Personalizing the Patient Experience

Dr Keith Nelson

The current shift in healthcare delivery is toward value-based care and improved patient outcomes. To this end, healthcare providers, who are competing for patients on the basis of quality treatment, are now focusing intently on improving patient experience and engagement.

But how can you make the greatest impact? I would suggest borrowing a page from the hospitality industry’s playbook that focuses on providing a personalized, rather than an assembly line, consumer experience.

Most of us have experienced the traditional assembly line approach when we visit a doctor’s office. First there’s a cumbersome registration process that usually involves being handed a clipboard or being asked to download and print a document packet with multiple generic pages to complete, requiring repetitive entry of your name, social security number, and date of birth on the top of each page.

When you arrive for your appointment, your name eventually gets called in the waiting room, and you’re led to an exam room only to wait some more before a medical assistant (whom you don’t know) enters the room and coldly runs down a list of questions that you have already answered in the patient registration process, and then takes your blood pressure and weight. Then you wait again for the doctor to enter the room. It’s a very impersonal and marginalizing experience. And what if you’re an inpatient stuck all day in your hospital bed? How do you occupy your time and stimulate your mind?

Enter technology. It is now possible to deploy a comprehensive personalized patient information system that generates messaging that is customized for each patient. All curated information is derived from integration with both the Electronic Health Record and/or the facility’s ERP system, and can be deployed on displays in the exam room, at the patient’s bedside (i.e. age-appropriate infotainment, customized education, support groups, dietary options), or through mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. In addition, patient-specific information (i.e. allergies, dietary restrictions, care team, etc.) can be posted on displays outside of the exam or inpatient room to inform providers who are entering.

So now let’s examine a new type of patient journey…


You receive a link via text or email that seamlessly walks you through the registration process, including signing consent forms and uploading pictures of your driver’s license and insurance card. The questions are specific to your medical history—for instance, if you indicate that you have diabetes, then additional questions related to that condition will be asked. Afterward, you will automatically receive appointment reminders, as well as a brief satisfaction survey after the visit.

Exam Room

While you are waiting to be seen by a provider, you can read a digital wall display welcoming you by name, introducing the name and background of the care givers who will enter the room, offering information pertaining to your presenting complaint, and posting important reminders specific to you, such as overdue flu shots, follow-up visits, or diagnostic tests.

Patient Hospital Room

Personalized hospital bedside infotainment can enable customized patient education, entertainment, test scheduling, telemedicine visits, and messaging with the staff, as well as support group connectivity and access to medical records and test results.

Other Uses of the Technology

Additional applications of the customized messaging technology include electronic white boards for the ER and nurse’s station, and philanthropic donor walls to recognize charitable contributors and drive fundraising campaigns.

Ready to learn how you can use technology to provide a more satisfying patient experience? Reach out to the team at Connection today.

Dr. Keith Nelson is the Director of Healthcare Strategy at Connection and is responsible for formulating and implementing Connection’s go-to-market strategy for the healthcare industry. His responsibilities include identifying and developing differentiated use case driven technology solutions for Connection’s healthcare clients, promoting Connection’s healthcare practice, and driving strategic client and partner engagement. Before joining Connection, Keith led the healthcare vertical at Ingram Micro. Prior to that, he was a consultant to the healthcare industry, providing guidance to hospitals, large physician groups and vendors in the areas of business development, marketing, finance and improving operational efficiency. Concomitantly, Keith worked with various private equity firms focusing on roll-ups in the healthcare sector. He has held senior management positions at MDNY Healthcare, HealthAllies (now a subsidiary of United Healthcare), and was the founder of the Renoir Cosmetic Physician Network. Prior to that, Keith spent ten years in private medical practice focusing on surgical reconstruction of the foot and ankle and chronic wound care. He has an MBA in Finance, as well as a Doctorate in Podiatric Medicine, and is Board Certified by the ABPM.

One thought on “Personalizing the Patient Experience”

  1. Bob Acosta says:

    A new type of the “personalized patient journey.” Another step in the Digitization of Healthcare.

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