Intrado partners with more than 10,000 healthcare organizations, which places us in a unique position to understand not only patient engagement priorities, but the most pressing goals and growth strategies impacting hospitals and health systems today. To build on these insights, we recently conducted a survey of College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) members including CIOs, CTOs, and senior-level IT, patient access and technology leaders.
Survey responses from these senior health IT decision-makers illustrated that there is a considerable focus on patient engagement priorities like improving the patient experience and increasing revenue through higher visit volumes, all while mitigating the burdens placed on staff.
How exactly are healthcare executives planning to leverage new technology to accomplish these aspirations? Four key trends offer insight as to what will drive the patient engagement priorities and strategies of hospitals and health systems in 2022 and beyond.
1. Patient Experience is Priority Number One
Health system and hospital leaders are willing to invest in technology that will drive improvement in patient experience scores, all while solving for health system profitability. Industry shifts have negatively impacted revenue through delayed care, labor costs and staffing, making plans to invest in better ways to communicate with patients to increase visit volumes top of mind.
2. Texts Top Portals, Phone Calls
Given investments in patient portals and the need for the “human touch” through an individual’s care journey, it makes sense for healthcare organizations to leverage these systems for certain actions, or to make phone calls to patients as needed. But the fact remains: patients prefer text. Luckily, SMS outreach can complement a variety of forms of patient outreach, from appointment reminders to referral management and beyond.
3. Optimization Through Automation
Basic automation of simple appointment reminders has seen widespread adoption, but healthcare leaders know that leading technology can do much more. Beyond appointment management, these executives are seeking to reduce their organizations’ dependency on manual phone calls and labor-intensive outreach. For example, streamlining workflows for preventive care recall, test results and even patient balance reminders can make a big impact in reducing the overall operational burden.
4. EHR Integration is a Make-or-Break Feature
Yet another thing that nearly all survey respondents agreed upon: EHR integration is the most important criteria for evaluating new technology that will support these new patient engagement priorities. Because healthcare organizations have made significant investments in these systems, it makes sense that engagement activities should happen seamlessly by pulling and pushing data to and from the EHR, treating this system as the single source of truth.
It's clear that IT leaders are ready to take advantage of new technology and opportunities to accelerate their patient engagement strategies—importantly, this should support efforts to increase patient experience scores, reduce operational and staff burdens, and increase visit volumes. Today’s most advanced engagement platforms can address all of these goals with the right mix of features, capabilities and integration.
Additional insight from our survey report can be accessed here. If these goals and patient engagement priorities resonate with your organization and you’d like to speak with someone to learn more, reach out to our team.