GreyMatters 2017


Patient Engagement Technology: Providers Like It, But Cost Is A Worry

wearablesAccording to a recent survey, many providers think that tools (such as wearables, smartphone apps and online patient portals) to increase patient engagement are beneficial. However, these tools aren’t being widely used because of the cost.

The survey, conducted by the NEJM Catalyst Insights Council, found the top three benefits of patient engagement technology named by the survey respondents to be:

  • Supporting patients in their efforts to be healthy
  • Providing input to providers on how patients are doing when not they’re not in the clinic
  • Creating an ecosystem that allows for better predictive analytics around patient health and more timely interventions

Additional benefits include a reduction in unnecessary visits, serving as an adjunct to brick-and-mortar health systems and providing extra motivation to patients when they know their providers will be looking at their data.

However, despite the perceived benefits, about half of the survey respondents say the primary reason for low adoption of these tools is that they are not covered by insurance. In addition, 61% of the respondents said that these tools should be covered by payers. Additional barriers reported by the respondents include no direct interaction between the tools and the EHR and lack of an easily readable way for providers to get information from the tools.

When asked how developers of patient engagement technology could improve their offerings in the future, the respondents said that areas of focus should include:

  • Better integration of technology with engagement strategies to prevent attrition
  • Better integration with clinical workflows
  • Easier-to-use products that are not disruptive or burdensome

What patient engagement technology tools are being used at your organization? What have you found to be the most useful?

People Not Only Want Video Visit Option, They Would Switch Doctors To Get It

dr_videoTelehealth is becoming more mainstream. As it does so, consumers are embracing it more. In fact, according to a new survey, many patients would be willing to see a new doctor if their current provider did not provide video visits.

The survey, conducted by American Well, included over 4,100 consumers. Among the survey findings were:

  • Most respondents are not only ready for telehealth technology but are actively seeking out the technology.
  • 20% of survey respondents would switch from their current doctor to a new one in order to get telehealth services.
  • 65% of respondents with a primary care physician want to see their doctors via video.
  • 74% of respondents with children want video visits with their doctors.

Additional survey findings include:

  • When asked whether they thought video visits, telephone calls or emails offered the most accurate diagnosis, 69% of respondents said video visits led to a more accurate diagnosis, while 26% said phone calls and 5% said emails.
  • 67% of respondents said they have delayed seeking health care for various reasons: high costs, difficulty in getting a timely appointment, being too busy or waiting to see if the problem went away on its own.

Survey respondents gave these reasons for using video visits:

  • Checkups to follow a chronic health condition such as diabetes or heart disease (60%).
  • Follow-up visits after surgery or hospital discharge (52%).
  • Prescription refills (78%).
  • For care during the night, rather than going to an ER (20%).
  • Coordinating care of an elderly parent or relative (79%).

It has been reported that 64% of US adults who visited brick-and-mortar healthcare settings reported their health concerns to be resolved completely. However, a 2016 post-visit survey of American Well’s telehealth patients found that 85% of patients had their health concerns resolved to their satisfaction. As the outcomes of video visits continue to meet or exceed the outcomes of in-person visits, consumer trust in the technology will increase, along with demand.

Is your organization using telehealth technology?

Better Patient Experience With Integrated Mobile App

mobile_appsConsumers love their mobile apps. And healthcare organizations are capitalizing on that fact by offering apps for their patients. But there are a lot of health-related apps available. How do you fight the app clutter? Saint Luke’s Health System, based in Kansas City, MO, has found a solution.

The hospital system offers multiple apps to its patients: Epic MyChart, MDLive for telehealth visits and online scheduling via ZocDoc. However, patients found having to use the separate apps somewhat taxing. So Saint Luke’s teamed up with VenueNext to develop an integrated app that combined the separate apps into one mobile presence.

VenueNext has worked on big projects in the past—concerts and sporting events such as the Super Bowl and the Kentucky Derby. But this was the vendor’s first healthcare engagement.

In addition to providing a single mobile app from which to launch the MyChart, MDLive and ZocDoc apps, additional functions have been included, such as informational and educational content from the Saint Luke’s website, as well as wayfinding, proximity notifications and in-app ordering capability for food and beverage.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for this project was vendor cooperation, especially with the integration of VenueNext and Epic platforms, according to Saint Luke’s CIO Debe Gash. But she says both vendors were willing to step up and get the job done.

The goal for the integrated app is easier navigation of available services, leading to increased adoption of those services. In addition, it is expected that patient experience will be improved, leading to more attraction and retention of patients.

RIP, Hashtags?

hashtagIf the results of a recent analysis of TV ads shown during Super Bowl LI are any indication, we may soon be bidding adieu to hashtags—at least, for marketing purposes.

Marketing Land’s 6th Annual Hashtag Bowl, which counts hashtags, social media mentions and URLs in ads that are run during the Super Bowl, found in last month’s game:

  • Of the 66 ads that were shown during the game (between kick-off and the end of the game, including 4 ads shown during the unprecedented overtime period), only 30% had a hashtag; 41% had a URL.
  • There was a 15% decrease in the number of hashtags used during the Super Bowl commercials.
  • Twitter was mentioned only in 5 commercials; Facebook only in 4.

Corporations have changed their strategy in order to bring more traffic to their websites, rather than trying to increase social media presence. As viewership has dropped for the last few Super Bowls—down to 111 million for last month’s game from 227 million in 2014—brands are looking for more people to come to their websites and spend more money. 

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