How a Thai hospital bounced back after a drop in international business
At Bumrungrad International Hospital, MarTech Chief Digital Officer Wisut Ua-Anant led the development of a comprehensive digital health app that brings the benefits of transformation directly to its Thai and international patients.
One of the main impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a significant reduction in the hospital’s international activities and the need to strategically refocus on the needs of domestic patients during the crisis, as explained by Ua-Anant.
Ua-Anant has been in Bumrungrad for two years, laying the foundation for a digital healthcare ecosystem that includes cloud infrastructure, automated marketing, online shopping and electronic payment, telehealth and telehealth services, including including direct chat with the nurse.
“As we learned during the crisis, most Thais like to chat and make calls more than email,” he says. “The MarTech team has worked closely with clinics, centers and specialist nurses, creating online chat platforms that lead patients directly to nurses at over 30 clinics. Patients can not only ask questions, but also make an appointment for a visit to the hospital or a telemedicine consultation.”
The Bumrungrad app brings many of these developments into a unique patient experience. “We put the patient first and center in everything we do – it’s a customer-centric mindset – so we can anticipate their wants, needs, communication preferences and build lasting relationships. with them in the app,” says Ua-Anant.
The first phase of development focused on appointment reminders and marketing automation for personalized offers – for example, timely vaccination alerts or prompts to purchase a screening package annual. The next will integrate health data and real-time monitoring with the Internet of Things (IoT).
A win-win situation
“We primarily used the Four Actions framework and Design Thinking to come up with eight specific patient touchpoints,” says Ua-Anant. “Next, we delivered a meaningful patient journey based on our digital core values: providing the most convenience, a great experience, and reducing patient wait time and cost. The patient can also easily access their health information through the app. They feel valued and keep coming back.”
Feedback is constantly gathered from customer reviews and the hospital’s patient experience team, contributing to the regular release of new features as well as streamlining internal processes and reducing time to waiting for patients.
“Improving customer service through the app creates a win-win situation,” says Ua-Anant. “Digital transformation in healthcare is the positive impact of technology in healthcare. The pandemic has changed consumer behavior to the new normal for good. So we need to embrace the new normal of the consumer journey and use digital technologies to help reduce, eliminate, increase, and create innovative services that can address the needs and pain points of our customers.”
Ua-Anant will speak at the HIMSS APAC Healthcare CEO Summit – the region’s inaugural gathering of healthcare CEOs – on March 3, 2022. This digital event is free to employees of government agencies, hospitals, medical centers, academic institutions and not-for-profit associations. Learn more here.