Determining Where to Place Your Digital Investments

Healthcare organizations are making rapid investment in digital technologies to compete with the digital advancement of other industries. But in a haste to innovate, many of these investments are lacking proper planning, measurement and infrastructure support.

Health plans need to stop thinking of how they can keep pace with the latest trend, and start thinking about how they can intelligently apply technology to better meet the diverse needs of their key consumer segment groups. In order to get smarter about where to integrate digital investment, insurers need to start asking themselves questions like:

“What consumer challenge am I solving?”
“What is the core objective?”
“What is the typical rate of adoption for this media?”
“Is it the right channel for my audience?”
“How does this investment fall into place with our overall digitization strategy?
“Where do we deploy resource first?”
“How will its effectiveness be measured?”

Implementing a formal framework for digital investment decisioning can help team members become more strategic and perceptive when planning new digital developments. The framework should lead to asking all the right questions, mapped out against the needs of all key consumer groups, from how to simplify the on-boarding process of new, millennial members to how to better manage chronic conditions among the elderly. Allow the challenges and goals of your consumer segments to guide technology innovation as opposed to the internal desires for new efficiency or cost-savings. Ensure that it is not only the right tool and media for the intended usage group, but something the particular group truly wants and needs. For example, while converting phone-placed customer service calls to virtual concierges may seem like a great cost-saving initiative, older demographics may not be keen to this more modern approach.

In a study entitled “Look Before You Leap: What Health Plans Must Do Before Diving into Digital,” Infosys, a technology and consulting company, explored how health plans looking to emulate the consumer engagement experiences of retail are employing new technologies with little foresight. They explained how health plans who wish to be successful in integrating new technologies need to slow down and map consumer needs, identify constraints, quantify end goals and determine efficient measurement methodologies. When digital channels are integrated without thought, disappointing results are garnered. For example, according to Infosys, several BCBS plans have launched mobile apps, but because they were launched without taking the existing features of the desktop version member portal into consideration, they ended up duplicating energy and investment, and in turn realized they would’ve done better to have simply made the features of their mobile web browser friendly.

Additionally, many healthcare organizations have many different individuals assigned to the development and management of different channels, from social to web to mobile. Often, they work without integration and at times duplicate efforts. Instead, the social, mobile and web specialists should work in strategic collaboration on an integrated media engagement strategy that does not silo one channel from another. That is how seamless media experiences will be created—by leveraging the knowledge bases of diverse media specialists and mapping how the member is to be moving from one platform to the next—one experience to the next.

Infosys recommends categorizing services by complexity, volume, touch intensity and requirement before deciding where to digitize. And of course, having the right technology partner in place is most essential in avoid such laps in strategy and planning. While there are many tech vendors specialized in systems integration, healthcare organizations should select a partner that also offers professional services and consultative support. A technology partner who can advise, contribute and oversee at every stage, from conceptualization to implementation, is critical both to smooth deployment, optimized adoption rates and the delivery of a digital service that supports your organization’s unique objective and long-term digital innovation strategy.

To learn how Cierant can deliver the strategy, process, technology and support needed to drive your organization’s digital innovation forward, please call 203-731-3555 or email

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