The healthcare industry is on the brink of a new era, with providers, insurers and even politicians challenging traditional models to make medical care more efficient and effective. For retailers, this evolution creates an opportunity to compete with healthcare providers by creating a lower-cost patient experience built around the needs of the shopper or, in this case, the patient.
To be competitive in this market, retail designers must address two key opportunities.
1) Offering compelling, competitive healthcare alternatives
Providers and insurers already realize retail can offer a lower-cost alternative to traditional care settings, thus increasing the opportunity for retailers to move into this market.
Store-based healthcare options, such as Walgreens’ Take Care Clinics or The Clinic at Walmart, will quickly evolve from store appendages to holistic experiences, offering compelling, comfortable alternatives to traditional healthcare systems.
As consumers gain exposure to these alternative models, healthcare providers and retailers will compete for patient dollars. As the industry evolves, those that provide an integrated offer will prove most successful.
2) Building a patient-centered experience
As a retail strategist who has partnered with some of the largest retailers and consumer brands in the world, I understand how various touchpoints can impact a consumer’s experience: whether the consumer is a shopper, a user, or even a patient.
One example is Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s (Columbus, Ohio) recent expansions and renovations, which serve as an incredible example of a healthcare system that is devoted to an inclusive, immersive brand experience. Every design detail—from a whimsical nature theme featuring notions of flight to intuitive, color-coded wayfinding—caters to a calming, positive patient experience.
Just as retailers focus their strategies on specific consumer segments, healthcare providers must also design experiences with their vast constituencies in mind. It’s not solely about providers, employees, and processes anymore: it’s also about patients.
Want to learn more about how retail principles will impact healthcare environments? Attend Big Red Rooster evp Dan Stanek and Nationwide Children’s Hospital interior design project manager Alisa Pinciotti’s IRDC presentation on Thursday, Sept. 6. For more on IRDC, visit irdconline.com