How a Thai hospital bounced back from a dip in international business

At Bumrungrad International Hospital, chief digital MarTech officer Wisut Ua-Anant has led the development of a comprehensive digital health application that the benefits of transformation directly to its Thai and international patients in the age of the new normal.

One of the major impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic was a significant reduction in the hospital’s international business and a need to refocus strategically on the needs of domestic patients during the crisis, as Ua-Anant explains.

Ua-Anant has been at Bumrungrad for two years, building the foundations of a digital healthcare ecosystem which includes cloud infrastructure, automated marketing, online purchasing and ePayment, telehealth, and telehealth services including direct-to-nurse chat.

Strong foundations

“As we learned during the crisis, most Thai people love chatting and making calls more than email,” he says. “The MarTech team has worked closely with clinics, centers and specialist nurses, building online chat platforms that drive patients directly to nurses in nurses over 30 clinics. Patients can not only ask questions but also book an appointment for a hospital visit or a telemedicine consultation.”

The Bumrungrad Application brings many of these developments into a one-stop patient experience. “We put the patient first and at the center of everything we do – it’s a customer-centric mindset – so we can anticipate their wants, needs, communication preferences, and build lasting relationships with them in the Application,” says Ua-Anant.

The first phase of development has focused on appointment reminders and marketing automation for personalized offers – for example, timely vaccination alerts or prompts to purchase a yearly health screening package. The next will integrate health data and real-time monitoring with the Internet of Things (IoT).

A win-win situation

“We mainly used the Four Actions Framework and Design Thinking to come up with eight specific patient touchpoints,” says Ua-Anant. “Then we delivered a meaningful patient journey based on our digital core values: to provide the most convenience, a great experience, and reduce waiting time and cost or patients. The patient can also easily access their health information through the Application. and keep coming back to it.”

Feedback is gathered constantly from customer reviews and the hospital’s patient experience team, contributing to the regular release of new features as well as streamlining internal processes and reducing the waiting time for patients.

“Improving customer service via the application creates a win-win situation,” says Ua-Anant. “Digital transformation in healthcare is the positive impact of technology in healthcare. The pandemic has changed consumer behavior to the new normal for good. So we need to adopt the new normal of the consumer journey and utilise digital technologies to help reduce, eliminate, increase , and create innovative services that can serve the needs and pain points of our customers.”

Ua-Anant will be speaking at the HIMSS APAC Health CEO Summit – the region’s inaugural gathering of health CEOs – on 3 March 2022. This digital event is complimentary for employees of government agencies, hospitals, medical centres, academic institutions and not-for- profit associations. Find out more here.

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