Health providers have begun tapping into data from new and more varied sources to create patient segments, leading to more customized and more effective care. Although multiple techniques can be applied to create segments — ranging from psychographic synthesis of consumer surveys to advanced data aggregation and analysis from existing EHRs — the goal is always the same: provide optimal care for optimal cost.
As chief consumer officer at Novant Health Jesse Cureton points out:
Historically, health care has been an industry that is considered a perpetual business because people will always need health care — and segmentation may not have been considered as a strategy to inform products … but, with the advent of the Affordable Care Act and the increasing complexities within health care, the need to improve outcomes and the need to reduce cost, segmentation becomes very important.
Different patient segments reflect certain attitudes and motivations about health, and each segment — whether created psychographically or empirically — requires a unique approach to improve outcomes. Some patients only want more convenient access to traditional doctors while others require more intensive care through a comprehensive telemedicine program.
What’s more, patient segmentation gives providers even more data from which to inform future business decisions, Cureton adds:
As we become smarter about our patient population, all of that understanding begins to inform strategically about the kinds of products and offerings we make to grow our business.