In 2016 Forrester Research analysts focused their attention on emerging social phenomenon in consumer behavior. They identified several key social trends that are impacting our industry’s ability to adapt to changing policy, market trends and patient needs. One trend they observed was the rapid adoption of new solutions and the abandonment of solutions that didn’t immediately provide value. This trend was seen across all industries.
Forrester Research analyst, James McQuivey, PhD, noted that today’s consumers are more willing to try new products and services, sometimes at a higher cost. According him, this applies to everything, including “beer, cosmetics, razors and food.” McQuivey dubbed this phenomenon Hyper Adoption.
In other industries, Hyper Adoption is apparent in the behaviors of the final consumer. In healthcare, it is applicable to both providers and patients as both are consumers of healthcare solutions and services. Patients expect more from their provider and providers expect more from their vendors.
Hyper Adoption does, however, provide opportunity for innovation. With rising operating costs and shrinking reimbursements, innovation is a necessity. 2018 was a year of innovation with increased interest in data analytics tools, remote patient monitoring, artificial intelligence, mobile broadband and telehealth, advanced wearables and integrated fitness apps. The rate of development of new solutions is astounding.
Unfortunately, the rate at which any potential solution goes from “best option” to “obsolete” can be equally astounding. Trends show that as fast as we are to adopt, we are equally quick to abandon. We rush to implement, commiserate over the chaos, then look for the next solution to fix the shortcomings of the first.
In our rush to get to the finish line, we never seem to stabilize and optimize. Hyper Abandonment is the unintended consequence of Hyper Adoption. It’s what happens when a newer technology promises a better outcome. Forrester Research identified less emotional connections associated with these experiences, so loyalty is nonexistent. Therefore, in order for products and services to thrive, they have to immediately meet the user’s needs and continue to add value.
Forrester Research offers two main reasons for the rise of Hyper Adoption, and likewise Hyper Abandonment. First, the costs of implementing new systems have decreased. You can monitor your vital statistics via a wearable app for less than $100. Why not try it? Second, there are often perks offered by the vendor to offset the risk. The hardware might be free if you purchase the software.
Many articles have referenced McQuivey and his Hyper Adoption research. For healthcare, the key is to show value in the products and services sold both to the providers and their patients. Providers must recognize patients as consumers, who are more informed than ever about their care options. System vendors must work to improve the overall provider experience, which is the key to provider satisfaction. McQuivey predicts that Hyper Adoption will only become more prevalent in years to come. We can anticipate more options to choose from, but less time to try them all.
Joni Wyatt, MHA, MHIA, CPHIMS, FHIMSS is a healthcare advisor with Kassouf & Co.
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