The healthcare industry is undergoing dramatic changes, not the least of which is an increased focus among payers (healthcare insurers) and providers (physicians, hospitals, clinics, etc.) on customer centricity. Payers who historically had customers funneled to them by employers are now beginning to market to individual customers. But payers aren't the only healthcare industry participants that are blazing new trails in customer centricity. As last week's PegaWORLD 2015 conference indicates, life sciences and other healthcare companies are also getting into the mix. While much of discussion at the Pegasystems event was focused on improving the customer experience across a variety of industries, healthcare dominated the first half day of the event. For instance, one of the keynote speakers, Dr. Mark Boxer, executive vice president and global CIO at Cigna Healthcare, talked about how the industry's shift to a retail market is empowering consumers to control their customer experience.
Days before the conference took place, Pegasystems introduced its Pega Customer Engagement for Life Sciences application. The omnichannel application is designed to enable life sciences companies to gain a 360-degree view of the customer and enable employees to provide relevant responses to customer inquiries.
Meanwhile, healthcare providers are also becoming more active in their efforts to strengthen the customer experience. Although it's still early days, some providers are weighing the potential for delivering Uber-type experiences for customers where consumers would be able to search for and find a physician using their mobile devices, according to Anthony Lange, vice president of the healthcare practice at Virtusa.
Telerx, a Pegasystems client and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck & Co. that provides a variety of customer care services to customers for many of the world's largest life sciences companies, has been using software from Pegasystems for the past four years to help monitor patients after they've been discharged from a hospital and for other aspects of patient support.
Theresa Zataveski, vice president of medical solutions at Telerx, says the company's use of the Pega 7 platform has enabled it to do things it wasn't able to before with other CRM systems, such as customize processes for its life sciences clients and address state-by-state healthcare regulations.
We're still in the early stages of the healthcare industry's transformation. But one trend that's clearly emerging is how consumers are becoming much more active in managing their own healthcare. Payers and providers that are able to guide the customer experience and understand and respond effectively to customers' needs will position themselves to earn customers' trust and loyalty.