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Consumerism in Healthcare: Understanding the Person Behind the Patient

“It’s been said that ‘Our best experiences anywhere become our expectations everywhere.’ Nowhere is this truer than in healthcare where there has been a lag in the adoption of consumer-friendly technologies that deliver a good customer experience.” – Josh Newman

Consumerism in healthcare has been a topic for the past 10 years, but this idea is now coming into its own. Josh Newman, MD MSHS and Chief Medical Officer at Salesforce, spoke about the state of consumerism—connecting with the person behind the patient—in his breakout session at HIMSS in Orlando on February 22, 2017. Here are the takeaways from Josh’s insightful presentation:

Consumerism in Healthcare = The Customer Experience

Ten years ago, we thought that consumerism meant that people were going to purchase and consume healthcare services the same way they consume TVs, cars and travel. Today, consumerism isn’t so much about what the patient or consumer is choosing or doing, but the experience Healthcare organizations deliver for them.

Three technology-enabled strategies can help bring these experiences to market:

  • Personalizing the patient experience by implementing cloud, mobile and social technologies.
  • Using analytics to capture insights for continuous engagement.
  • Giving patients access to their health information on any device.

Consumerism in Healthcare = Collaboration

Pharma, payors, life sciences and vendors create the infrastructure that helps patients get better. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software helps organizations deliver delightful experiences for consumers that build loyalty, ongoing learning and value.

Consumerism in Healthcare = Combining Business & Clinical Data

For 18 years, Salesforce has been helping healthcare organizations sell their products and services, using sales automation in the cloud. Life sciences companies sold products and payors sold group services through brokers and providers (doctors, nurses, hospitals and systems). Ancillary providers, like Walgreens, who had both business and clinical interests, packaged patient and clinical information in the Salesforce CRM System because they needed to deliver a consumer experience to patients, in addition to clinical information to payors and referral sources.

Combining consumer and clinical data ushered in a new era of delivering services directly to consumers or members. Payors started reaching out to and contracting directly with individual members. And Life sciences companies realized that, either because their medications were commoditized or because their medications and devices were so expensive and complex, they had to deliver a whole range of services around those products to ensure the right outcomes.


This is part 1 of a 2 part series discussing Consumerism in Healthcare. You can read part 2 here.

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