Tag: Cedar

Future-Proofing The Healthcare Experience

By Arel Lidow, co-founder and president, Cedar.

Arel Lidow

At a recent doctor’s appointment, I found myself in an uncomfortable situation, one that will probably seem familiar to you.

Before my appointment, I filled out a bunch of paperwork online—but when I arrived, there were still more forms to complete. Although the check-in process is typically annoying at best, this extra hassle during a pandemic made things even worse.

The care I received was great. But the administrative experience—which included using a communal pen and clipboard, and standing in the waiting room to keep my distance from others—was clunky and stressful. On the way home, I found myself searching online for a new (and more modern) provider.

It’s been said that your best experience anywhere inevitably becomes your baseline expectation everywhere. Didn’t Amazon change how you shop online forever? Likewise, healthcare has had to adapt and deliver consumer-friendly experiences that mimic those in patients’ daily lives.

The need for transformation in digital health has only been accelerated by COVID-19, with people seeking virtual care to avoid exposure, or even delaying care and cancelling appointments—which can increase morbidity rates for chronic and acute health conditions.

If consumers can order grocery deliveries with the touch of a button, why can’t it be as simple and convenient for patients to engage with healthcare providers at a time and place that’s most convenient for them? Why can’t we deliver a patient-centric experience by meeting them where they are?

Leading retail companies have set the bar so high that exceptional end-to-end digital experiences are now just table stakes. Patients are consumers, after all, and consumers increasingly expect an end-to-end journey that’s cohesive, seamless, and safe. They deserve a connected experience that better meets their needs. So, how can providers exceed patient expectations in the new normal and beyond?

Ever-Changing Expectations

According to Cedar’s second-annual Healthcare Consumer Experience Study, conducted by Forrester Consulting, the future of healthcare must be transparent, touchless, and personalized. It’s that simple. Sixty-eight percent of study respondents emphasized the importance of having a customized experience with their healthcare provider—how they communicate, pay, and so on—not unlike how Chipotle remembers that you like extra guacamole with your burrito bowl when you order through its app.

In fact, nearly half the respondents wished that the digital healthcare experience was smoother and more intuitive, similar to experiences with Amazon, Netflix, or Uber. Companies offering best-in-class digital experiences have become the yardstick against which all other companies are measured—and healthcare is no exception.

Imagine if connecting with your provider was as easy as queuing up your next binge-watching session: an app could navigate you through scheduling an appointment, completing check-in forms, and pre-paying your copay, all within minutes. Imagine having an outstanding patient experience before you even walk into a doctor’s office.

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COVID-19 Changed Everything In 2020. How Can Healthcare Providers Prepare For What 2021 Has In Store?

By Dr. Florian Otto, co-founder and CEO, Cedar.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first came into the country and hit hospitals like a tidal wave, we saw a rapid shift to digital care. More than half of consumers say their providers now offer virtual care. And use of digital tools like telemedicine increased by 50% during the first quarter of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019. These stats are a sign that providers must work to truly understand the importance of digital-forward engagement strategies when it comes to building strong patient relationships.

Although recent vaccine approvals have brought some much-needed good news, the U.S is currently reckoning with the deadliest wave of the pandemic. This means that in addition to a continued public health crisis, patients and providers alike will still be faced with significant economic hardship as we enter 2021 – intensifying the need to improve the healthcare financial experience.

How can this be done? Here are three trends that I see coming to fruition as we continue fighting this pandemic in 2021:

2021: The Year of Smarter Heath-Tech Adoptions

The economic hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected both the patient and provider. With the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression this year, patients are feeling more cost-conscious about care decisions than ever. According to our recent consumer survey, 84% of respondents are worried about paying their healthcare costs in the next year.

What do you do when you’re on a budget? You shop around for the best price. Patients were already increasingly expecting healthcare to mirror their experiences with e-commerce and shopping before the pandemic. The financial strain caused by COVID-19 simply exacerbated this shift, lighting a fire under providers to adopt smart technologies that can consolidate patient information and “consumerize” the experience. Cohesive, consolidated and consumer-centric digital access points for all patient interactions have become the norm, and providers will need to adapt to meet these expectations.

As for providers themselves, pandemic-related shutdowns and stay-at-home orders caused financial strain for these organizations, with millions of elective procedures cancelled. This alone resulted in an estimated loss of $16.3 to $17.7 billion per month in reimbursement and $4 to $5.4 billion per month in net income for health systems.

In response to this financial strain, providers will increasingly look to invest strategically in tools that support their business goals and help them gain a competitive edge. Over half of consumers have delayed care due to fear of catching COVID-19, so getting patients back in the “door” – whether it is physically or virtually – will be crucial. Think about it from the point of view of ap patient – wouldn’t it make a difference to you if your doctor had the option of filling out paperwork and insurance information online, as opposed to waiting in a crowded waiting room?

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