A degree is a unit of measurement that describes an angle that is 1/360th of the circumference of a circle. Travel 360 degrees and you come “full circle” back to where you started. A 360 degree customer experience is often described as one that encompasses and satisfies everything a person could possibly want from a retail or business encounter. In other words, such an experience is totally fulfilling and leaves nothing to be desired. Many top businesses and brands strive toward giving consumers a perfect 360 degree experience. One brand in particular promotes itself as always being in the “relentless pursuit of perfection”.
What about healthcare? When was the last time you experienced the perfect 360° Patient Experience? I suppose that depends on what you expected, and frankly, most of us haven’t come to expect a great consumer experience with doctors and hospitals. Partially that is because of the disconnection between the consumer of healthcare services and who pays for those services. Ultimately, we all pay for the services we receive out of payroll deductions, taxes, or direct payments to insurance companies, but when we perceive that someone else is paying for the bill we lose that one to one connection with the hard earned dollars in our wallets or purses. It may also be that when we get healthcare services the objective is a bit different compared to other consumer experiences. Mainly, when we are sick, we just want to get well and get on with living our life. We are perhaps more prone to forgive a bumpy ride along they way if the outcome in the end is still good.
In any event, there is widespread belief among government officials, health industry leaders and consumers themselves that doctors, clinics and hospitals need to do a better job engaging patients in their own care and providing better support and tools to help manage chronic conditions. It is widely believed that only when patients take on greater responsibility for their own health and care, will we begin to make a dent in the spiraling cost of care and achieve better outcomes across our population of citizens.
But what would it really take to give people a 360° Patient Experience? Some of the tools are already at hand. The Internet is widely used by ordinary people to access information and resources that help them better manage health. Many hospitals and clinics offer on-line resources and portals that help patients understand and manage their health information. However, these resources are often highly fragmented. Many are also far from intuitive to use.
My colleagues at Microsoft have recently published a whitepaper that may be of interest to those in industry or government who are responsible for planning and developing solutions to help patients better manage their own health while providing a consumer experience that comes closer to the 360° ideal. It calls for greater cooperation among industry vendors in the design, integration, and user-experience associated with such patient solutions. I highly recommend that you take a look.
No one company can by itself transform health and healthcare delivery. No one company can improve the safety and quality of care. No company, large or small, can do everything needed to bring down the cost of care while improving access to the millions and billions of people around the world who are in need. But working together, we can certainly accomplish much more than any one company can do by itself.
If you would like to learn more about Microsoft in the health industry, I invite you to join this special web cast sponsored by the Microsoft Health Users Group with my colleague Neil Jordan, General Manager of Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector
Microsoft HUG: Microsoft’s Connected Health Strategy and Priorities
Neil Jordan, General Manager, Microsoft Worldwide Health Industry, will share Microsoft’s Connected Health strategy and priorities and how the array of Microsoft products and technologies enables the company to deliver on those priorities. In addition, Neil will highlight the importance of a strong partner ecosystem to successfully develop health solutions for our customers to further the vision of eHealth.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
9:00 AM to 10:00 AM PST
Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft