Redefining healthcare in the digital age: prioritising patient-centric service

Martin Sandhu
November 2023

In an era where industries from retail to banking have embraced digital transformation to enhance customer service, healthcare stands at a pivotal crossroads. As we move deeper into the digital age, the healthcare sector faces a unique opportunity: to redefine patient care by learning from other industries and focusing on digital innovation.

The Digital Revolution in Customer Service Across Industries

The world has witnessed a dramatic shift in customer service, thanks to digital technology. Retailers and banks, for instance, have seamlessly integrated AI, chatbots, and personalized online services to cater to customer needs more efficiently. This shift isn't just about technology; it's a people-first approach, fundamentally altering how services cater to individual needs and preferences.

Healthcare's Digital Transition and Patient Experience

Healthcare, traditionally lagging in this revolution, now stands at the threshold of a significant transformation. Embracing digital platforms isn't just a matter of technological upgrade but a fundamental shift in thinking. As Dr. Louise Schaper insightfully puts it, healthcare must start thinking like other people-first industries, where the journey begins with customer service and ends with enhanced outcomes.

Enabling Healthcare Professionals for Better Service

Key to this transformation is empowering those at the frontline: the healthcare professionals. By redesigning both offline and online systems and services, healthcare can create more effective and inclusive patient pathways. This redesign must be a collaborative effort, involving healthcare staff and a diverse range of patient populations, to ensure it addresses varied needs and experiences.

Learning from Other Industries

Healthcare can learn much from other sectors about customer care, especially in processes that bolster the shift to digital. These lessons can guide healthcare to create digital solutions that are not only efficient but also human-centered and caring. It's not just about adopting technology; it's about embedding empathy and understanding into digital patient interactions.

The Design of End-to-End Patient Pathways

Redesigning patient pathways means looking at the entire journey a patient takes through the healthcare system. This involves considering every touchpoint – from booking appointments to post-treatment follow-ups – and ensuring each step is patient-friendly, accessible, and efficient. The design of these pathways should be a dynamic process, constantly evolving based on feedback from a diverse patient base and healthcare providers.


The digital transformation of healthcare is more than a technological shift; it's a cultural change towards a more patient-centric approach. By adopting best practices from other customer-oriented industries and focusing on enabling healthcare professionals, the healthcare sector can significantly improve patient experiences and outcomes. This transformation, while challenging, is an exciting opportunity to reshape healthcare into a model of excellence in customer service.

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