2 min read
06 May

Healthcare delivery has come a long way in the past 20 years and advancements in technology have completely transformed the industry. From telemedicine to wearables, healthcare providers are constantly looking to improve the patient experience and make healthcare delivery more accessible. However, there are still a few challenges when it comes to the consumer acceptance of digital healthcare.

In a recent episode of The ASHHRA Podcast, we discussed the benefits of digital healthcare specialists as a supplement to physical healthcare and how consumer acceptance may take time due to concerns about having someone present during appointments.

Taylor Hamilton from Ballad Health in Johnson City, Tennessee was a guest on the show. As the senior vice president and chief consumer officer at Ballad Health, Taylor shared her experience on the importance of putting the consumer and employees first to improve patient experience, marketing communications, recruitment, and more.

Ballad Health is a rural, not-for-profit organization that serves a region with low Medicare wage index and high rates of health issues like obesity, smoking, and cardiovascular disease. The company's vision is to improve consumer experience in healthcare by making it easy to access and use while dividing physical and digital touchpoints in healthcare.

Taylor believes that everyone in the healthcare industry is passionate about helping others, and it is essential to have a constant cheerleader to create cross-functional teams all working towards the same goal. She emphasized that healthcare providers can learn from the retail industry in terms of developing brand loyalty among patients and families. Like retail brands such as Target and Amazon, Ballad Health aims to deliver high-quality care at the best price and fulfill their brand promise to develop brand loyalty among consumers.

Ballad Health views everyone as a consumer, including patients, their family members, and people who have never needed health care before. Team members and employees are also important consumers. The speaker's job involves considering how decisions will positively impact the consumer and team members and intentionally building relationships with colleagues to create cross-functional teams all working towards the same goal.

One of the many challenges the organization faces is the difficulty in predicting where it will be in five years, especially with the rapidly changing technology industry. However, goals are set for twelve to eighteen months to improve patient experience by minimizing the need for physical visits to healthcare providers, and the company focuses on dividing physical and digital touchpoints in healthcare.

The company is currently discussing how to modernize the HR process to make it easier for candidates to apply digitally, instead of the traditional paper and call system. With a major initiative for the next fiscal year to improve the user experience for job applications, the company has set itself on a road to further enhance the consumer experience by making healthcare delivery efficient.

As explained during the episode, healthcare providers have significant strides to make in terms of developing digital healthcare and improving consumer acceptance. However, with initiatives like Ballad Health's presented as an example, and thoughts from guests like Taylor Hamilton, the future of consumer-focused healthcare seems bright. It might be a long road ahead, but a perfect blend of technological advancements and cohesive healthcare delivery can make the healthcare experience welcoming, efficient, and cost-effective for consumers. 

Co-hosts Bo Brabo & Luke Carignan