As the fifth annual Health 2.0 conference recently kicked off in San Francisco, the vibe was electric and incestuously contagious; I felt it more with every interaction there. The event, which focuses exclusively on celebrating innovations in health IT, continued its tradition of generating more buzz and excitement than the year before. Just as impressive, though, was the humbling sense of community and shared purpose as evidenced by the launch of Health 2.0 MatchPoint, a program dedicated to matching young innovators with established organizations. Mark Smith, President and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation, expounded on the significance of the matching concept in his spirited keynote remarks.
Form new start-ups to household names like Adobe; from public sector agencies to publically traded corporations, the diverse “Health 2.0” entities that were represented each embodied three common elements, according to conference co-founders Matthew Holt and Indu Subaiya.
So what’s the difference between data and information? Usability, of course.
When the hidden value of “data” is unlocked by providing it in context – when and where it’s needed- then the magical result is “information” that be may put to good use.
Many of today’s health IT applications, from Personal Health Records (PHRs) to telemedicine, are based on that premise. But when it comes to sharing the highest resolution medical images in real-time, that capability has been traditionally reserved for select specialists in a hospital, like radiologists and cardiologists, who have access to special workstations and Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS).
After identifying such a critical gap, the founders of Client Outlook Inc. developed eUnity, a medical imaging integration and viewing solution for the enterprise, built on the Adobe Flash platform.
A version of eUnity was first showcased on a Blackberry Playbook at Adobe MAX 2010.
Since then, Client Outlook has iterated on the platform, bringing a version to standard desktops, where physicians may now rely on these images for diagnostic purposes. At the same time, the company extended the service in mobile and tablet platforms— on Android and more recently on iOS, where high-quality medical images can be shared and reviewed at the point of care.
Recently, I spent some time with Steve Rankin, Client Outlook’s President and CEO, at HIMSS 2011 and he explained some of the benefits of the Flash platform from a developer’s perspective. Overall, developers have found that working with eUnity is approximately 30 percent faster than using other technologies.
This compliant, Flash-platform based solution helps set new standards for displaying a wider range of medical imagery, along with related metadata, at higher resolutions on more devices with unmatched performance. And, more importantly, it empowers clinical staff to make informed, quick decisions about patient care anytime and anywhere.
Looking ahead, plans are already underway to extend eUnity from a standalone client-server solution to an even more robust platform, incorporating the Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform to support highly automated workflows and further optimize the customer experience of providers who leverage this innovative solution.
As always, we’re interested in your thoughts and continuing the conversation on innovations in Health IT and otherwise. Keep in touch with us on Twitter @AdobeGov and our Facebook page.
Obviously the answer to that question will vary greatly depending on who asks, and his stake in delivering (or experiencing) an engaging interaction.
CEM for the enterprise is typically associated with substantial benefits, like brand loyalty and competitive differentiation, but those may initially seem like non-issues for so-called entitlement programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and others. That’s because, unlike in the competitive private sector, consumers of these programs often don’t have the benefit of choice.
Many would argue, however, that CEM offers a matrix of far-reaching benefits to any enterprise, some of which aren’t always immediately obvious. Customer communications is a perfect example. Consider the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) form that is sent to millions of Medicaid members in any given month.
Recently, at the 2011 State Health IT Connect Summit, I presented an interactive electronic version of that familiar EOB statement as part of a Health Insurance Exchange demo. By leveraging components of the new Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform (ADEP), recipients of this interactive EOB would be able to intuitively communicate back with its sender from within the document, while maintaining privacy and security of health data.
Now, consider the added convenience for diverse populations where multi-lingual content and responses may be automatically translated by backend processes as the correspondence is exchanged. Customer experience is improved even further as members may effortlessly dispute the accuracy of a claim displayed in that EOB, again from directly within the document.
For the enterprise that sent the EOB, this presents an opportunity to realize significant savings. Overcharges and potentially fraudulent claims that may have otherwise slipped through the cracks may now be identified and investigated, simply by making it easier for members to participate in the process. There are countless other examples of ways that HHS agencies may optimize efficiencies and generate measurable ROI by deploying solutions that strive first to better serve their members.
More often than not, a win-win scenario emerges for everyone as innovative executives are learning that the byproducts of optimal customer experiences include measurable impacts to the bottom line for organizations of all types, in both private and public sectors.
What are your thoughts on this trending hot topic? Let us know in comments and on Twitter @AdobeGov and @AdobeCEM.
Last week, we launched the Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform (ADEP) for customer experience management (CEM) — a unified suite of solutions for managing multi-channel digital experiences that transforms how enterprises attract, engage, and service today’s digitally immersed consumer.
At the State Healthcare IT Summit in the Washington DC area, I had the privilege of announcing the launch of ADEP to an exclusive audience of government policy makers as well as Healthcare IT executives and thought leaders.
