Prescription for efficiency.
Building a patient-focused digital platform.

















The efficiency imperative in healthcare.
By 2030, one in five Americans will be 65 or over, requiring increased medical care as they age. With costs for healthcare delivery in the United States rising much faster than incomes, we’re heading toward a healthcare crisis. In fact, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, national health expenditures in the United States accounted for $3.2 trillion in 2015 — nearly 18 percent of the country’s total GDP and triple that of healthcare spending in 1960.
Digital technology can help make this looming crisis more manageable. A recent Goldman Sachs report shows digital technology could save $300 billion in spending in this sector — especially in chronic disease, which accounts for one-third of all health spending. While the healthcare industry has lagged other industries in productivity gains brought on by digital transformation, the prognosis is changing. A recent Econsultancy report shows that most healthcare executives now fully embrace improving customer experience through digital technology.
Industry leaders are implementing technology to contain costs, improve efficiency, and deliver better patient experiences. Let’s look at how they do it.

“When executed well, [digital] initiatives can achieve substantial, near-term SG&A cost savings and give payers a much more solid footing from which to face the future.”

McKinsley & Co.
A healthcare innovator puts a premium on technology.
Kaiser Permanente is one of the largest healthcare companies in the United States, with a unique, integrated model of care that provides both healthcare plans and services. Serving more than 11 million users, Kaiser is at the forefront of patient experience innovation. They recently began a multi-step program to use digital technology to improve customer experiences — and lower costs.
“Healthcare is shifting from delivery to a patient-experience focus,” said Matt Spragins, director of personalization at Kaiser Permanente, during a recent presentation at Adobe Summit. “Our main goal with our personalization efforts is to drive more self-service with our customers.”
Spragins explains how efficiency is driving their digital transformation. “Our digital channels enable the reduction of call center volumes, which means we can spend money on healthcare instead of operations.”
Charting a path to efficiency.

















1. Improving patient conversion.
Transformation starts by converting prospects to patients more efficiently. To scale, companies must be able to increase account volume efficiently. The use of analytics and big data technology is vital to making better marketing decisions, with fewer steps — and fewer people. 

For instance, a payer can use advanced analytics to predict when human intervention would keep someone from getting lost in auto-enrollment. Results from a McKinsey Consulting study show the promise of digital technology to overhaul the individual sign-up process. Thanks to digital automation, the process had significantly fewer steps than their previous models. The advanced analytics also flagged prospects who needed human help to finish their enrollment. The results were impressive — overall spending on customer sign-up was lowered by 30 percent to 50 percent.

With savings like this in a key business area, you’ll be able to invest in customer care, marketing to increase volumes, or other business priorities.

50% bar
Digital technology helped one insurance
provider lower overall spending on
customer sign-ups up to 50%.
Source: McKinsey
Tread carefully around sensitive personal data.
All healthcare companies must be extremely sensitive with any personally identifying health information. HIPAA compliance needs to be front and center in all digital activities that collect, process, or transmit protected health information (PHI). Your system must be able to handle authenticated and detailed opt-ins and permissions for patient preferences. For instance, instead of opting in for all communications from a provider, a patient can be given specific options such as an information campaign on weight loss or asthma management. The patient must proactively opt in to get any such information.
2. Putting your best foot forward.
While attracting and converting customers is critical, the biggest gains for efficiency happen during onboarding. Sophisticated acquisition and onboarding strategies can help healthcare companies keep audiences engaged through self-service offerings that may better meet their needs, while keeping costs in check. These cost savings last throughout the patient’s tenure with your service. 

.According to a recent presentation given at Adobe Summit, Kaiser’s marketing team has created an audience segment in their experience platform specifically for new members. This lets them track new members’ behaviors with an integrated analytics tool to see which parts of the site they’ve visited, then drive awareness of self-serve features and services available that they may have missed.
“We are driving feature awareness with our new customers. It’s important that they know right away that they can refill prescriptions or book appointments online,” says Spragins.
Digital technology will power big changes in healthcare.
By 2019:
66% of U.S. health systems will provide online scheduling.
64% of patients will make appointments online.
986 million appointments will be scheduled independently.
986 million appointments will be scheduled independently.
The value of online scheduling will be $3.2 billion.
The value of online scheduling will be $3.2 billion.
Source: Accenture.
3. Combining offline and online data.
Using separate systems for in-person experiences and digital interactions is inefficient at best. At Kaiser, they’re working to integrate all touchpoints — call center interactions, in-person visits, online booking — so they can have a 360-degree view of their members. 

“You need to think of your customers as users, not devices. We’ve implemented ID syncing so we know who a person is regardless of what device or app they use to access our system,” says Spragins. “This allows us to target in the digital space based on what is happening in the offline world.” 

One example of this in action is patients with chronic conditions who frequently call into the pharmacy for drug refills. The healthcare company can create a segment of these patients and run targeted campaigns that remind them of the self-service option when they log in. Most users want to do administrative tasks whenever and wherever they want — from their mobile phone, tablet, or computer — so driving awareness of these features improves both the patient experience and operational efficiency. 

