The 5 P’s of E-Patient Expectations


by Jason Brandt (@jasondmg3)

At this falls SXSH Social Health Unconference, which teamed itself with the E-Patient Connections conference, social media expert Shwen Gwee of Edelman gave us his “five Ps, describing what he saw as emerging trends that sum up what patients want and expect of our social digital healthcare experience.

I thought the features he highlighted were particularly apt and thought much more about how to describe them more fully. Its something of a miniature bill of rights, or at least a bill of expectations, for what the average digital consumer now wants an online health service to deliver.

So now, with apologies for making the title sound like something out of Dr. Seuss, I present my thoughts on:Shwen Gwees 5 Ps

  1. Personalized. We expect an experience to know about us and deliver something different to us than it will deliver to our neighbor. We want the experience to know that its subject is unique. Our devices can know our location and even size up our physical attributes (thanks to webcams and technology like that in Microsofts Kinect). Sometimes this worries us, but when it can help us manage our health better, we want it used to the best of its ability. Think about how many large corporations are shepherding their employees through online health-management programs in exchange for insurance reductions. When an employee enters the results of a basic physical, theyre assigned a personalized plan to help them improve their health (and reduce the corporations insurance costs).
  2. Participatory. We expect to be able to see how our results stack up to our neighbors, and we expect to have the ability to share our results with our neighbors if we want. We dont want to exist in a vacuum. We want to be able to have the option of joining a larger community to whatever extent we wish. To do so, that larger community must first exist, and we must have the ability to easily participate in it. Think of patient and caregiver blog networks likeCarepages.
  3. Peer-to-Peer/Patient. We expect to be able to learn from our neighbors, not only from the experts. We want empathy from those who have walked in the same shoes, not just halfhearted sympathy from a professional who reads case studies about people with our condition. Most of us are accustomed to using online social networks to stay connected to friends and family, but in these mainstream networks were as unlikely to find people with our particular condition as we are in day-to-day life. Specialized social networks make it easy for us to find – well, to findPatients Like Me.
  4. Preventative. We expect to maintain and improve our health, not just get it fixed when it goes wrong. Weve gotten accustomed to this with our cars; why would our own bodies not deserve the same? Even the above-mentioned corporations have come to see that an ounce of prevention is cheaper than a pound of cure. We desire peak performance and offerings like Live Strong, full of information, social connections and data analysis, meet that need.
  5. Passion. We expect to work with healthcare providers who care very deeply about our own health and well-being, since we certainly do ourselves. With the advent of social media, the personality of a healthcare professional or even an entire hospital network or healthcare corporation can shine through. While healthcare is an extremely data-driven process, its also an extremely personal, emotional one – and we want to feel satisfied in both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of our care.

What do you think? To me, these 5 Ps are a great reminder of what e-patients need and want – a great checklist to refer to when working on projects meant to help them. How do your projects measure up?




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