John realizes that he is closer to his next checkup date and wants to fix an appointment with his healthcare provider for his usual physician visit. His past experiences have not been very seamless and he was contemplating the possibility of shifting allegiances to another provider where his friend is serving as a physician. With two minds, he does end up calling his provider for an appointment and “Vola”, he was in for a surprise.
As soon as he called, he was addressed by his name by the personnel.
They asked him if he is calling for his next appointment and also thanked him for his straight feedback last time, which has helped them make some significant changes in their operations.
They also mentioned that John’s regular physician is available later in the week, but if he wants to advance his appointment, there is another physician that is equally good. They requested him to check his WhatsApp for more details about the Physician’s area of expertise, recent accreditations he has had, and more. Unassumingly, they also offered John that they can put him in touch with other patients that the physician has treated (without disclosing the patients’ details).
Finally, they also offered John a payment plan which would allow him to pay for the services in parts.
John was really impressed with what he was hearing and is already thinking about dropping his plan to move from his current healthcare provider.
The patient experience in the above scene looks simple, highly efficient use of time and effort, and provided John with a great customer experience.
How is this made practical?
Some Healthcare providers are already making this a reality while the rest of the world is still catching on.
While from John’s point of view this was a delightful patient experience, it was only made possible due to the adoption of certain capabilities that the healthcare provider had implemented to ensure John and other patients have such a seamless experience.
The Healthcare Industry, like any other, is undergoing its fair share of transformation. Health care providers and payers are not only in the need of optimized efficiency and increased revenue, but also are under heavy scrutiny for making sure patients are getting a better experience and improved patient engagement
Unlike any industry, health care providers are not at freedom to ignore patient experiences and focus only on their operational efficiencies. This provides both an opportunity and also an unbecoming challenge.
Providers need to preempt what their patients want and yet be able to manage their operational costs to be profitable.
Patients are always in need of superior services from providers and hence their loyalty can be very fleeting when it comes to sticking to one provider.
Providers need a data-driven solution to preempt what their patients want and be ready to serve them before even the patient realizes the need.
Providers hence need a framework that can allow them to become “patient curious”, “build data-driven intelligence” based on patient journeys, “identify services that a patient might need in the future”, “analyze patient feedback and be ready to bring operational efficiencies with velocity”, create a “patient-centric” business.
Patient-Centric business needs the provider to become technology savvy.
Have an online platform, that focuses on the 3 Ds below,
Digital transformation, without Data Transformation, is like buying a McDonald’s Burger with a beautiful McDonald-printed cover and what you see inside makes you squirm. A Data Transformation, without Decisions (read Actionable Intelligence) is like a speed boat without a rudder. Let us all remember “Life of Pi” and “Cast Away” are just movies 😊 . In reality, getting lost is equivalent to losing identity. Providers cannot afford to be in that state.
Data & Decision Transformation is so important in the healthcare providers’ world because they cannot play around with patient’s lives and experiences. One wrong move will not only enrage patients but will also enrage regulators. And for this reason, any digital transformation initiates focus initially on the periphery of the health systems rather than on the core clinical systems that directly deal with patient’s lives.
That said, it’s not so bad that nothing can be done about it. Rather a lot can be done to bridge that gap!
Providers can upgrade their systems with solid digital and data platforms that can provide
- True patient 360
- Personalized patient services
- Personalized medication
But How?!! – Is this another elusive Holy Grail or is it possible for this to become the DNA of all provider operations?
I believe this is absolutely achievable.
- Providers have to build platforms that allow for “Single View of a Patient”
- Since the patient record is sacrosanct, this “Single View” will be accessed by all departments and all systems help provider organizations in proactively identifying at-risk individuals for health conditions such as Chronic Diseases, Congestive Heart failures, etc., and recommend proven treatment plans.
- “Single View of Patient” is so quintessential that it innately follows the “Patient First” approach.
- The moment we talk about Data and Decisions, this creates a phobia in the minds of many organizations that they are in for a “money drain” ride. This has been largely true until a decade ago.
- Now, data platforms have become so robust, they offer a full menu of services and the cloud has taken the world by storm during this pandemic, offering reliability, resiliency, and rewards with less risk.
So, what am I getting at?
- Providers can build “Single View of Patient” on the cloud
- Data can be
- Very easily integrated from various provider “systems of records” such as EHR/EMR, Imaging/Lab Data, Demographic Data, Financial Data, etc
- Integration allows for better ingestion of data into cloud data lakes that are “pay as you go”.
- Snowflake has taken the world by storm, as it offers an “All in One Solution”. I am a self-professed hater of the phrase “All in One”. Systems are there for a purpose. But Snowflake has made me think otherwise.
- The ability to bring the concepts of Data Engineer, Data Lake, Data Warehouse, Data Services into one unified platform, is not only revolutionary but also very practical.
- This makes Snowflake the perfect tool to implement Single View of Patient.
- Using Snowflake, providers can very easily move from “Data Silos” to “Data Seamless” state.
- Snowflake is a big seller of Data Democratization, which will be quintessential for any provider. Data needs to be shared responsibly within the provider organization and Snowflake’s architecture makes that possible.
- Decision Transformation needs faster delivery of actionable intelligence to consuming layers. Snowflake again comes to the fore, because of this in-memory data warehousing capability, which allows for the faster transformation of data, and faster delivery of that data to consuming applications or data visualization tools.
- Data in Snowflake is super secure, ensuring client confidentiality.
- Data can grow in Snowflake without any limits
Snowflake hence becomes a very critical tool in enabling a “single view of a patient” which enables healthcare providers from simply managing patients to ensuring a delightful patient experience.
Anand Subramaniam is a thought leader, start-up mentor, and data architect. He brings forth over 2 decades of techno-functional leadership in envisaging, planning, and building high-performance state-of-the-art technology teams. He leads Data Practice at Kanini and is passionate about the data science domain and has championed data analytics practices across startups to Enterprises in various verticals.
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