The value of engaged patients is significant – it’s associated with better outcomes and lower costs – but engaging and activating patients in their healthcare has continued to be challenging for many providers. It’s notable that even though 90% of healthcare organizations offer patients access to a patient portal, they consistently have very low patient adoption rates – around 25%. Patients also often report they feel they don’t understand their treatment which can be due to many factors including health literacy levels, the amount of time they have with their provider during an appointment, or the amount of information delivered at once. This can lead to unengaged patients and that lack of engagement comes with a hefty cost to the patient.
The impact of engagement
Those costs can come in different forms. Patients who are not prepared ahead of a surgery may face a longer stay in the hospital or a slower recovery. Unengaged patients who haven’t adhered to a treatment plan may experience poor outcomes and need additional care to treat something like an infection or an advanced disease. This not only leads to an unsatisfactory experience for the patient, but also may use resources that are already in short supply for other patients.
Technology has the potential to be the bridge between your patients and your care teams, but it’s not surprising that there is some skepticism around the many claims made by patient engagement technology companies. To overcome this, healthcare organizations should closely scrutinize health IT tools to ensure they will be worth the investment. A digital patient engagement strategy should not only meet an organization’s needs and deliver a strong return on investment, but – more importantly – give your patients the support they need to realize the best outcomes possible.
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Identifying the technology that’s right for your organization
As you evaluate technologies to determine whether or not they are worth the investment, make sure to ask for the answers to several key questions.
Can the technology be optimized for maximum engagement?
The success of a patient engagement technology is not determined by the technology itself, but by the value an individual patient sees in it. Patients are different in all sorts of ways, including demographics, social determinants of health, health goals, and personal preferences. When your technology can be customized and optimized to deliver a personalized experience, you’re much more likely to achieve sustained, widespread engagement as patients see you as a partner in their healthcare journey.
Will it reduce care variation?
Many organizations aim to standardize care that is guided by clinical best practices, but it’s not always easy to ensure all providers are on the same page and care variation can be a problem. A technology solution that allows for robust data collection that can be correlated to outcomes provides powerful evidence to gain buy-in from the care team. The right technology partner creates value not only in engagement, but also in outcomes analysis to reduce care variation.
Is it a comprehensive solution that can be applied across your organization?
While there are differences of opinion about a point solution versus a technology platform, in an increasingly complex healthcare landscape, a single source of truth and a single sign on for staff outweighs the benefits of a highly specialized tool that has to be accessed outside the EHR. A configurable, integrated technology platform can also be applied across a broad spectrum of use cases and serve as the single source of truth for data-driven initiatives providing maximum value across the organization.
Will it impact costs and resource use that are meaningful to your organization?
As with any technology, there is an upfront cost – both financially and operationally – but an integrated, proven solution for automated engagement and triage will improve efficiency over time and impact key metrics, including:
- Reducing no shows
- Reducing phone calls
- Improving care plan adherence
- Shortening length of stay and quicker recovery
- Reducing readmissions and unplanned emergency department visits
- Increasing staff efficiency and enabling them to work at top of their license
Meeting unique patient engagement needs
Bells and whistles do not equal a successful patient engagement technology solution. There is a unique patient at the other end of your initiative and the value is ultimately determined by them. If your solution can be optimized to meet unique patient needs, if it can enable outcomes analysis in addition to engagement, and if it helps patients achieve the outcomes that are important to them and your organization, then there is a high likelihood of achieving meaningful engagement. A great engagement program is not only valuable to your patients, but to your organization as you strive to reduce care variation, streamline technologies to serve your entire organization, and analyze data to iterate, improve care quality and make the right decisions for your organization.
What makes Twistle different
The Twistle platform automates patient-centered, HIPAA-compliant communication between care teams and patients to transform the patient experience, drive better outcomes, and reduce costs. An automatic, configurable navigation guide, Twistle offers “turn-by-turn” directions to patients throughout their care journey before, during, and after an encounter. Patients are engaged in their own care and follow best practices, communicate as needed with their care teams, and realize measurably better outcomes. Twistle integrates sophisticated automation with multi-channel communication, engaging patients through secure text messaging, interactive voice response, patient portals, or the health system’s digital applications.
If you want to leverage the power of a technology platform to help elevate your patient engagement efforts, contact Twistle today at firstname.lastname@example.org.