The patient experience continues to evolve as a result of the inroads that big tech and retail are making in the healthcare marketplace. As technology plays an ever-increasing role in digitizing the relationship between patients and providers, it is important to engage with thought leaders to gain insight into the evolution of modern healthcare that’s transpiring right now all around us.
Our webinar, Examining the Impact of Retail and Big Tech in Healthcare — Through the Vendor Lens, focuses on the evolving healthcare market from the vendor perspective. In Part 1 of our blog recapping this webinar, Matt Dickson, senior vice president, product, strategy, and GM at Stericycle Communication Solutions, and Carrie Liken, head of industry, healthcare at Yext, will share insights regarding strategies that traditional healthcare systems can implement to remain competitive and foster patient loyalty while facing competition from major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and CVS.
Non-Traditional Players’ Market Presence and Approach to Value-Based Care
As non-traditional healthcare players like Walmart and CVS strike partnerships that include deals with UnitedHealth and Signify Health, respectively, retailers and big tech — in a relatively short span of time –are continuing to increase their healthcare market presence. And although retail giant Amazon recently announced it will shut down its in-house telehealth service at the end of the year, Amazon appears to remain committed to making inroads in healthcare following its $3.9 billion acquisition last month of primary care provider One Medical.
As major retailers spend billions to acquire healthcare providers and, in so doing, advance their healthcare services strategy, they are also building value-based provider networks. Value-based care models, in which reimbursement for care is based on factors that include the quality of care provided and patient outcomes, are intended to spark fundamental changes in the way healthcare is managed and paid for.
Value-based care seeks to potentially replace the U.S. health system’s reliance on quantity-based fee-for-service care by holding health systems responsible for cost control and increasing the quality of care they provide. Put another way, value-based care is focused on quality versus quantity. By partnering with healthcare providers that have spent years building and refining value-based care strategies, non-traditional players in healthcare are accelerating their expertise in value-based care.
How Traditional Healthcare Systems Can Remain Competitive
By understanding consumers — a competitive advantage that retailers have spent decades honing – and utilizing that knowledge to serve patients, retailers in the space have differentiated themselves from traditional healthcare systems. Historically, health systems haven’t prioritized focusing on the healthcare consumer’s experience to the same degree that retailers do. By taking the same approach as retailers and focusing on a patient’s need from the perspective of the patient, traditional healthcare systems will be able to better compete with the skilled retail giants that have entered the market.
Convenience as it relates to the patient journey is another factor that traditional health systems need to focus on to remain competitive in a changing environment. Simplicity and ease-of-use are what make retail websites such as Amazon so popular with consumers – by going to the site, searching for what they need, and finding it, the shopping and buying experience is easy to initiate and can be quickly completed with a few clicks of a mouse.
Healthcare systems that implement a patient engagement platform that replicates the convenience retailers offer consumers will become more competitive with non-traditional players. For example, One Medical has a mobile app that enables patients to book an appointment with a doctor, set up a virtual appointment, or book a COVID-19 consultation. The options available through the app are simple, narrow in scope, and highly convenient for patients to use.
In part two of this blog series, we’ll examine how healthcare systems can educate patients on navigating the care options that are available to them, instill confidence in managing their patient journey, and identify challenges that vendors are likely to face in the future as big tech and retail continue to disrupt the healthcare landscape.