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What is the Customer Experience?

Last week I was a speaker at the Vitalis Conference. This was for the health care sector with a focus on the e-Health. My speech was entitled The Patients Experience Equals the Process. In my speech I focused on the fact that the person who does not feel well, experiences several organizational units through their “travels” from being ill to feeling well again. Strictly speaking, you only become a patient when you reach the hospital, as they choose to use this term. Outside the hospital’s jurisdiction you are something else, maybe just a person who is not feeling so good.

I listened to several other speeches at the conference. They all focused solely on one of the organizations in the customer experience. They talked about the hospital or they talked about the municipality, as in Sweden, both have a responsibility for health care. They did not portray the whole flow. A person that does not feel well and needs help to be healthy again may come into contact with five-six, or more, different organizational units, all with their own focus and often with their own IT-system for the patient’s medical record. Even more organizations are involved if the person that needs treatment is elderly with more than one illness.

The IT-part of the fair, those that offered solutions for e-health, also only saw the here-and-now part of the solution. There are many smart solutions that give the patients better care, but it would appear that is only at a single point within the whole experience. There were no vendors showing solutions for the whole experience, and there were also no vendors talking about the flow of the process: from ill to healthy. This was  strange as there were several seminars complaining about the lack of exchange of information, and the fact that there is a lock-up function in many IT-solutions that makes it hard to move the information around to other places when and where it is needed.

This is a problem! We can be certain that tomorrow there will be even more organizations involved in the treatment of someone not feeling well, than there are today. The patient may be free to seek the best treatment given for their illness, even if that is outside Sweden, or the country where they reside. For EU citizens it may be possible to seek treatment in all EU countries. In both The EU and US, citizens new health care organizations appear on the market offering specialized treatments. There is a need to be able to follow an ill person’s treatment throughout the process and also to have the same medical record throughout the process. Medical records in one treatment organization should not be locked-up and not seen by others that need them, as they are vital for the continuing diagnosis and ensuing treatment. There are also laws to consider, regarding how the medical record can be transferred. The laws are also often focused on the different organizations involved and not on the patient’s whole experience.

As I see it, as usual, the linear organizational structure is not helping us to make this any clearer.

How does it work in your line of business? What other organizations do you have around you, that support the creation of value to your customers? How can you improve the relationship with these organizations, so that together you give the customer a better value?

Please share and comment!

To you and your organizations excellence.




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