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Segmenting patients:"what matters to me" & implications for virtual consultations and self-service technologies post-Covid

by Helen Bevan | 4 months ago | in Partnerships

More learning from Sweden:

Sweden has a national transformation strategy called "the patient compact" which is about co-creating new models of care between patients and clinicians  and building relationships at the point of care. As part of this, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions carried out a large study of what matters most to patients. As a result, they have come up with new ways of segmenting patients.This has significant implications for our thinking about we organise for virtual consultations and hi tech ways of working post-Covid. 

Usually we segment our patients in a two dimensional way, based on clinical needs and demographics. Our Swedish colleagues have co-designed a three dimensional segmentation based on patient lifestyles, needs and motivations.   

So, for instance, about 45% of the population is "independent and committed". These are the people for whom virtual consultations fit most clearly with their needs. The patient segment "vulnerable and worried" make up less than 10% of the overall population but this group is a heaver user of health and care resources than other groups. The research shows that they need care that is much more personalised and virtual consultations and other hi tech systems might not work best for them. 

We cannot assume that virtual consultation is going to work for everyone in the same way. In a post-covid world, will we be funneling anxious patients to self-service technologies (SSTs) – kiosks, websites & smartphone apps and virtual consultations? Will we end up isolating people at the precise moment when they most need connection? See this article from the Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2019/04/why-anxious-customers-prefer-human-customer-service…  The Swedish segmentation is very helpful for thinking these imporatnt issues through.

We need to think about how we group/segment our patients as part of radical service redesign post-covid. We need to be co-creating with patients, families, service users, communities and others with lived experience.

How have you as individuals and/or communities played a different role in healthcare?

To find out more: one of the leaders of this work is Anette Nilsson, Development Strategist and project manager SALAR for Patient Compact Sweden. She is @AnetteNilsson99 on Twitter

How has the experience of healthcare changed as result?

Helen Bevan

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