Ranked as the top-performing vendor for patient outreach and digital rounding by KLAS, CipherHealth is a proven healthcare technology partner committed to enhancing communication and care team coordination throughout the patient journey. CipherHealth's suite of integrated patient engagement solutions empower healthcare organizations across the continuum to achieve the Quadruple Aim.
Patient Engagement Beyond HCAHPS: The Organizational Differentiator in Value-Based Care Environments
In today's care delivery landscape, navigating the shift from volume to value is but one challenge against a backdrop shaped by increasing healthcare consumerism, the emergence of competitors from adjacent industries, and continuously-evolving technology. With median operating margins for hospitals hovering between two and three percent since 20121, healthcare executives must lead their organizations in developing new strategies that reach and engage patients across the care continuum. As such, hospitals are increasingly forming partnerships with ambulatory and post-acute care providers to focus on the entire arc of patient care.
As the reach of the hospital expands beyond episodic care, so does the need to engage patients to ensure they receive the right care in the right setting. Patient engagement represents the next frontier in how healthcare is delivered, experienced, and perceived. As health systems widen their focus to consider the entire patient journey - especially the fragmentation of care that frequently occurs as patients transition from one level of acuity to another - how can healthcare organizations fully leverage patient engagement as a competitive advantage to lead the markets they serve?
To investigate the role of patient engagement in driving success with value-based care, Modern Healthcare and CipherHealth partnered to survey 217 healthcare leaders on the current state of their patient engagement strategies. Our analysis revealed that although there is a clear trend in how these healthcare leaders perceive and prioritize patient engagement, the degree of implementing their vision varies depending on the organization's level of patient engagement maturity.
Examining the Current State of Patient Engagement
As this report highlights, the overwhelming majority of healthcare executives identify patient engagement as a high priority. However, only one in five is satisfied with their current programs - indicating a significant gap between current and desired states. Most barriers preventing healthcare leaders from implementing their vision are cost-driven and relate to resourcing challenges.
Today, healthcare executives prioritize patient engagement initiatives that focus on the experience of the patient during and immediately after their care visits. Accordingly, survey respondents identified post-discharge follow up, appointment scheduling and reminders, and rounding on patients as the top components of a successful patient engagement program.
Although these tactics are critical to ensuring patients have consistently safe care experiences, the patient journey transcends the scope of episodic diagnosis and treatment to include recovery and lifelong wellness. As such, patient engagement initiatives must support the whole patient journey to truly meet patients where they are.
“Patient engagement is a major differentiator for patients looking for quality care that extends beyond the four walls of the hospital. In today's value-based environment, it will be nearly impossible to succeed without proactive, consistent, and timely interaction between patients and care providers,” explains Lisa Romano, MSN, RN, CiperHealth's Chief Nursing Officer.
The New Standard for Patient Engagement is Patient-Centric, Not Hospital-Centric
As the report highlights, there is immense opportunity to close the gap between how important patient engagement is and how satisfied leaders are in their current programs. Similar to other long-term initiatives, healthcare organizations are in different stages of maturity in regard to their patient engagement strategy - those that are further along in their journey are deriving significant competitive advantages from their ability to proactively engage with patients. There are three levels of organizational maturity in how patient engagement is viewed and acted upon.
At the most basic level, patient engagement is perceived solely as a measurement of patient satisfaction scores, indicated by HCAHPS. While these surveys are important to patients and the financial health of the organization, they signify a fairly basic approach to engaging patients and their family members for the purposes of satisfaction.
As organizations move up the maturity model, the second level is marked by investment in processes and technologies designed to proactively identify and address the needs of patients and their families in the inpatient setting.
Finally, the most innovative healthcare organizations are investing for long-term success in the era of value-based care. These health systems prioritize extending their reach across the continuum of care, linking disparate data from all levels of care to create an integrated experience throughout the patient journey. As the report showcases, organizations such as the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Health System and UCSF Health exemplify how proactively engaging patients in their health and healthcare inside and outside of the hospital is instrumental to achieving Quadruple Aim goals. These goals of enhancing the patient experience, improving the health of populations, increasing staff engagement, and reducing the cost of care are driving the future of healthcare.
By breaking far beyond the walls of the hospital and inpatient experience, patients are more likely to take actions that improve their care in both the short and long term, helping these organizations capture market share as well as maximizing value-based payment incentives.
Romano states, “Creating a more mature patient engagement strategy does not need to be as resource intensive as it may seem. Delivering timely, relevant, and helpful interventions to patients during care transitions not only helps improve patient experiences, but also drives better outcomes for your community.”
Download Modern Healthcare's executive brief on the future of patient engagement and learn about the strategies that are available to your organization.
- Moody's Investors Service, "U.S. Not-for-Profit Hospital 2016 Medians" report, August 2017.