The announcement was met with enthusiasm and excitement as our government audience discovered for themselves the possibilities that ADEP provides in real-world applications throughout healthcare and government. And the timing couldn’t have been better, considering President Obama’s recent executive order for agencies to streamline service delivery and improve customer service. The president is tasking agencies to leverage technology in order to keep pace with the private sector.
To demonstrate how the new Adobe platform can help achieve such improvements, along with measurable results, I provided a detailed presentation of our new solution for Health Insurance Exchanges (HIX). These exchanges, a central mechanism of Health Reform, are state-facilitated online marketplaces that allow small businesses and citizens to research, compare, and enroll in health care plans provided by private insurance companies (or Medicaid, if the applicant is eligible).
In order to be successful, health insurance exchanges will need to provide applicants with consistent experiences, regardless of their eligibility determination, device of choice, or mode of communication.
The Adobe HIX solution delivers an engaging experience at every point along the consumer’s lifecycle (learn, validate, decide, use, commit) by incorporating each of the corresponding ADEP modules: Web Experience Management, Social Brand Engagement, Selection and Enrollment, Unified Workspace and Customer Communication. Other primary customers of the exchange (HIX administrators and health payers), and their related experiences were reviewed in detail as well.
This is the first installment of a three-part series to provide coverage of my time spent at the 2011 State Healthcare IT Summit. Check back soon for more on the summit, including interviews with state executives as they share their approaches to HIX.
In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts with us in comments and on Twitter @AdobeGov and @AdobeCEM.
We caught up with our own Rob Pinkerton, senior director of Product Marketing, to get his insights on the announcement and how and why it’s important for Government. Check out the video below.
Want to learn more? Visit Adobe’s corporate blog for a post and video from Rob Tarkoff, senior vice president of Digital Enterprise Solutions. And also swing over to the Experience Delivers blog to learn more about a Tweetaway our CEM colleagues are running the week of June 20.
We’re interested in your thoughts, comments and questions, of course. Leave a comment below or reach out to us on Twitter @AdobeGov or on our Facebook page. You can also keep in touch with our team focused on CEM on Twitter @AdobeCEM.
I recently had the opportunity to speak at FedScoop’s Citizen Engagement and OpenGov Summit here in Washington DC (if you haven’t, check out this brief video we shot directly afterward) It was a great event and I followed the GSA’s Director of the Center for Customer Excellence, Sheila Campbell, and her great presentation on customer experience.
“Hold on a second”, I said to myself after Sheila began her remarks. She just used the words “customer” and “experience” together, in the same sentence, at a government-focused event. As you may know, we’ve been talking a lot about Customer Experience Management (CEM) at Adobe. And I’ll admit I’ve been a little skeptical about use of the term “customer” in terms of government (ie, governments don’t have customers, they have citizens). Not so fast! I was now being corrected by Sheila and she wasn’t even 30 seconds into her discussion. I was sitting up straighter in my chair, paying very close attention now, and I was positive Mrs. Gregg, my favorite teacher of all time, would have been very proud of me and amazed at how far I have advanced since the 10th grade.
Luckily I had the opportunity to adapt some of my presentation after Sheila’s and it was good to really talk about CEM from the customer’s point of view. For governments it really doesn’t matter whether you call it Citizen or Customer Experience Management, the important part is that you focus on that experience.
But who really has the budget right now to worry about experience when you have so many other pressing issues in front of you: Budget deficits, do more with less, mission accomplishment, and the list goes on. Oh yeah, and while you’re doing all that ensure your citizens, employees, and soldiers are fully engaged in the process and make sure that “they’ll tell two friends, and so on, and so on.” Well, here’s what I think: You can and should focus on that citizen and customer experience now more than ever because it truly can ensure you do more with less while delivering on those ever-rising expectations.
Today’s citizens (just like every dot com customer, and really, aren’t they the same person?) have the expectation their experience with their government will be (or should be) similar to the experience they just had where they learned about a cool book online and then purchased it on their smartphone on the way to work. They want to interact with their government on their terms, when they want and need to, and on the devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, TV) to which they have access.
Great, but how does all of this save governments money? Maybe I’m being simple, but if you can educate your citizens on the services they’re entitled to while they’ve stumbled upon your website, then begin them on the path to an eligibility process on a smartphone (all while enabling them to avoid a call center or brick and mortar government office) you’ve saved money in at least a few places right there.
You also just made your process a heck of a lot more efficient while delighting your customer…oops, I meant citizen.
How can you start down this path? That’ll be for my next post…
Buy low, sell high
Possession is nine tenths of the law
Location. Location. Location.
These are timeless mantras with universal appeal that require no further explanation. Yet, with moderate accuracy, they tend to simplify and define the fundamentals of otherwise very complicated industries.
Similarly, in my opinion, the rapidly evolving role of IT throughout today’s healthcare ecosystem may be summed up in two words. Experience matters.
