Why A Patient Engagement Solution May Not Be the Best Choice for Patient Experience

By Monica Demers, Director of Market Development, Lumeon

It’s an exciting time, where healthcare technology is adopted more easily and is profoundly changing the landscape. The pandemic accelerated this process.  Many rushed to implement digital solutions resulting in renewed interest and rapid deployment of tools for video visits, digitizing access and intake, and ways to virtually care for and monitor patients.

Unintentionally, the result was a mish-mash of point solutions – telehealth apps, scheduling systems, appointment reminders, digital surveys, chatbots, and more. Slowly, as we move out of the emergency phase of the pandemic, providers are now re-assessing and re-evaluating their technology stacks and looking at the impact these point solutions have had on both the patient experience and provider staff.

A good patient experience is only as good as the process behind it. If the provider can’t receive the information, understand it in the context of the patient, and do something with it, the experience is lost.   Do you require your staff to make these decisions, or are you able to tell your digital systems what a good workflow looks like, and can you automatically execute against it?

Simultaneously design for both patients and providers

When re-evaluating your patient experience digital offerings, providers should consider these two things:

  • How to communicate with the patient at the right time with the right questions/information using the right communication medium.
  • Aligning and organizing data for provider staff and care teams, giving them access to what they need and when they need it to enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness.

This is highly complex, requiring administrative staff to know and remember their patient’s details and preferences while having all this information prepared in time for provider staff to use.  It’s too many steps that require manual actioning, timing, and tracking.

Now multiply that by your patient volume.  Easy availability of information and voluminous patient communication won’t do any good if call centers and care teams can’t keep up with it or respond appropriately to ensure everything goes smoothly. Without automation to help, thousands of messages sit in inboxes and result in call center staff burnout and dissatisfied patients.

Patient experience is a direct result of the quality of your business intelligence and operations. These strategies must be aligned and designed together.

Digital operationalization as the foundation

Staff are asked to keep track of so many details today. Details such as the patient’s last visit, rescheduling requests, sending information before the visit, and ensuring lab tests are complete in advance.  Sometimes patients are asked to do the same – such as booking a visit beyond the open schedule, relying on patients to remember to call several months later.

Digital operationalization means having a system programmed to look for specific details, know what is required, assess what is missing, and action the next step promptly.  It helps scale the quality of care and your operations.  For example: sending appointment reminders with the ability to reschedule without human interaction, completing a digital intake when it’s convenient for the patient before the visit, and knowing (based on diagnosis) there is a missing recent test result and automatically sending reminders to the patient to complete it before coming in.  And after the visit, the system can help patients adhere to recommendations made by the provider via short communication reminders and links – digitizing the stack of papers sent home and automating their delivery as timely, bite-sized pieces.

Digital operationalization looks at the big picture and orchestrates an optimum care delivery experience, as defined by your organization.  It’s the foundation of digital transformation.

Solving for care orchestration

As you look to solidify your digital transformation and patient experience objectives, map out each step of the patient and provider team experience from beginning to end and all points in-between.  Look closely for places where technology can help identify gaps in data, activity, or cross care boundaries, and think about how automation can help fill those gaps.

Exceptional patient experience is, by definition, an exceptional system of care.  Make sure you’re solving the problem at the right level, or you’ll be left stitching together and managing a handful of point solutions. Click here to see how Lumeon helps you do this.