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Better Consumer Data Means Better Healthcare

In our October blog, we introduced some of the challenges with healthcare consumer engagement, including the need for enriching consumer profiles to support engagement and an improved consumer experience. In short, most healthcare organizations lack the data and tools to achieve insights that deliver a positive consumer experience. This blog and next month’s will take a deeper dive into the opportunity for data enrichment and how healthcare organizations can improve both their information gathering procedures and the ways they use the data.

Bancroft wants to help the healthcare community understand the potential that healthcare data offers for future growth and for helping organizations improve consumer relationships. Better data provides a real, complete picture of a consumer's needs, interests, and behaviors. Data is the currency of the 21st century. Well-prepared organizations will be the ones that have the right data to support delivery of a superior experience.

The Data Drought

If you take a look at the chart above, you can see that it shows the typical amount of information that many health plans or healthcare providers have about a member or patient. If your organization is a health plan, you may have some information about a member’s job, plan benefits, health history, and limited contact information. If you are a provider, you likely know some (but not all) of a patient’s health history, plan benefits, and contact information. If you're a life sciences company, you probably don’t even have that much information.

Nobody in healthcare has the rest of the information in the chart. Nobody has a comprehensive view of the consumer’s life and risk factors. Even when organizations have some data, it is usually incomplete. Data is coming from different sources and may even be contradictory. Without access to the whole picture, it is difficult for anyone to get a comprehensive view of what a consumer needs and provide the best possible care.

Improving Data Flow

Now take a look at this chart. Imagine if healthcare organizations had all this information in a way that was strategically organized and easily accessible. In this situation, you would know a consumer’s exact family and housing situation, detailed contact information, hobbies and occupation, and social media. Of particular interest are social determinants of health (food and income security, community support, healthcare access, etc.) and psychographic data (values, desires, and priorities). These factors often have a huge impact on outcomes, consumers’ healthcare decisions, and how they engage (or don’t) with the healthcare system. Without the right data, the healthcare system provides a generic, one-size-fits-all experience.

What could you do with the information in the above chart? The possibilities are endless. For the hypothetical Kathleen Smith, you can predict the likelihood of increased ER admits due to food insecurity. You can provide her with guidance via text, her preferred channel, and tailor the message to priorities she puts on family. For example: “Get a colonoscopy so you can make sure you’re there for your family.” You can adjust the text number when she changes plans. You can alert her to plan options or new treatments tailored to her individual circumstances. Small details like having specific contact information and knowing how the consumer prefers to be contacted could make a big difference in ensuring they respond to messages and comply with treatments.

However, getting this data can be challenging. There is no single source that could help you fill in every entry on that chart. One of the first stumbling blocks for organizations is knowing where to go to obtain the data. Even if a healthcare organization can use third party data enrichment to get the information they need, it must be cleaned and curated to ensure accuracy and accessibility. It must also be maintained, since information is constantly changing. Of course, healthcare organizations must also ensure that data is ethically sourced and managed confidentially to protect privacy. All of this is a heavy lift for any healthcare organization--which is already grappling with multiple competing priorities. It’s hard to plan for the future when you’re struggling to keep up with the present.

That’s the bad news. The good news is: Bancroft is here to help you. In December’s blog, we will discuss how we can help you obtain this information and use it to benefit your organization.

Want to know more about how Bancroft can help your organization? Contact us!

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