The healthcare industry continues to be rocked by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Globally, healthcare providers are strained at every level. From inpatient to outpatient, and those they manage in the community, every facility and modality – including hospitals and hotlines – is experiencing unprecedented demand.
During this time of increased burden, the strength of the relationship between a healthcare provider and its technology vendors is more important than ever. It is crucial to be able to respond swiftly and flexibly to a provider’s specific needs and priorities in a dynamic and rapidly evolving health situation, and a strong relationship facilitates this.
Furthermore, from a robust foundation springs innovation and the development of creative solutions to unique challenges – this is the value of a strong client-vendor relationship.
Ian McCrae, CEO of Orion Health, explores some of the things that healthcare IT vendors can do to increase overall customer satisfaction.
What are the key areas that healthcare IT vendors should focus on to drive customer satisfaction?
I think it boils down to three things: relationships, implementations and proactive service.
The way we have organized our business in the last two years has been to keep these three things front of mind. In particular, our account management style structure allows for greater synergy between our product teams and healthcare providers. We get a better understanding of what our customers need, and therefore what we need to do to satisfy them.
What is the best way for vendors to build and maintain relationships with their customers?
I think it’s about mindset. We think of our work with customers as a partnership, rather than a traditional client-vendor relationship.
Our customers feel as if we are part of their team, and they have highlighted our dedication to them as part of this.
And of course communication is crucial. Close communication between customer teams and development teams means feedback is relayed swiftly and clearly.
How do service and standard of implementation work together to create a successful customer experience?
I believe they are intrinsically linked. As a global company with 20 offices in 13 countries, we understand the importance of a local-team approach to implementation and the subsequent, ongoing service that produces a positive customer experience.
Our projects are primarily staffed by in-region resources – our project managers and implementation consultants – who continue their relationship with our clients long after the project is complete. We often embed resources onsite with our clients, which contributes to the feeling of a partnership. For the period of the implementation – and often beyond – our people are present, directly engaged and an integral part of the customer’s project team.
We also never compromise on service. Regardless of the size of the project, each of our customers receives the same attention, focus, and quality, and as a result we have earned the trust of our customers.
Service has to be proactive to earn that trust, too. Little things like giving customers plenty of notice before doing an update, or highlighting potential problems or pitfalls before customers even notice them – this is what proactive service looks like.
How can a global company make sure it stays relevant in local markets?
The first step is understanding that what works well in one market does not necessarily work as well for another.
The second step is knowing that, with some clever thinking, the opposite can also be true: you can leverage what you have learnt from other markets to address the unique challenges of the market you are in.
Our local teams speak the language of the country they are in, in more than a literal sense. They have the inside knowledge to work effectively within their country’s legislative and jurisdictional frameworks, which is crucial.
Conversely, being a global company headquartered in New Zealand means that we’re able to provide 24/7, ‘chase the sun’ support to our customers.
Ian McCrae is the CEO of Orion Health, a leading global technology company that develops software to support the delivery of optimized healthcare. Orion Health provides flexible technology solutions that bring together all types of health data to support the management of individualized patient care across a health system. With over 25 years’ experience, Orion Health has the global healthcare experience and capabilities to help organizations realize value quickly, without compromising on the local touch required for successful delivery and support. Find out more at www.orionhealth.com.
- The relationship between a healthcare provider and its technology vendors is more important than ever
- Standard of implementation and proactive service are inextricably linked
- Global learnings can be leveraged to address unique local challenges