Jim RogersOctober 05, 2021

Why Healthcare Organizations are Failing at Patient Engagement

For most of us, the term “patient engagement” seems straightforward. Patients who come in for their annual exams or patients with a chronic disease who regularly take their prescribed medications are considered engaged patients. But what about the mother whose toddler is sick in the middle of the night and can’t contact the pediatrician to get the answers she needs? What about the millions of people who don’t take their medications as prescribed?

Healthcare organizations need to deliver relevant experiences across the entire customer lifecycle with personalized, proactive, always-on engagement. To do this, they must increase investment in digital engagement capabilities.

Patient Engagement: Then vs. Now

Communications technology that was considered cutting-edge years ago (which many healthcare organizations still rely on) is unacceptable today. Organizations can now create solutions that enable patients to engage with them anywhere, 24x7 in the manner they feel most comfortable with, whether that’s phone, text, chat, or email, and having it work well. So why in 2021 do patients still need to call the main number and be transferred multiple times before reaching the right person – or worse, have to leave a voicemail?

Likewise, it’s now easy for healthcare organizations to proactively reach out to patients with multi-media interactions for things like appointment reminders, procedure follow-ups, and targeted wellness campaigns. So why are most still operating reactively, waiting for a patient to reach out to them versus proactively doing outreach based on who the person is, what their care plan is, and what they’re interested in?

Instead of resorting to Google at 3 a.m. to figure out what’s best for her child’s care, imagine the mother in the above example being able to turn to her trusted provider through a chatbot available on their website 24x7 that can address her inquiries. Imagine being able to help millions of people self-manage their health with proactive reminders, going from reactionary care to prevention and wellbeing. This is the exciting future of healthcare that’s happening now.

How to Start Moving the Needle

Delivering this level of patient engagement requires three things:

  1. A cloud-based communication platform built on composable infrastructure: This allows healthcare organizations to flexibly create new solutions that meet changing patient/member needs in an open, collaborative, secure, and regulatory compliant technology environment.
  2. Reliable EHR data: Successful patient engagement requires context, and in healthcare, this context comes from the EHR. Without reliable EHR data, you won’t get too far in delivering personalized, proactive patient engagement.
  3. A way to segment this data to create experiences that matter: You have access to the EHR and the ability to communicate with patients, but who are you communicating with? Who are you addressing, what’s the right message, and when is the right time to be reaching out? Consider female patients over 50 years old who don’t have a history of breast cancer screening or mammogram in the last two years. By segmenting EHR data, you can proactively engage with these patients in a secure, HIPAA-compliant manner using their preferred channels (text, email, phone) they have opted into.

AI and automation are also important. We have seen outstanding use cases like virtual agents and automated outbound notifications for COVID-19 Contact Tracing and Case Investigation, down to daily workflow automation that help dramatically simplify patient processing, release authorizations, billing, prescription refills, and more.

Steppingstones to a Better Patient Experience

Moving from on-premises telephony solutions to cloud-based infrastructure is a monumental leap for most healthcare organizations. It’s impractical, if not impossible, for them to make a sweeping move from where they are now to this next level of cloud-, data, and AI-driven patient engagement.

Having said this, change in the industry has been long overdue. Small steps need to be taken to start adding new digital engagement capabilities, integrating disparate systems, segmenting data, flexibly building custom services, and proactively reaching out to patients. Without question, Avaya OneCloud is the best way to do so.

Avaya OneCloud is an award-winning Multi-Cloud Application Ecosystem that combines Avaya HIPPA compliant innovation with technology from many market-leading technology partners in areas such as secure monitoring and reporting to deliver composable healthcare experiences. Healthcare organizations can move to the cloud – public, private, or hybrid – with confidence at their desired pace, and flexible subscription models provide cost certainty and peace of mind as they design their perfect migration.

Here’s how healthcare organizations are moving the needle using Avaya OneCloud solutions:

  • Engagent Health increased patient conversions by 60% and care plan engagement by 80% using Avaya OneCloud CCaaS for contact center operations (both internal and outsourced).
  • Harris County Public Health increased its number of successfully investigated COVID-19 cases by 25% using Avaya OneCloud CPaaS.
  • Nebraska Medicine used Avaya OneCloud CPaaS to quickly deploy a smart, cloud-based conversational platform that allowed it to handle a 250% increase in call volume at the peak of COVID-19 while moving 90% of its agents offsite.
  • Also check out our “Curbing COVID-19” brochure, which explores how Avaya OneCloud can be used to address the challenges and complexities of the vaccine user journey.

There’s a reason so many health organizations are working with Avaya to create faster, smarter, and more connected communications processes and workflows. Scale as needed, free up staff, ensure compliance, optimize existing technology investments, and pay only for what you use – only with Avaya OneCloud.

Why Healthcare Organizations are Failing at Patient Engagement

Jim Rogers

Jim Rogers is a recognized leader in population health strategy and the design and operation of patient engagement, care management and care navigation programs and service lines, including oncology, cardiology, orthopedics, sleep medicine and bariatrics. He currently leads the Healthcare and Life Sciences practice at Avaya, and also serves as a principal consultant and SME for healthcare organizations reimagining the patient and member experience on the Avaya OneCloud platform.

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