Merging Cure with Care: Tips to improve Patient Experience

CloudCherry | Featured | January 30, 2017

The burning need for implementing a patient experience platform in healthcare units is being widely recognized now, more than ever, with the increase in consumer intelligence and competition across the globe. This is a golden opportunity for the industry to rise to the occasion and live up to its customers’ (aka patients’) expectations. After all, if we were to discuss industries where CX makes most impact, healthcare would appear among the top 5, if not the top most!

So, what are all the things that make for a good patient experience in healthcare? What is it that organizations are doing to realize this need? What better way to have these questions answered than from an industry expert! We spoke to Vinesh Gadhia, Chief Operations Officer at Nova IVI Fertility to understand the intricacies of delivering a phenomenal customer experience in the healthcare sector.

CloudCherry: First off, typically customers of the healthcare sector don’t really expect to receive a great customer experience. Do you believe that this norm is changing?

Vinesh:The customer expectation in Healthcare is rapidly changing.It is happening across industries in India, but in healthcare, it is evolving rapidly. I think it is safe to say that it is transitioning from just “Cure” to also “Care”. It is now “cure with care”. Even as recently as five years ago, patients would choose doctors depending on how reputed they were, in the hope of getting cured. But today, they come with the expectation of care along with cure. This transition has been a lot faster than what one would have imagined!

CloudCherry: Why do you think this transition is taking place? Is it because of competition in the healthcare sector or that customers are generally more aware now?

Vinesh: I think it is a little bit of both. On one hand, the healthcare industry is becoming increasingly organized, which means competition is inevitable. And customer care plays a huge role in giving you that competitive edge. On the other hand, consumers in India are becoming more aware & educated about what they want and don’t. So, in a nutshell I’d say this – the impact of other industries becoming more and more customer-centric, the rise in customers’ awareness & expectations and competition within the healthcare sector – all play a role in this transition.

CloudCherry: Right! Absolutely! But tell us, How important has Customer Experience been to you (Nova) since the beginning?

Vinesh: Customer experience is in our ethos and philosophy. That being said, we are evolving with changing times. I will be honest with you – being a part of healthcare, cure is our priority. Results are the biggest differentiator in our industry, followed immediately by customer experience, inarguably.

Let me give you some context. Take the example of a knee replacement surgery. The success rate is very high in such surgeries. A patient who just got his knee replaced successfully goes out and spreads the word about how breezy his experience was. In IVF, the success rate is around 50%. A customer who hasn’t tasted success this month automatically becomes your customer for the next month too. So, it is paramount for us to deliver an impeccable customer Experience in the IVF industry since every patient that walks in is a potential repeat customer. By this logic, the need to deliver a great CX is one step above other industries.

CloudCherry: Before going ahead with CloudCherry’s CEM platform, what were your expectations from us? And how is it since the implementation of CloudCherry?

Vinesh: Prior to CloudCherry, we had a manual paper-based feedback system in place. This was proving to be very time-consuming. Not just that, there was also the challenge of disseminating information within the organization about the feedback as well as loss of data. We needed something that could fix these things for us. And CloudCherry not only took care of all these for us but also gave us the power to address issues in real-time. The turn-around time has improved significantly. We cant take action instantly. The shift from manual to CloudCherry has enabled us to solve problems proactively rather than in retrospection. Our Customer Experience has improved owing to this!

CloudCherry: How has CloudCherry helped you improve Customer Experience?

Vinesh: After CloudCherry, Life is different! We get real information, real-time. It is not hierarchy-biased. Once everybody in the organization realizes that the data on the dashboard is transparent, that it is available for everyone to see, it prompts them to do better. There is accountability and motivation amidst them and in turn, the support that they offer to our customers has also improved.

CloudCherry: How is Nova making customer-centricity a part of your organizational culture?

Vinesh: Right from our CEO to every staff in the organization, we all share the belief that customer care is not a department but an attitude, a philosophy. It is a long-term strategy and CloudCherry is enabling us execute this philosophy.

CloudCherry: What would you like to say to the Healthcare providers at large about patient experience?

Vinesh: The only thing that will last long after cure is patient experience. In the competitive environment of today’s healthcare, there really is no other option but to adopt this culture of patient-centricity. It is the most important differentiator when it comes to getting the competitive advantage. There may even come a time when we will stop treating our customers as patients and start treating them as guests!

The Key Takeaways for Healthcare Companies

1. Patient Experience, which was never really a priority 5 years back, has now become a crucial competitive differentiator in the healthcare segment.

2. This is mainly due to the following 3 factors: other industries becoming customer-centric, the rise in customer awareness and also more competition within the healthcare industry.

3. Treat every patient who walks in as a potential repeat customer. And while cure is still the most important parameter on which your company will be judged, proper care and a pleasant patient experience is definitely a necessity.

4. Healthcare companies should ideally do away with manual, or paper, feedback forms and instead invest in an end-to-end Customer Experience Management platform so that customer (patient) data can be managed seamlessly, with maximum transparency. Also, a CEM tool allows every single individual in the organization to align themselves with the ever-changing customer expectations and needs.

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