Three years ago, Piedmont Healthcare tapped Katie Logan—then the Atlanta-based health system’s vice president of marketing and physician outreach—as its first-ever vice president of experience. Logan, who joined Piedmont nearly 10 years ago after working as a management consultant with KPMG, has since led efforts to increase patient convenience and make access to care easier throughout Georgia, rolling out projects like online scheduling, telemedicine and other services that create a “digital front door” to the health system. Logan spoke with Modern Healthcare technology reporter Jessica Kim Cohen about how she scales these projects across the 11-hospital system, from the initial implementation to evaluating success or failure. The following is an edited transcript.
MH: What does experience mean for Piedmont and what responsibilities fall under your purview in that role?
Logan: The experience for Piedmont is about creating a one-of-a-kind interaction and making it easier for our patients and their families to access and navigate the health system. Under that umbrella, we think about program development and execution. So it’s a little bit of the innovation and technology and digital solutions to support that, as well as partnering with operations and other areas of the business to deploy it and make it a reality. We think about everything from online scheduling, to partnering with revenue cycle on patient billing statements, to owning the business side for our patient portal and all of the functionality that comes with that. Ultimately we want to get into more customer service and more of that human interaction.
MH: What you would say a digital front door is and what is driving patient interest in it?
Logan: That phrase intrigues me because I think what’s driving us to talk about a digital front door is this expectation that we should be able to access goods and services right in the palm of our hands and that healthcare should be no different. But at the same time, it’s really about meeting people where they are and putting that convenience out there.
And so when I think of the digital front door from a Piedmont Healthcare perspective it’s a lot about the tools and programs to make it easier for folks to access our services. So it’s online scheduling, it’s a mobile app that’s useful and keeps people coming back. But it goes beyond that as well, to the point about meeting people where they are. If you want to make a phone call, we want to be able to provide you that same great experience on the phone or online.