Editor's Note: This article was originally published in the Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Journal, Volume 4.
Competition between healthcare providers traditionally has been static and predictable. Organizations have tended to rely on beating rivals on the basis of a strong presence on the ground and consumers’ interpretations of clinical brand quality. That is, until now. The new basis of competition between care delivery organizations is shaping up to look very different. This is because of rapidly evolving care delivery needs and the need to "catch up" to what consumers want versus what they're being offered. Players will (mostly) win on ease of use, price, and supporting people to live healthier lives, rather than winning because of an overwhelming local presence and consumers’ fuzzy notions of quality.
Technological advancements have revolutionized medicine in recent decades. Procedures that could only have been imagined in the past – for example, the use of DNA to guide care decisions or minimally invasive procedures – have become commonplace, with patients enjoying their benefits. And providers’ operations have also benefited from improved record-keeping, administration, and billing.
At the same time, however, the consumer experience has seen little improvement. Access to care, overall, remains constrained, and scheduling care is predominantly analog – phone calls with elaborate voice menus are common when trying to access care, for example. Moreover, the nature of care continues to be reactive, patient-driven, and conducted in response to illness.
The consumer-centric healthcare revolution – long predicted – has yet to materialize. However, a tipping point is now within sight. Enhancing the consumer care delivery experience and supporting people to be healthier will become the dominant key to success. Below, we outline some traditional means of differentiation and how new factors centered on enabling a better consumer experience will become the dominant themes in the future.
The remainder of this article, courtesy of Oliver Wyman, can be read through this link.