According to the results of the 2019 Kaufman Hall Healthcare Consumerism Index, healthcare providers struggle to meet and exceed consumer needs and expectations. Only eight percent of top tier healthcare organizations are focusing on a consumer-centric infrastructure.
Healthcare organizations aren’t just facing threats from other health systems in their markets but are also competing with Amazon for outpatient business. In fact, according to a recent Kaufman Hall survey of consumers nationwide, one-third of survey respondents said they would trust companies like Amazon or Google over healthcare providers to develop the best online tools for searching for healthcare services.
Ed Rafalski, PhD, FACHE, is the senior vice president/chief strategy and marketing officer at BayCare Health System in Clearwater, Fla. In the following Q and A, Dr. Rafalski shares how his organization is driving solutions to these issues systemwide.
What were the initial goals of BayCare’s membership program?
BayCare created a loyalty program as the system contemplated launching its Medicare Advantage product. We wanted members to do the right thing, at the right time, at the right cost. Also, it was vital to encourage members to participate more in their own healthcare.
The result was BayCare EasyPass™. The program’s goal is to elevate awareness of the BayCare brand; to strengthen connections between the entire system of hospitals, facilities and healthcare professionals; to generate “stickiness” for BayCare’s health and wellness services; and to create a patient-centric culture.
What issues, challenges or problems were you trying to solve?
One of the bigger problems that healthcare consumers face is that health systems are difficult to navigate. Consumers are often confused, frustrated and even frightened by the labyrinth of unclear direction and confusing choices that often define healthcare.
EasyPass™ is designed to make navigation easier and improve participant health by keeping patients in a “closed loop” within the health system. That way we can help them monitor their own health and keep them on track to fully meet their healthcare needs and goals. In addition, participants gain access to new, value-added services before they are available to other BayCare patients.
What are the industry trends around this type of program? What are other organizations in your market doing?
Today’s consumers expect the same transparency, convenience and personalization from their healthcare providers that they receive from retailers and banks. So, healthcare organizations are slowly developing services that address those consumers’ needs.
Organizations in our market are increasingly trying to solve the navigation issue by virtue of personalized services. Our EasyPass™ program is another way this can be addressed.
What do you hope attendees will take away from your Congress session?
A healthcare loyalty program does not have to reward patients for using more of its services. In fact, it’s the reverse. By providing easier access to its services, consumers will become more loyal because of the simplicity of access, become more engaged in their health and use the health system more efficiently.
Dr. Rafalski will be co-presenting the Congress session “One Organization’s EasyPass Membership Program: Delivering Patient Satisfaction, Competitive Advantage and Population Health,” Session 118X, on Wednesday, March 25. Presenting with him from BayCare Health System are Reid Yoder, special projects strategist, and Brian Curtis, director of marketing. Learn more about the session and how to register.