The topic of Patient Engagement, including its potential for reducing healthcare costs and improving outcomes, has moved into the spotlight as the market for health related services in the U.S. moves from a fee-for-service model to a pay-for-performance model. There are two primary perspectives to be considered:
Communication is the key to engagement and the Patient community has noticed Providers are now supporting greater engagement through:
- Encouraging them to access their healthcare information
- Offering the ability to sign up for a patient portal
- Communicating via email
- Creating mobile applications to access healthcare information
For the Consumer/Patient perspective, 70% say they have become more engaged with their active healthcare management during the past year. Most prominent changes include: 74% of Patients have joined a portal offered by their healthcare provider more than 2/3rd report speaking more frequently with their healthcare provider; and an equal percentage (69%) are accessing their records and personal medical information more frequently.
While it is laudable that more of us are taking such an interest in our own health management programs, it remains to be seen how well legacy provider systems are keeping up with the demand for better data in more coherent and intelligible/useful condition.
Let’s take a look at the Provider perspective:
- 66% of Providers have reported a change in their patient’s level of engagement in their own healthcare and a vast majority indicate that better patient engagement is a top priority at their organization.
- 80% of Providers have initiatives underway to make personalized health records easier to access.
Top motivating factors include the growing recognition that data transparency is an important part of improving overall care and that technology advancements are a cornerstone of improving and enhancing meaningful patient use. But major challenges still remain:
- Despite some progress, just 29% of patients give their Healthcare provider an “A” for their use of technology to interact with and engage patients;
- A whopping 89% of Patients would like to more easily access their personal healthcare record
The Power of the Patient Portal
Just within the past year, online patient portals have surpassed generalized web-based access to healthcare information as the primary method for encouraging patient engagement.
This validates that patients are becoming more comfortable with Digital Servicing models –
- 98% of patients feel comfortable communicating with providers via online portals. 64% say they would submit personal, real-time health information to their provider via a secure online portal;
- Over 80% are comfortable communicating via a mobile application;
- 77% are comfortable with SMS text messaging;
- A similar number (75%) are comfortable with online chat, while 69% are comfortable with video chat;
- However, only 34% are amenable to communicating via social media (which is understandable, given its inherent “public” nature).
A SmartTouch™ CCM platform can serve to greatly advance these positive steps forward, benefiting both the Provider and Consumer/Patient perspective. By leveraging “intelligent content” and data from all sources (internal and third-party), SmartTouch™ analyzes transaction data, medical history and consumer profile information to offer an integrated managed services platform that is interoperable with both existing and new business process workflows and business rules to drive the digital servicing model.