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The patient experience is a top focus for most progressive healthcare providers. From a digital marketing perspective, there are ways to enhance the patient experience by taking a “Connected Patient” approach. A connected patient is one that is allied to their healthcare provider via proactive, data-driven communications that anticipate their needs to guide them through their health journey.

The net result for the healthcare provider is increased revenue through an increase in patient bookings by keeping them in the system. Secondly, there are real and tangible benefits to the individual patient and their respective communities: proactive healthcare that makes being healthy convenient, informative and trusted.

When considering the move towards a more connected patient experience, there are 5 areas that must be established and then bolstered to ensure long-term success:

1. Connected Technologies

An overarching, inclusive view of all available technologies is crucial to defining the scope of all that’s possible with a connected patient. Understanding the values and limitations each technology brings to the table and how to best apply those technologies to your existing patient datasets is the foundation of a successful transition to the connect patient experience. This level of understanding also serves to ensure your patient connections will be tracked and passed-through properly. These technologies include your website, CRM, DMP, marketing platforms, analytics and apps.

Once you can clearly identify these technologies as they pertain to your organization, you can then have the conversation about how to granularly personalize the patient experience and develop accompanying strategies to leverage these connections.

2. Connected Data

Having siloed teams viewing channel-specific data independently will not yield effective insights about a whole patient. You need to be pulling the information together into a holistic viewpoint – shared across various resources within your organization in real time – to inform your campaigns in a meaningful way.

You will also need to be leveraging this collective data to inform your personalization strategies, update your POVs on your patient journeys and to run tailored 1:1 marketing programs.

3. Connected Teams

Your overall marketing team consists of internal marketing/comms, key stakeholders, KOLs and agency partners. If you want to run successful – truly connected and agile – programs that improve patient health, and ultimately revenue, you must collaborate. Yes, this may require putting your competitive gloves down and coming together for ongoing, honest strategy and planning sessions with several components of your organization, but sacrificing the fiefdom mentality for a dynamically reactive team will yield results everyone can agree on.

4. Overarching Patient Experience

The personalized experience starts with understanding your patient – before any tactics are discussed. You will need to start thinking differently – developing experience maps first and then creating plans that cross departments and channels – and working in an ongoing feedback loop that exists to refine the patient experience.

5. Personalized Roadmap

A monolithic, daunting initiative can be made digestible when a phased approach is applied. Start by identifying some things that can be done to create immediate impact while the larger plans unfold. Break down launches into easily completed tasks so that you can simultaneously learn and refine. You will never get there if you don’t start, and you are less likely to start if you structure the transition as one large project – so the best thing you can do is commit to moving forward and plan your approach in digestible phases.

Connecting the patient experience through marketing is not a quick initiative, it’s an ongoing rollout. Yet with bite-sized efforts that help you create impact while building toward a larger goal, it can be well within your reach.