetize or think about the monetary value of that consumer experience? It’s different if you’re in the hospitality industry and your entire business revolves around customer loyalty and customer experience. In healthcare, patients do not typically make choices based on experience alone. It’s the brand and the clinical care that goes with it. So I think it’s a different equation, a complicated equation to really understand the ROI, the return on investment for consumer preferences. I guess it’s not as black and white as one might think. So that’s probably part of the reason. The people responsible for patient experience can’t always convince their C-suites to prioritize it over all the other things they worry about.
MHN: What actionable information do you think health systems have about the patient experience at the outset? And do you think they might actually need any inroads in this area?
Majmudar: They do have data though, right? If you think about traditional patient experience surveys, they are required by Leapfrog or required by some quality standards from CMS and elsewhere. There are patient surveys for inpatient, there are patient surveys for outpatient care in CG-CAHPS and HCAHPS. There are all these different tools that people use to capture patient experiences.
So I think there’s probably more than enough data at this point to know that patients are voting with their feet and their experience is important. They have choices. They shop for services. But the type of patients who have that experience, I think, is variable.
So, for example, there are different patient populations that prioritize the patient experience differently. If you have a 65-year-old woman with multiple chronic conditions who has had multiple procedures at a facility, that patient is going to be extremely connected to the local health care system, right? The records are there, the doctors are there, he knows those doctors well. There is a long history of care and it will be very difficult for him to change care to a new provider.
You are taking a 45-year-old male patient with absolutely no past medical history who is attending a primary care visit for the first time. That patient has many choices. They can choose direct primary care, they can choose concierge care, they can choose telemedicine virtual care or a local hospital clinic. They have many, many choices. So hospitals need to figure out which patient populations they’re trying to serve and how they’re prioritizing those patient segments, so they can then decide how they want to invest in driving better experiences.
MHN: Supplier burnout and staff shortages have become an even more pressing topic since the pandemic. How do you sort of manage the consumer experience while not overwhelming the clinical staff?
Majmudar: If you don’t have a satisfied and happy clinical care team, how can they do their best work serving their patients? I think they are correlated, but I don’t think patient experience necessarily means worse provider burden. I think you can have a phenomenal patient experience and still have satisfied providers if you’re given the right tools and technology or support to do the job well.
If someone said patient experience means you can see a patient 24 hours a day and your clinic is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., maybe that adds to the provider’s burden. But if you said you have tools to automate documentation or accounting or coding, or you have a medical scribe to support documentation, or you have a virtual clinical team as opposed to a physical brick-and-mortar office clinic team, and it’s different teams that can take on patients. burden to see. I believe there are ways to design care delivery and care models that don’t overburden clinical staff and still provide convenience and access and a better experience for patients and consumers.
Joe Drygas and Randy Bush will elaborate on the HIMSS23 “5G Advantage: advanced connectivity for life sciences and healthcare” during the session. It is scheduled for Friday, April 21st from 10:30 – 11:30 CT in the South Building, Level 1, Room S105 C.