Healthcare industry must improve personalization of service

To remain relevant and competitive, healthcare agencies must offer greater personalization of their services.

A recent survey by Oracle found that 84 percent of healthcare organizations surveyed responded that their business has noticed a trend of more customers desiring more individualized experiences, reported eWeek. However, less than 20 percent of respondents thought that their organizations were adequately offering services that meet this need for personalization.

These types of personalized services include online portals that can enable regular communication between patients and physicians.

The majority of healthcare organizations surveyed are not meeting this demand for customization, with 77 percent responding that they do not offer self-service options from the preferred electronic devices of patients.

Respondents identified budget and cost constraints, regulatory restrictions and security concerns as the main barriers to implementing enhanced personalized services. According to Lesli Adams, the director of population health strategy for the health sciences global business unit of Oracle, IT investment is key for driving innovation in customized services and software.

"This helps to gain the scalability needed to turn on a dime to meet customer and employee expectations," said Adams in an interview with eWeek. "As personalized medicine moves into the mainstream of healthcare, the enabling IT systems need to evolve into enterprise-grade, mission critical, scalable infrastructures."

Across the country, healthcare organizations still have a ways to go toward taking advantage of these digital solutions. According to Health Affairs, only 10.4 percent of U.S. hospitals met current federally mandated meaningful use requirements for providing patients the option to view, download and send health information online. Additionally, a Nielsen Company survey found that just 15 percent of patients are able to email with their physician, Health Affairs noted.