Identity is More Than a Hospital Bracelet: How to Get Person Data Right Every Time

Healthcare organizations are striving to deliver seamless, high-quality consumer experiences throughout every patient's care journey. From an economic perspective, maximizing patient throughput is essential, but healthcare must be a very human service, requiring personalization and recognition of each patient's identity at every step of their journey.

During a roundtable session sponsored by Verato at Becker's Hospital Review's 12th Annual Meeting, Jason Bihun, Verato's Chief Commercial Officer, facilitated a roundtable discussion about the role of patient identity in digital transformation and healthcare consumerism.

Five key takeaways:

1. To strategically advance the consumerism mindset, healthcare organizations must analyze the data.

It's all about identifying who your populations are and who controls where they get care. For example, a healthcare system in Western Kentucky believes that tremendous opportunities exist to improve the patient experience for its rural communities. A leader from this organization noted, "We are taking a closer look and figuring out how to change, but we're doing the market research first. We can't change without first looking at the data."

Another roundtable attendee agreed about the importance of data. His organization discovered that 45 percent of patients come through insurance company recommendations, 40 percent come from a doctor's referral, and only about 8 percent pick the facility themselves. "Marketing won't help if patients can't come to your hospital due to insurance rules. You have to work with health plans and doctors," he said.

2. To cultivate patients for life, health systems need thoughtful engagement plans.

A nonprofit health system in North Texas uses Verato's technology to reach people who move to the Dallas area. "This organization determines how individuals align with the micro-segmented market and the system's services. The system proactively engages with those people to create a lifelong relationship with them," Mr. Bihun explained.

3. In value-based care models, healthcare organizations must maintain connections with patients throughout their care journey. 

A roundtable participant said, "As we move into value-based care and population health, we need to take responsibility for the community. That call to action creates the expectation that we aren't simply discharging patients. Instead, we are transitioning them to the next stage of their care."

Another participant observed that value-based care is also about closing care gaps and having the documentation to prove it. Without that, payers won't reimburse for services. "It's a cyclical process of connecting and knowing the individual at every point along the way. It's a big challenge," she said.

4. Patient identity is a top priority in healthcare, but siloed information is a major hurdle.

Verato and Sage Growth Partners recently surveyed healthcare executives. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) were concerned or extremely concerned that siloed and inaccurate patient data negatively affects care quality and the bottom line. Only 14 percent were extremely satisfied with the level of accuracy they can achieve with patient identity data.

5. Verato addresses the fundamental issue of patient identity.

According to Mr. Bihun, "Our hypothesis at Verato is that the identity problem underscores many challenges related to digital transformation. Organizations go out and buy different solutions, but the underlying problem is the identity data." Verato's cloud-based system leverages a repository of 350 million Americans and 30 years of historical data, including third-party information about education, social determinants of health and lifestyle.

"Identity can massively impact organizations because it's not just about buying an application. Our teams recommend high-level identity strategies that are aligned to high-value strategic initiatives," Mr. Bihun said.


Learn more about the fundamental role of patient identity in your digital transformation and how Verato can help accelerate your strategic initiatives. And when you’re ready, schedule a Strategy Session with Verato to evaluate your current patient identity status and how we can help you accelerate your digital health initiatives.