Patient Engagement Now: Challenges and Silver Linings

No one wanted a pandemic. The silver lining is that quick change can happen. With the right resources in place, organizations can move faster than they think they can.

That’s perspective from Steve Schuh, Manager of Patient Experience at Cedars-Sinai and Mark Hagland, Editor in Chief of Healthcare Innovation. We were participating in a panel on patient engagement convened by Healthcare Innovation, joined by representatives of KLAS Research and MuleSoft.

Patient engagement—even more important

Patient engagement is a priority for healthcare organizations and has become even more so since the pandemic. Before COVID-19, Verato’s customers spoke about increasing patient engagement with high-touch services and proactive outreach that aligned with consumers’ needs.

Since the pandemic began, I’ve seen a shift in the landscape of patient engagement. It’s less about competition and more about alleviating fear and earning loyalty by being collaborative and consistent. Healthcare organizations are offering options that meet patients where they are—like virtual care, accepting Venmo payments, and additional outreach to support patients and their families.

During our conversation, this theme emerged: Speed, agility, and interoperability will be the differentiators for organizations that succeed with patient engagement. These qualities are equally crucial for the technologies supporting these initiatives.

Adam Cherrington, Research Director of Patient Engagement and Telehealth at KLAS, described a recent conversation with a healthcare organization. The organization had a long-term, five-year telehealth strategy that they advanced within a matter of months.

Fast pivots

I’ve seen how Verato’s customers have pivoted in response to the pandemic. One example that comes to mind is GRIPA (Greater Rochester Independent Practice Association), a physician-led partnership in New York state. GRIPA had built out its analytics platform in support of HEDIS, using Verato’s cloud-based EMPI to improve data quality.

As the pandemic began to affect their region, the GRIPA information team used their analytics skills to support their community. They partnered with their outreach team to identify vulnerable patients who urgently needed care management and access to social supports (such as grocery shopping).

Healthix, the largest health information exchange in the nation and a Verato customer, used its person data-sharing capabilities to track hospitalizations and support NYC Emergency Management in unifying families, and is now supporting contact tracing across the metropolitan area.

Agility to meet patient expectations

One trend that continues to intensify is that consumers have high expectations for healthcare, based on their experiences with other industries that have become more digital. They expect efficiency, timely communication, and want to use a variety of channels to access the healthcare system.

Healthcare is extending beyond the provider office and the hospital to the home—through telehealth, informed outreach that connects with people as individuals, and through programs such as Cedars-Sinai’s Hospital at Home.

Personalized care has become even more key to building trust, especially when new technology is involved. Knowing each person’s individual needs helps members of the healthcare team confidently deliver a positive telehealth experience. They’re also able to ensure that in-person healthcare visits connect with telehealth. Equipping employees with the right person data is crucial to their ability to provide this level of personalized care.

How Verato supports patient engagement

Healthcare organizations are realizing that improving person data is a fundamental way to strengthen patient engagement initiatives. Given that master person data is wrong at least 30 percent of the time, there’s an vital opportunity to improve data quality, take another look at the performance of the Master Person Index, and consider appending data with social determinants of health.

With Verato UMPI’s proprietary referential matching(SM), healthcare organizations can significantly improve the quality of their patient data, while benefiting from the agility and cost-effectiveness of a cloud-based platform. And they can equip employees with the right information at their fingertips to deliver healthcare continuity and informed outreach.

Learn more about how Verato UMPI can support patient engagement and patient experience initiatives across your organization.