Health System Develops Consumer and Digital Transformation Road Map

In Brief

5-Minute Read

Due to its competitive market, a large nonprofit health system recognized the importance of understanding the consumer journey and leveraging a digital platform to engage its customers and providers.


Recognizing the significance of consumerism within the healthcare industry, the leadership team of a large regional health system committed to building deeper relationships with its consumers by better understanding the needs and drivers behind their healthcare decisions. Ultimately, the team wanted to improve the consumer experience, deliver on its brand promise for personalized care and solidify its position as the provider of choice within a highly competitive market.

Moving its consumer transformation from concept to broad execution presented challenges as the team was tackling both an operational and cultural shift. Putting its strategy into action would require well-defined consumer and technology road maps that could guide the team three to five years into the future.


The senior leadership team from the health system engaged Huron to assess its consumer strategy, including technology capabilities, in order to build a clear and sustainable action plan for enterprisewide consumer transformation.

From the outset, the focus was on developing and leveraging insights about the health system’s consumers and aligning those consumer insights to its investments, digital strategy and overall culture.

Together, the teams built a consumer journey and digital transformation road map. This holistic plan advanced with a focus on the following actions:

  • Use data-driven insights from internal and external stakeholder analysis. The teams completed a full current-state analysis informed by voice-of-the-customer research and internal stakeholder input. Customized quantitative consumer surveys and interviews gave the team insights into the distinct consumer segments the health system serves.
  • Based on these insights, the teams developed a strategy for addressing each segment’s unique needs and preferences, building consumer loyalty and differentiating the organization in the market.

    Data was used throughout the process of designing the future state of the organization, ultimately resulting in four enterprisewide initiatives intended to have a broad impact across the consumer journey.

  • Build alignment through better stakeholder engagement. Consumer-driven transformation requires a shift not only in strategy and technology but also in culture. A major component of the project was focused on leader alignment at all levels and visioning with key leaders.
  • Huron leaders worked closely with the health system’s chief consumer experience officer to evaluate the organization’s previous experience-focused design initiatives that had failed to gain traction due, in part, to a lack of internal alignment. The teams engaged a multidisciplinary group of internal stakeholders to leverage their valuable expertise and gain buy-in during the planning and execution phases of the project.

    The teams worked to communicate and implement cultural change, highlighting the “why” behind the organization’s focus on consumers’ values, preferences and attitudes toward care. This helped connect operations and internal functions to how they ultimately serve the consumer and built organizational alignment around the broader goal of improving the consumer experience.

  • Design for consumers. Using voice-of-the-customer research, the team identified and developed detailed profiles on each of its consumer segments. Research and consumer journey mapping for these segments revealed common themes behind consumers’ preferences, including scheduling flexibility, real-time updates, the anticipation of wellness needs coupled with personalized offerings, and “digital front door” access.
  • While the complexity of health systems and the wide variety of patient populations make personalization difficult, segmentation is helping the health system understand its varied populations and determine which initiatives to prioritize based on the segments it wants to grow.

    The data also helps the organization prioritize digital and information technology (IT) investments and create solutions relevant to its consumers.

  • Assess, design and prioritize digital health initiatives. Alongside consumer transformation plans, leaders at the organization wanted to create a technology plan that prioritized investments to enhance consumer digital tools, improve patient experience and assist providers with care delivery.
  • Huron’s team developed an understanding of the health system’s unique digital environment and current performance. This allowed the team to identify and prioritize areas of opportunity, including consumer and patient technologies, provider technologies, data management and analytics. The additional review of technology, governance and financials revealed cost savings and organizational process alignment opportunities. Using a gap analysis and benchmarking against digital best practices, the teams set measurable achievement targets across technology, operations, strategy and resources.

    This robust assessment resulted in a digital road map that continues to guide the health system’s digital and consumer journey.

  • Ensure replicability. Leaders at the health system emphasized the need to pilot, iterate and scale its work as it continues to devote more resources to consumer transformation. With that goal in mind, the teams created an ongoing consumer transformation model and playbook. The playbook details the foundational processes and procedures that can be replicated and scaled for new opportunities or enterprise initiatives.


The case study features a large nonprofit, community-owned health system. The organization includes a nationally acclaimed accountable care organization, 17 hospitals, a Level I trauma center, a teaching hospital, and numerous specialty programs and services.

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