The After-Visit Abyss
A healthcare consumer’s journey may start with an inciting incident—symptoms develop or an accident occurs, for example—but rarely is the rest of their journey purely episodic. Rather, the journey is continuous and layered with interactions and expectations. Finding care was merely the beginning. When the consumer exits the doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic doors, the real challenge awaits. The after-visit abyss begins.
At this stage of the consumer experience, follow-ups and care instructions are sources of ambiguity and frustration. Their accountability reaches an all-time high when, alongside health data, consumers become responsible for post-surgical treatment, specialist referrals, prescription fulfillment, understanding lab results, and so much more.
Regardless of how positive their initial experience was, a healthcare consumer judges the journey as a whole. Each touchpoint, even the moments in between—the care connections—impact how the healthcare consumer evaluates the experience of healthcare.
Poor care connections are often the root cause of referral leakage, high readmission rates, increased costs, and overall consumer dissatisfaction ratings.
For those managing a chronic condition, this friction increases ten-fold. Managing appointments alone might as well be treated as a full-time job. More importantly, the stakes are higher, because mismanagement means more than just missing an appointment. Failure to schedule a specialist referral could mean life-threatening complications.
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