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Customization Vs. Personalization

Eldery woman talking to young adult sitting on a park bench

How differences in design philosophy impact payers’ bottom lines

What’s the difference between customization and personalization, and what does that have to do with enterprise-grade population health management applications? It’s much more than a question of semantics. It’s a critical differentiator when choosing healthcare software.

Think about it like buying a car. A customized driver’s seat is a beautiful experience, built to one’s precise contours and tastes. Through trial and error, every minor irritant gets removed until nothing but comfort remains.

But what happens when the person who buys that car gains or loses weight? Gets married and has to share that car with someone else? Or the automobile manufacturer wants to scale operations to create thousands of vehicles simultaneously rather than each order by itself?

That’s why even top-of-the-market performance cars are personalized. Everyone buys the same seat on a Porsche or Lexus, chooses the features, fabric, and color from a menu, then adjusts the various settings until it’s close to perfection.

These cars also feature memorized settings so that every user gets the configuration that meets their individual needs. Personalization works because it covers current and anticipated conditions within a proven, predictable core technology. The manufacturer achieves economies of scale. Customers benefit from ongoing innovation, consistent and usable controls, and lower prices.

Population health management solutions should be no different. Custom application purchasers receive bespoke solutions that cost the buyer unnecessary time and money. Even worse, what happens when those requirements inevitably change? Too often, much of the code base requires rebuilding to accommodate upgrades and new features.

Training represents another powerful argument against customization. One-off applications don’t allow skills to transfer quickly to other use cases – or, often, upgraded versions of the same application. Enhancements needlessly disrupt workflow, productivity, and job satisfaction.

Personalization removes all these risks. A proven platform such as ZeOmega’s Jiva ensures:

  • A consistent user experience and nondisruptive upgrades
  • Clients are not dependent on a vendor to manage their personalizations
  • A client’s personalizations are not hard coded and decoupled from the software platform within a configuration-management and version-control system
  • User-friendly interfaces that allow people who are not technologically savvy to easily manage all personalizations in a self-service mode
  • Product development is tightly aligned with best practices that support well-defined business objectives, industry regulations, security, privacy, and usability
  • Rapid solution deployment through a focused menu of proven, high-value options
  • Faster response to new laws and mandates
  • Lower up-front, training, and maintenance costs
  • True interoperability and transparent data flow to and from the platform

Equally importantly, staff gain the ability to learn one system and carry those skills forward as the platform grows and evolves or new modules introduce enhanced functionality.

Complex healthcare challenges such as population health management require approaches that work simply and simply work. Personalization-based solutions like Jiva are how strategic payer organizations make it happen.