Why Loyalty May Be Just the Thing to Breathe New Life into Healthcare

by Rohan Ahire |

The pandemic forced consumers to see healthcare differently. Patients today want a richer experience based on “know me, engage with me, educate me, and take care of me”. They want a healthcare partner.

Patients also are seeking out new ways to get care and telehealth has accelerated the need to integrate in-person and virtual care. The acceleration of digital care makes it even more challenging for providers to build lasting relationships with their patients.

How can you overcome these challenges and build emotional connections with patients? Two good places to start are with empathy and personalization—and loyalty solutions deliver both—opening up a huge opportunity for healthcare providers.

“We live in a world of mass personalization and the organizations that personalize more will build more loyalty.” Philip Clark, Tesco CEO

Personalization may look different in healthcare, but the intention should be the same—delivering a patient experience uniquely tailored to the individual. In healthcare, providers can seek to “package” programs and capabilities to appeal to unique target audiences. The use of an empathetic approach, powered by digital channels, to try to promote faster healing and better outcomes is just getting started but is essential to thriving in today’s competitive healthcare environment.

The top 5 questions that healthcare providers should evaluate before launching a loyalty program and retention strategies.

  • Will it improve patient retention?
  • How would it enhance the overall patient experience and journey?
  • Will it move the patient relationship beyond visits to an empathetic, proactive partnering approach?
  • How would it empower both parties?
  • What do customers need at every touchpoint and how can loyalty help deliver a better experience?

Today’s healthcare patients have access to more health information than ever before—yet still demand more to help them make informed decisions along their healthcare journey. Loyalty solutions create a mutual value exchange that enables healthcare organizations investing in personalization to actively engage patients in their own care and even reward them for certain behaviors, like eating healthier or exercising regularly.

Better Patient Experiences

The pandemic has revealed that patients across all demographics, not just millennials, demand greater personalization and a frictionless experience in their journeys to find, purchase, access, and track care.

For most patients today, turning to their smartphone or computer for health information is a typical behavior—a recent study by Penn Medicine found that health-related internet searches doubled during the week before patients visited a hospital, and 15 percent of patients searched for the location of the emergency department or other logistical information.

Loyalty solutions help healthcare providers collect first-party data at scale and push that data in real-time across their digital infrastructure to deliver the seamless omnichannel experiences that patients expect. And loyalty enables providers to go beyond care interactions and add value across every touchpoint–from booking appointments and billing to community involvement.

 A Better Bottom Line

Loyal patients increase revenues. NRC Health cites that one patient’s lifetime health spending is worth about $1.4 million per individual, $4.2 million per family.

The National Institute of Health reports that loyalty is one of the key factors that enable healthcare providers to improve services and control costs. Caring for loyal patients is simply more cost-effective. Returning patients don’t require expensive onboarding and are less likely to require redundant screens or testing, which drain hundreds of thousands of dollars from the healthcare system each year.

Better, Lasting Patient Relationships

Loyalty’s mutual value exchange provides first-party data along a patient’s journey that helps providers better understand what patients want, what influences their experience, what keeps them coming back, and what they’re looking for in a true healthcare partner. Increasing engagement via the channels patients prefer and empowering them with relevant information promotes preventative care and builds value-based relationships that last.

Rewarding patients for reviews and referring others encourages advocacy and even attracts new patients. Press Haney reports that 71% of patients consult online provider reviews before booking an appointment with a provider.

Better Outcomes

Health systems have a much easier time coordinating care within the same system, and it’s much less likely to have miscommunications between providers. This all leads to better care and better patient outcomes.

Annex Cloud Can Help Healthcare Providers Build Lasting Patients Connections

Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen healthcare organizations become more customer-centric. With this movement, we’ve seen healthcare organizations turn to loyalty solutions and retention strategies to deliver the experience today’s patients expect. Our modular, purpose-built Loyalty Experience Platform™ makes it easy to start with a mutual value exchange, then add engagement, program, and reward modules as you grow. And our 100-plus predefined integrations make it quick and easy to fit loyalty into your existing infrastructure. Contact us to explore how Annex Cloud can put your patient relationships on the path to long-term wellness, and check out Annex Cloud’s Loyalty Solutions for Healthcare!

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