But don’t just take my word for it. Time and again research has shown that, among diverse healthcare stakeholders, a major determining factor of technology adoption is customer experience. And you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to understand that, regardless of how ground-breaking it may be, the success of any new product or solution hinges on the assumption that people will actually use it. Otherwise, it is useless.
During a recent interview for Focus Washington’s “Tech View”, I was asked about some of the financial “incentives for innovation” in healthcare resulting from the HITECH Act and the Health Reform legislation passed last year, as well as the role that customer experience plays in successfully bringing these innovations to market and beyond.
As a result of “Meaningful Use,” or that set of implementation criteria for electronic health records (EHRs) that determines eligibility for CMS incentive programs, providers are now expected to do more with their patients’ EHRs. In the long run, this will likely improve clinical workflow efficiencies and quality of care. Meanwhile, however, providers are demanding that these systems provide a higher level of functionality, usability, and overall customer experience.
To that end, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) is working with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to develop guidelines that measure usability for EHRs and other Health IT systems.
“All too often we hear from providers that they look forward to the day when the technology works for them instead of them working for the technology,” said Farzad Mostashari, MD, national coordinator for health information technology at ONC.
Health plans are learning the same lessons about customer experience in the payer segment. A recent report by Forrester (Best and Worst of Website User Experience, 2011: Health Insurers) evaluated the websites of seven leading health plans. Despite improved functional capabilities of some health insurers’ web presence, as they seek to leverage the power of social brand engagement, the report found that no insurer achieved a passing score; and in fact all had significant shortcomings in key areas.
That’s not to say that these companies aren’t adequately servicing their customers or generating year-over-year revenue growth. Instead, it unveils the alarming trend of a sizable missed opportunity for differentiation and brand loyalty in an uber-competitive market with low member switching costs. And in that case, the byproduct of an optimized customer experience can certainly be measured throughout the enterprise; but particularly in the bottom line.
In the end, it behooves any healthcare organization to protect their investments in technology by deploying solutions that were developed with the customer experience as a key focus. There, after all, is where the rubber meets the road. And how fast is an expensive turbo-charged sports car if all its tires are flat?
Do you have a mantra for Health IT or customer experience (or anything)? Reply to this posting in Comments and on Twitter @AdobeGov and @AdobeCEM to be heard.
Glyn Evans, Socitm President, Corporate Director of Business Change at Birmingham City Council and CIO Council member
Peter Bole, Director of ICT at Kent County Council
Alan Banks, Managing Director, Adobe UK
Helen Olsen, Managing Editor, ITU and UKauthorITy
The group addressed that public services are moving inexorably online, and the UK population is becoming ever more digitally savvy. But how do we take advantage of the best in technology developments to meet the needs of both the organization and the citizens it serves? Efficiency is essential, but is agile development the key? Does new technology solve old problems and deliver joined up processes and services? Or does the public sector silo mentality block the holistic thinking needed for a step change in performance?
An on-demand version of the webinar is now available; you’ll find it here. It runs approx 45 minutes. We hope you’ll check it out.
The next in this series of webinars is scheduled for June 14 and will be focused on Collaborating for the Future – Joined up Thinking and Joined up Working. You can register here.
How can we address digital exclusion and encourage the mass channel shift to low cost online service delivery that we all need?
Digital Champion, Martha Lane Fox, is calling for ‘e’ Revolution not Evolution with online becoming “the first point of contact” for public services. And the new Government ICT strategy states that the government “will work to make citizen-focused transactional services ‘digital by default’ where appropriate” – but enable a network of ‘assisted digital’ service providers for those who are unable to access this brave new world.
There is, however, much work to do in understanding the user’s needs and experience of online public services with the goal of making them simple and accessible to all.
On the panel:
Graham Walker, Government Director for UK Digital Champion (Martha Lane Fox)
Dr Lorna Peters, Connect Digitally, Department for Education and Hertfordshire
Gilles Polin, Adobe’s European Head of Government Solutions
Helen Olsen, Managing Editor, UKauthorITy and ITU magazine
Are solving the issues of effective identity and authentication pre-requisites to delivering channel shift to low cost online public services?
The future of public services is most definitely digital: confirmed last month in the Government’s new ICT strategy. Indeed, in the Age of Austerity the potential for reducing the costs of service delivery by a switch to digital is too great to miss – but unless we can securely deliver the right service to the right people we risk even greater waste through fraud and further contact.
The London Borough of Brent has been trialling a new concept – the Mydex citizen data store – along with exploring use of the Government Gateway; Enfield, meanwhile, has implemented a new corporate authentication service with help from Serco and GB Group. The panel explored the benefits and pitfalls of getting ID and authentication right.
On the panel:
Dane Wright, IT Strategy Manager at the London Borough of Brent
Lee Grafton, Serco and Enfield’s GB Group identity solution
Gilles Polin, Adobe’s European Head of Government Solutions
Helen Olsen, Managing Editor, UKauthorITy and ITU magazine