How can healthcare organizations create a more personalized healthcare experience for patients?

To create a more personalized healthcare experience for your patients, try taking a bottom-up approach to delivering care. Most processes are built top-down, focusing on administrative tasks before addressing the patient’s needs.  Instead, start with the patient – their narrative and subjective experiences.
Understand their expectations and treatment goals. Find out why they chose your clinic over others nearby. Once you’ve focused on what really matters – the patient – take care of those mundane admin tasks like booking appointments and verifying insurance details.

Remember: The reason clinicians have jobs is because of the unique situations and circumstances faced by each patient!
Apply this same approach whether you’re interacting in person or via digital intake forms – always begin with the patient’s subjective narrative experience!


A Bottom-Up Approach to Delivering Care leads to a Personalized Healthcare Experience

Healthcare organizations can create a more personalized healthcare experience for their patients by adopting a bottom-up approach to delivering care. This means prioritizing the patient’s needs, concerns, and expectations over administrative tasks during their interactions with your clinic.

Traditionally, healthcare delivery has been structured in a top-down manner. Clinicians often start by gathering necessary information such as insurance details and appointment bookings before addressing the patient’s unique health issues. While these steps are essential for providing care, they should be secondary to understanding what the patient is experiencing and why they have sought treatment at your clinic.

To implement this bottom-up approach, begin each interaction with an open dialogue about the patient’s narrative or subjective experience of their healthcare issue. Ask questions that focus on understanding their individual needs and goals for treatment instead of immediately diving into administrative details.

Prioritizing Patient Narratives Over Administrative Details

In order to create a more personalized experience for patients, it is crucial that clinicians prioritize understanding the reasons behind why patients are seeking help from them in particular. As I discussed in the Cancellation Reduction Framework, instead of starting off conversations around appointments or insurance verifications, engage with your patients on a deeper level by asking about:

  • Their specific symptoms or dysfunctions
  • Their personal goals for treatment
  • Their expectations from your clinic versus others nearby

By focusing on these topics first, you demonstrate that you truly value each individual’s unique situation and want to provide tailored care that addresses their specific needs.

Once you’ve established this rapport with your patients and gained insights into how best to support them through treatment plans catered specifically towards them—only then should you move onto handling administrative aspects like scheduling appointments or verifying insurance benefits.

Applying the Bottom-Up Approach to Digital Interactions

This bottom-up approach should also be applied when your clinic interacts with patients through digital means, such as online intake forms or appointment booking systems. In these cases, it’s essential that you prioritize capturing information about each patient’s subjective experience first before moving onto administrative tasks:

  1. Ensure that any tech portals or online forms begin by asking questions related to the patient’s narrative and health concerns.
  2. Create a user-friendly interface that allows patients to easily share their experiences and expectations from treatment without feeling overwhelmed by administrative details right off the bat.

By designing digital interactions in this way, you continue prioritizing the patient’s unique circumstances even when they aren’t physically present at your clinic for an in-person conversation. This shows that regardless of how they reach out for help—whether it be over-the-phone or digitally—you always start with what matters most: addressing their individual healthcare needs. And, it leads to a more personalized healthcare experience.


Creating a personalized healthcare experience begins with shifting our focus from top-down administration-driven processes towards a more patient-centric approach. By prioritizing understanding each individual’s unique situation and building up from there, clinicians can better address patients’ specific needs while demonstrating genuine care and empathy throughout every interaction. Ultimately, adopting this bottom-up methodology will result in improved patient satisfaction and better overall outcomes within your organization.



What ways have you tried to personalize the healthcare experience?


For more content like this, check out our Insights Page and check out The Better Outcomes Show. Or if you want to humanize healthcare through your business or organization, learn how Rehab U Practice Solutions can help here! You can also schedule a call with Rafi to discuss your company’s positioning strategy and brainstorm a business development plan here. Check out Rafi’s latest book, Better Outcomes: A Guide to Humanizing Healthcare, on Amazon!

Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L (Rafi) is the Principal Owner of Rehab U Practice Solutions and the host of The Better Outcomes Show and the author of Better Outcomes: A Guide to Humanizing Healthcare. His career trajectory includes 12+ years of experience in healthcare management, clinical operations, programmatic development, marketing & business development. He even spent some time as an Assistant Professor in a Graduate Program of Occupational Therapy and has served on numerous boards and regulatory committees. He has worked on projects ranging from patient engagement initiatives to marketing communication campaigns to a multi million dollar project assisting the State of Georgia's Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities transition individuals out of state institutions to community residences. His work on Telehealth has been discussed in Forbes.

Today, Rafi helps innovative healthcare companies like technology startups, platforms, SaaS companies & innovative healthcare organizations develop effective positioning strategy and business development plans through his consulting work. He also leverages his experience as a professor and academic to speak and train on the topics around humanizing the healthcare experience & healthcare innovation. In addition, Rafi also owns and operates ProActive Rehabilitation & Wellness, a multidisciplinary outpatient clinic treating patients with musculoskeletal pain.

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