Ineffective central systems and processes for managing patient lifecycle are resulting in a “significant gap” between patient expectations and healthcare provider reality, according to a new industry study. 
The Taking The Pulse Of Patient Experience: Why Australian Healthcare Must Change study by Forrester and Salesforce found that 61 per cent of healthcare providers said ineffective central systems and processes for patient lifecycle management are currently in place.
This, according to the report, is “hobbling” Australian healthcare providers. 
Fifty eight per cent said inefficient hospital-to-patient communication mechanisms exist, while 54 per cent said they encounter limited capabilities to gain meaningful insights from patient data in relation to patient service.
The survey of 202 local healthcare providers also identified that even though 84 per cent of healthcare providers understand that patient experience technologies will help them share and apply patient data in a meaningful way, 38 per cent are not aware or don’t know about any patient experience technology in their hospital.
In addition, 48 per cent don’t realise the financial value of using patient experience technologies.
This is despite patients demanding more connected experiences, with 38 per cent of patients saying a strong need for quick and convenient service is a top priority from their healthcare providers.
Salesforce Chief Medical Officer Dr Joshua Newman said while patients expect to connect with companies through personalised, modern, mobile, social and intelligent technologies, healthcare has been slow to adapt. 
“It’s clearer now more than ever that healthcare providers need to manage patients in new ways. Patient experience technology can help make them feel better cared for, more engaged and healthier as a result,” he said. 
“Patients demand smoother, frictionless, predictable experiences and services from their healthcare providers. They want quick and convenient access to healthcare, and timely and ongoing communications regarding their health.”
Newman said healthcare practitioners shouldn’t be relying on disconnected systems for patient management and that healthcare providers need to modernise to relate with patients using a new standard. 
“Many industries have completely transformed how they deal with customers. The future of healthcare will depend on how providers transform to ensure patient experience is at the centre of their care, coupled with a strong patient data management foundation to scale and contextualise each and every patient interaction.”
The report identified that the opportunity lies in investing in patient experience technologies to meet business priorities, as well as patient expectations. Integrating electronic medical record (EMR) data with patient engagement platforms is one of the keys to this approach.
The report found that 90 per cent of healthcare providers are planning to implement, expand or have implemented patient experience technologies. However, 39 per cent of those surveyed said they are not aware or don’t have the capabilities to adequately maintain, update and secure patient data.
“In order to truly harness the power of patient experience technology and scale across hospitals, providers must build a patient-centric culture with a strong patient data management foundation to scale and contextualise patient experiences,” the report stated. 




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