In times of crises the healthcare system is one of the pillars that helps to hold up a nation.
As one of the top 5 largest health systems 4 years in a row, Mercy Health has a huge responsibility to its customers. Not only in the care that they give but the way in which they communicate – where clarity is key.
“Not a lot of people like going to the doctor,” exclaimed Ken Kellogg, VP of brand and experience. “Not a lot of people like going to the hospital for a procedure, even when Covid wasn’t a concern. It’s a neutral experience at best.
“If we can make the experience better by interacting with people as individuals — and avoiding one-size-fits-all strategies — we can treat our patients with the dignity we believe they deserve.”
Through Covid, the relationship between healthcare organizations and patients has been changing. And also because of the advancement in technology. Things like having a user-friendly website that is easy on the eye. A simple interface so that customers of all ages are able to navigate through the site, including the ability to schedule appointments.
These elevated expectations, which were only found among digitally-optimized brands in retail and hospitality, have filtered down into places that have traditionally ignored the usability of their websites – such as healthcare providers and government agencies.
Mercy Health has been working on taking its values, including personalization, online. With the pandemic burning through the country, the solution needed to provide them with the agility and velocity to respond in quick time to communicate clearly with their customers.
They moved fast. And they moved their content over to Adobe Experience Manager.
“Healthcare is full of friction,” added Ken. “It’s full of trap doors. It’s full of waiting on hold and then getting redirected ten minutes later. We want to get rid of that.”
Mercy was fully aware of the friction that many patients experience online with their healthcare providers. “We wanted to build and deliver a healthcare experience that was on par with the retail and travel experience,” added Ken.
For Mercy, Adobe Experience Manager represented the flexibility and intelligence that they were looking for. “We simply knew that, coming out of the RFP,” said Ken, “Adobe Experience Manager was going to be the best product for us.”
It was a big step forward for the organization. It meant that patients could now begin to pay their bills online, they could schedule appointments, view their test results, and even access self-service info. More and more of their needs were being met online now.
Then when the pandemic struck, there was another impetus to stretch even further the capabilities of Adobe Experience Manager. With most of us searching for the latest news and health advice, getting out clear communication was key for Mercy, where hospitals were becoming the most trusted source of information.
“Up until six months ago,” said Ken, “technology was a great enabler for patients and providers. Now, technology is part of the actual distribution of healthcare services.”
Hospitals and health organizations scrambled to go digital and update their customer experiences in real-time. With Adobe Experience Manager already in place, Mercy had leverage.
The foundations had already been set for an elevated digital experience. The tools were there to respond well to the pandemic. “When you think about transformation, speed really, really matters,” said Ken. “We have seen 3, 4, maybe 5 years of growth and change happen in three months.”
With Adobe Experience Manager, Mercy made a new landing page in one day. In a couple of days they added in the content. The day after, they launched live! Being AEMless would likely have meant that it would have taken them weeks to get this all sorted.
Mercy was able to keep pace with the unprecedented changes that were occurring, updating its content as well as there were any new updates. They knew this was important because their page received a big upswing in traffic – it got 256,000 visits within a couple of months, representing 8% of its entire web traffic.
It was clear that one page wasn’t enough to inform their patients and other online visitors about everything that was happening. “As soon as we found out we needed to screen both anonymous and known visitors to our online booking portal, we asked ourselves, ‘How do we do it today or tomorrow? What tools in the toolbox do we have that can solve this problem? What can we do with Adobe Target?’ And bang, there it was,” said Ken emphatically.
In a matter of days, Mercy created a screener for patients to go through before entering their personal details and book an appointment. For visitors of the site who were experiencing symptoms of Covid, Mercy was able to get in touch with them to further assess how they are. In a couple of months, 35,000 patients had been screened.
This is just one example of how Target can be used for specific needs in a specific moment. “In the future,” added Ken, “Adobe Target is going to be the centralized switchboard that drives our experiences. We want to use the connectivity with Adobe Experience Manager, our CRM, and all our technology to drive personalized experiences for our community.”
With the right mixture of tech, structure and agility, businesses and organizations like Mercy can reimagine how they operate and move fast through difficult periods of time.
One major lessons to come from this entire experience is that digital healthcare – once a second thought – is now here to stay and is part of the general healthcare package of providers.
“Digital marketers,” said Ken, “including me, love numbers — conversion rates, sales figures, net revenue, customer lifetime value. But when you look at what we did with the Covid-19 landing page, it wasn’t about revenue numbers. It was about serving patients and saving lives. For us, metrics aren’t numbers.
“They’re individuals. And if somebody got tested or treated because of our work, or helped protect the vulnerable from the virus, that’s a life we helped save. And it’s all because of that single page. You can’t put a marketing number on that. It’s priceless.”