Similarly, digital forms and signatures can also ensure that patients aren’t filling out the same documents repeatedly.
Integrating touchpoints with back-end and behavioral data through a digital
marketing platform will result in improved communication, onboarding, and efficiency.
Integrating touchpoints
4. Doing more with less.
All this content and digital production can sound expensive, and separate technical solutions can certainly create extra cycles for your already busy teams. But a unified digital foundation can help scale your team without adding costs. 

Take ConnectiveRx. Their health communications network reaches more than 800,000 prescribers, 77,000 pharmacists, and approximately 190 million patients. They recently implemented a digital foundation that allows them to communicate seamlessly with their ecosystem of providers and customers in an automated, consistent, and customizable fashion. The biggest benefit is sending communication with the right message to the right people, rather than just blanketing their database of millions with generic emails. 

They’re also able to send mission-critical information more quickly. As providers of the venerable Physicians’ Desk Reference, ConnectiveRX sends out information on all drug updates to subscribers. Using their new digital platform, they segment audiences by interest and send this information out proactively every month through email, mobile app, and direct mail. It all goes through the same system, with one central repository for approved content. Not surprisingly, they’ve been able to increase their volume of communication. 

“One of the things that we were very concerned about was how much personnel it was going to take to manage the new system,” says David Weatherbee, senior director of communications and database at ConnectiveRX. “But our digital foundation has allowed us to keep a stable workforce while our volume of communications has more than doubled. This year, we’re going to double again. We’ll have a 400 percent increase in volume, but we’re able to manage it with the same team.” 
David Weatherbee

“Our digital foundation has allowed us to keep a stable workforce while our volume of communications has more than doubled.”

David Weatherbee
Senior Director of Communications and Database, ConnectiveRX
ConnectiveRX talks about their volume of communication and how they manage it.
Ready. Set. Go-live.
5. Staying secure.
You can’t cut corners on security or regulatory compliance — especially in healthcare. A consolidated platform delivers higher standards of security around sensitive medical data than a collection of separate solutions. With a dedicated product team behind the platform’s security technology and fewer moving parts and integration points, your IT team can focus on security best practices. 

.Furthermore, an integrated workflow for content creation and approval may also reduce legal and regulatory approval cycles, and ease the burden of compliance. For example, you could automate replacing or deleting content that must be changed due to regulatory actions. Medical device manufacturers frequently face these challenges as their products evolve. An integrated digital foundation could do these updates in a single step, rather than through a complicated and uncertain manual process that could result in costly errors. 
6. Scaling easily.
You’ve converted and engaged audiences, making them aware of your self-service features. But as regulations and demand change, you need a scalable solution that can be adjusted on the fly. 

Managed services through the cloud are the best way to adjust to the shifting consumer and regulatory preferences of your customers and patients. Philips, a global manufacturer of medical and consumer devices, recently overhauled its digital marketing technology, implementing a unified digital foundation. They chose a cloud solution to remain responsive to growing demand. 

“We wanted to move from an on-premises solution to a cloud-based environment, to make sure we could keep up with the scale and capacity we needed for our .com platform,” says Joost van Dun, corporate experience .com manager at Philips. 
Start your customer experience wellness plan.

















Wherever you are on the spectrum of implementing your digital foundation, it’s important to align both your culture and technology to be experience-centric. As you expand your digital functionality, organize your internal teams around end-to-end experiences, not point solutions or channels. 

Make sure you have a process for constantly re-evaluating your customer journeys and improving the self-service experience — as well as your organization’s efficiency gains. As patients use new tools and channels, such as wearables or health social networks, your team should consider adding support. 

Kaiser, for instance, said in its recent presentation that it’s looking to add beacon technology and social channels to its digital platform to create an end-to-end customer experience. Many see the promise of linking the Internet of Things with connected medical devices as an exciting way to improve care and efficiency in the future. These advancements could include remote monitoring or integration with other wearables to offer complete patient profiles — wherever they go. 

Soon, the distinction between online and traditional healthcare channels will be non-existent, as our providers can know us holistically, as patients — not as a collection of touchpoints or forms. A unified digital foundation — and the organizational changes and processes that accompany it — can help healthcare companies reduce costs and easily scale, so they can focus on their core aim — giving their patients the care they need. 


Adobe can help.

Building a digital foundation is critical, especially one that unifies your data analytics, connects with your customers wherever they are, allows you to run campaigns, and ensures regulatory compliance. 

Explore how Adobe is helping healthcare digitally transform and scale for the future.


Basel Kayyali, Steve Kelley, and Madhu Pawar, “Why Digital Transformation Should Be a Priority for Health Insurers,” McKinsey & Company, May 2016,

Brittany Chandler and Matt Spragins, “Personalization in Healthcare,” Adobe Summit presentation, May 2017,

ConnectiveRX, interview by Adobe, March 2017.  (information taken from transcripts)

David H. Roman and Kyle D. Conlee, “The Digital Revolution Comes to US Healthcare,” Goldman Sachs, June 29, 2015,
“Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Trends in Healthcare and Pharma,” Econsultancy and Adobe, June 2017.

“Philips Accelerates the Creation of Digital Experiences with Integrated Data and Content,” YouTube video, 3:25, posted by “Adobe Experience Cloud,” July 27, 2017,

“Self-Scheduling Set to Explode in Healthcare,” Accenture Consulting,