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Iñaki Ereño, Sanitas CEO: “We are aiming for 50% of our patients to be e-patients”

“Sanitas is being overhauled to give users a frictionless experience like the one provided by Netflix and Apple; 90% of our success will depend on it”, said Ereño

“Simplicity is the only way to digitally transform a conventional, complex industry, but this requires the industry to know exactly what it wants and how far it wants to go”. In the case of Iñaki Ereño, Sanitas CEO – today’s keynote speaker at ‘Desayunos Esade’ organised by ESADE Alumni in conjunction with CriteriaCaixa – this means that his company must “increase online appointments from 9 % to 25 %; e-patients from 40 % to 50 %, and NPS (customer satisfaction score) from 63 % to 75 %”. A long on-line road based, as Ereño explained, on the company’s cultural and technological change and, above all, on its relationship with its customers, which must be “a frictionless customer experience, like the customer experience with Netflix or Apple”. “Ninety percent of our success depends on achieving this goal”, said Ereño.

The Sanitas CEO explained that “all our processes are customer-centric and we approach our customers from different angles”. “We are constantly seeking out ways of enhancing the very short spaces of time we are in touch with customers, moments that are vital when taking decisions, but we are also working on ways of providing solutions, products and digital platforms tailored to their needs”, he said. As regards the solutions, Ereño mentioned the apps that the company offers to patients, families and staff, and as regards the products, he commented on the company’s prevention, home care and digital assistance services, which already involve “more than 3,500 doctors and more than 5,000 patients”.

Ereño feels that “this overhaul was made possible, amongst other things, by the data we have been collecting since 2000 and which have enabled us to understand not only our patients’ behaviour but also their biometric and genetic factors”. “In this respect, thanks to data, some tendencies that have emerged very recently, such as hospital treatment at home and telemedicine, are already here to stay”, he added.

Inclusive mindset

Knowing that the quality of customers’ experience with companies depends on their relationship with employees, the Sanitas CEO emphasised that his strategy has evolved towards an inclusive model based on listening to the patient, working in transversal teams spanning medicine, law, business analytics and marketing, and on-going data analysis. “The entire staff must attend meetings and suggest ways of improving customer relations. At present we receive some 8,000 suggestions a year and successfully implement about 300,” he pointed out.

In order for these and other solutions to take shape, Iñaki Ereño insisted on the need for the well-defined governance in which he has been involved since the outset: “I have created a one-stop digital agenda so that the executive committee, which is now the digital transformation committee, can directly carry out the 60+ projects and 150+ ventures that the company is currently developing”.  

During this ‘Desayunos Esade’ session, Iñaki Ereño, Sanitas CEO, was joined by Koldo Echebarria, director general of Esade; Mario Lara, director of Esade Madrid, and Juan María Hernández Puértolas, head of Communication at CriteriaCaixa.