Healthcare’s Emotional Focus in Unexpected Places…
In the children’s program Sesame Street, there is a bit where they show four items and sing “which one of these things is not like the others? Which one just doesn’t belong?” Well, as far as healthcare providers (ie, primary care providers, health insurers, hospitals, and pharmaceuticals) are concerned, two of these are unlike the others. Most of us would point out that primary care providers and hospitals provide care directly. On the other hand, pharmaceuticals and health insurers are generally considered to be ancillary providers. As a result we generally think that these two just need to focus on their core business: pharma just need to provide good pills and health insurers just need to provide good coverage for sick people.
The Beyond Philosophy Q1 2010 Customer Experience Tracker points to a much deeper story for the “ancillary” healthcare providers. The first point is that people believe pharmaceuticals and health insurers should both focus 18% and 24% of their efforts towards healthcare consumers’ emotional wellbeing, respectively. It is even more pronounced for the unhealthy, those that actually need those services. It would not have been surprising to us if we found that consumers believed these two laggard sectors should focus on providing better drugs and insurance coverage. However, the findings show that unhealthy consumers actually want these two to focus more on their emotional needs. The percentage of total effort the unhealthy believe pharmaceuticals should devote to emotional wellbeing goes up 5 percentage points to 23% (vs 18% for the healthy). The same is true for health insurers where the percentage also goes up five percentage points to 29% up from 24% for the healthy.
The point is that healthcare consumers expect more of pharmaceuticals and health insurers than just providing an excellent product. They need these sectors to focus a significant portion of their efforts on emotional wellbeing. Even with the best medicines and coverage there will be something missing in the customer’s mind if these sectors do not effectively address their customers’ emotional wellbeing and the hole gets larger for those in need, the unhealthy.
The more enlightened pharmaceutical and health insures recognise this effect. They have already started to look for business models, approaches and pilots to address their customers (primary care providers and patients) emotional wellbeing.
Have you seen any evidence of a pharmaceutical or health insurer paying particular attention to emotional wellbeing of health care consumers?
This was the second healthcare post by Qaalfa Dibeehi and Kalina Janevska – if you haven’t read their first post, catch it here
By Qaalfa Dibeehi Kalina Janevska | Published: March 15, 2010