Fragmented Experience on eHealth Websites

January 16, 2007

Geocentric posted an editorial by Ben Dillon titled, “The Fragmented Consumer Experience”. In addition to giving some examples of frustration with a health care provider website, he lists his expectations of consumer websites from Google and Amazon, for instance,

  • I want you to remember who I am
  • I want you to get smarter about addressing my needs the more time that I spend working with you
  • I want my experience to be personalized around the tasks and concerns that I have right now
  • I want you to provide easy access to the information and tools that I need to make decisions
  • I want to interact with you through your website. Don’t send me off to other random sites, I can do that with Google. This includes passing me to some health system parent organization website. I came to you, not to them
  • I want to be able to complete with you online any interaction that does not require physician examination or phlebotomy
  • I want to be able to email with my physician or her office/clinic securely
  • I want to be able to see my bill online, I want to get explanations of my bill online, I want to be able to ask questions about my bill online and I want to be able to pay my bill online

All of these are reasonable expectations, but few providers/health systems have these features. Why – little incentive, costs, lack of vision? If the value of a patient portal with broad features can show some return on investment, even if it is simply a competitive advantage in a local or national market, more providers might join in providing a richer experience.

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