The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted numerous industries, and perhaps the most obvious of these sectors is healthcare. Traditionally, the healthcare industry has been slow to hop on the digital transformation bandwagon. Due to privacy concerns, regulatory requirements, and other factors, the healthcare sector has been a bit tardy to make the shift.
But recent years have healthcare organizations embracing digital solutions for everything from payments to virtual physician visits. Now, many healthcare organizations are embracing eCommerce strategies, approaches, and technologies to drive down costs, improve patient experiences, and create better healthcare outcomes.
This year promises to see more innovation in the healthcare eCommerce space. Here are the top eCommerce trends in healthcare to look out for in 2022.
The growth of omnichannel
In order to stay competitive in today’s eCommerce environment, it’s essential that healthcare organizations strive to deliver superior customer experiences that unite multiple touchpoints. If your business is not actively working to integrate all of your online sales and marketing channels into a single, unified experience across touchpoints, you’re already behind the ball. It's time to focus your efforts on the consumer.
To be successful, healthcare eCommerce organizations need to avoid siloing individual channels and customer touchpoints. Instead, they need to be viewed as components of a larger customer-and patient-experience. It’s imperative that brands find methods of decreasing friction between individual channels to create a holistic and coherent buyer’s journey.
By implementing omnichannel strategies, healthcare organizations can help drive efficiencies that create better outcomes and reduce costs associated with patient care. In an omnichannel environment, patients can easily schedule appointments via an online portal, meet with a physician or other healthcare professional virtually on their mobile device, manage billing and insurance online, and even order prescriptions (more on that later).
The omnichannel approach emphasizes the self-service workflow, which means patients can easily engage with a healthcare provider on their own terms, and organizations save time, money, and effort by streamlining administrative tasks. Doctor’s offices no longer have to be at the center of the patient experience. Omnichannel healthcare eCommerce means providing both providers and patients with more channels to manage their wellbeing, with each channel complementing the other to create a more streamlined and well-rounded experience.
A focus on improving the patient experience
Convenience has always been the foundation of eCommerce’s success. Customers have the ability to easily and quickly order products without leaving the comfort of their homes, and then have those products show up on their doorstep a short time later. Healthcare providers have recognized the importance of this convenience factor, and have begun to adopt eCommerce strategies in order to create superior patient experiences.
Consider this: a patient starts feeling sick and sets up a virtual telehealth appointment with their physician. The patient talks through their symptoms with the doctor, who then diagnoses the condition and prescribes the necessary medication. Using an online pharmaceutical company like Capsule and NowRX, the patient can easily order and receive the medication in a matter of hours.
In this scenario, the patient has spoken with a physician, received a diagnosis, been prescribed medication, and received that medication, all without leaving the comfort of their home. In the age of COVID-19, this level of convenience is extremely important.
As more and more healthcare organizations begin to embrace eCommerce technologies and approaches, they can help create better, safer, and more streamlined patient experiences that improve access to care and deliver better healthcare outcomes for patients and providers alike.
More attention to privacy and data protection
Because organizations handle large amounts of personal data and information, the healthcare industry has been a prime target for cyber attacks. The more healthcare organizations embrace eCommerce, the more vulnerable they become to cyber threats that can expose patient data and other sensitive information.
It has become imperative for healthcare organizations to ensure their security standards are up-to-date and patient data is adequately protected. These efforts should also extend to any third-party vendors or service providers. This becomes especially important in an eCommerce environment, which constitutes an entire ecosystem of platforms, plugins, and tools.
When standing up eCommerce ecosystems, healthcare organizations must make security and data protection a priority, and require the same of their vendors and service providers.
Changing revenue cycles
Traditionally, the healthcare industry has relied heavily on paper billing, which means long revenue cycles and frustrating payment experiences for patients. But with eCommerce tools, healthcare providers can provide patients with bills almost immediately. Because of this, patients may be persuaded to pay their bills faster, instead of letting paper copies gather dust for months. This means that revenue cycles can be significantly shorter for providers, and patients can more easily pay their bills, leaving an outdated system in the past.
Healthcare eCommerce digital transformation
This year promises to bring about major developments in the healthcare eCommerce space. By leveraging eCommerce tools, technologies, and approaches, healthcare organizations can provide better care to patients, reduce operational costs, and ultimately increase revenue.
Here at Codal, we’re a savvy design and development agency that can help you unleash the full potential of your healthcare organization’s eCommerce capabilities. We’ve helped healthcare providers of all shapes and sizes improve their internal processes and create better outcomes for their patients, customers, employees, and associates. So when your company is ready to join the many providers in the healthcare industry benefiting from eCommerce strategies, we’d love to work with you.
As a truly innovative agency, Codal has designed and developed applications for a wide variety of industries, and the healthcare sector is no exception. We've engineered web solutions for vendors of medical supplies, psychiatric care providers, athletic medical record companies, healthcare transportation services, and medical cosmetology companies.
Codal's healthcare solutions prioritize compliance and security while striving to enhance clinical workflows and improve the patient experience. From helping you choose the right eCommerce platform to ensuring your site is HIPAA-compliant, Codal can do it all. In North America and beyond, our diverse portfolio of healthcare clients has not only provided us with different perspectives in the ever-shifting healthcare sector but also with the valuable experience to innovate.
Interested in learning how eCommerce solutions can be implemented into your healthcare organization? Connect with Codal today.