How healthcare companies can benefit from shifting their focus from volume-based care to overall well-being and patient experience using Service Design.

Today healthcare is looked at as a series of discrete events managed by different organisations or service providers. Hospitals are structured in silos, health-tech companies are creating products in pockets, insurance companies are worried about mortality, and pharma companies are concerned only about their products’ efficacy and safety. These divisions into silos or innovations in pockets make sense to the hospital or a health-tech company or a pharma company but make no sense to the patient who sees and feels the entire service as one experience.

The concept of innovation in healthcare is often in the form of equipment, devices or medical technique. Recent research shows redesigning processes and practises to improve patient satisfaction can be positively associated with clinically successful outcomes and patient experience. Across the health care industry, companies need to organise their businesses around what the ‘humans’ in their customers need and feel. Healthcare is moving from a focus on physician-reported outcomes and volume-based care to overall well-being and the patient experience.

The value delivered by the product or service should be seen in totality, from learning about it, choosing and buying it, to using it. Service design creates easy, distinctive, and rewarding customer experiences that can unlock value by boosting loyalty, reducing dropouts and migration, and making companies stand out from their competition.

Service design is a user-centric approach that focuses on holistic service experiences. Methods like service blueprints, customer journeys and scenarios investigates the holistic experience and touchpoints. This involves designing the functionality, safety, and reliability of the product or service and the whole journey as it is experienced by the users, including both tangible and intangible qualities.

Service Experience and Digital Transformation in healthcare and health-tech sectors should be tightly intertwined for better patient health outcomes, overall patient experience and wellbeing. Health-tech companies can’t hope to change their customer experience and generate better outcomes without transforming their business functions across the value chain. However, it is important to understand that digital alone isn’t enough when applying service design thinking. Offline and online channels must be considered at every touchpoint.

The service Design approach combines ‘human-centred’ design, behavioural science and data analytics to identify deep insights that have the power to drive innovation across the healthcare ecosystem. More than ever, health-tech solutions need to be innovative to change behaviours, improve outcomes, and reduce costs. The first step in designing a seamless service experience is crafting an experience strategy. The focus must be on the front-end and back-end process integration and should be orchestrated to manage the entire healthcare journey.

Digital transformation, change management, and the careful design of touch-points in online and offline channels impact the customer/ patient experience. Only when these complex ecosystems are considered in their full context, centred on the humans they are meant to help, will lasting success be created.

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Author: Shekhar Badve

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