Digital customer services: It’s time for healthcare to catch up
Ochsner Health’s CEO explains how the organization is using technology to improve customer service.
This article is part of a CEO leadership series
Warner Thomas, president and CEO at Ochsner Health in New Orleans, says healthcare needs to offer the same level of digital services as other sectors.
“Patients are used to a digital world, such as Netflix and Venmo, and expect it in their healthcare as well,” he says. “Technology is changing how patients want to get their information. If you don’t have digital capabilities, people will find other options.”
The organization’s MyOchsner digital services platform now provides patients with a range of services, including obtaining estimates of expenses, completing advanced check-in, handling billing and accommodating messaging. Patient use of the platform has grown 195% since 2017, the CEO says. Growth was spurred, in particular, by online scheduling of COVID-19 vaccines.
Ochsner also operates “Connected You,” which provides interactive follow-up, such as reminding patients to take their blood pressure medicine or using artificial intelligence to predict who may be prone to falls.
“We know the value a strong digital experience has on a patient’s overall experience with us,” Thomas says. “Our model is to connect with patients in a way that we never discharge a patient from our system. We are always connected and always supporting and guiding our patients through the system.”
Ochsner tracks patients’ digital engagement to understand which functions patients are using and how often. “The digital health revolution continues,” the CEO says. “The delta will grow between health systems that can build digital platforms and connectivity and those who can’t.”