Digital Engagement Tools Help Leverage the Last Mile in Employee and Patient Communications
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Today, healthcare systems and providers are being pushed to innovate and expand access. Most commonly, a majority are investing in urgent care (or retail) brick and mortar locations, investing in telehealth, and continuing to blindly trust and follow their slow, outdated electronic medical record vendor’s portal. Healthcare systems and providers still fail to improve existing patient care outcomes and connect with patients every day outside of their virtual or in–person visits. They even fall short at meeting every milestone in between patient-providers visits. Electronic medical record (EMR) portals are simply a tool for patients to see their medical records.
Improving patient outcomes goes beyond opening new “innovative” entry points for patient access in an already easy accessibility healthcare world. Brick-and-Mortar locations doubled from 2014 to 2017 and there are around 12,000 retail and urgent care clinics, according to the consulting firm Merchant Medicine.
According to REACH Health, nearly 83% of health care executives are investing in telehealth too. Seventy percent of recent survey participants noted telemedicine as a top priority. Along with telehealth, there are other factors that go to supporting and improving patient care outcomes and deeper patient engagement between office visits. The American Hospital Association (AHA) AVIA found that 75% of senior hospital executives endorsed the importance of digital innovation.
Today, healthcare executives and providers are investing in digital engagement tools that make minimal improvement efficacy in physicians’ work while creating more access points for customers. Yes, patients are customers, but healthcare providers are also. Physician burnout is only going to continue as these new investments yield less than expected return of investment (ROI). Telehealth, for example, is expected to grow to seven million annual visits (up from 1.25 million visits). This growth will still only represent one percent of ambulatory clinical visits in the US (one-third of all eligible clinical ambulatory visits).
Currently, health systems are investing in improving patient self-scheduling, check-in, and patient portal utilization. This does little to decrease the burden on physicians or providers. It will only increase medical errors as physician burnout increases. As these investments continue, they will ultimately turn out unfavorable for the end user customers (the physicians and patients), since they will NOT improve health or the healthcare front line. Patient satisfaction is not the holy grail. Improving patients’ health and helping physicians do this is the holy grail for healthcare.
JourneyLabs gives healthcare systems the tool to custom design their patient journeys outside of virtual or brick-and-mortar visits with the option of complete EMR integration. As Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to push forward with digital health codes, these will not only create new revenue, but will help patients with remote care. If it’s pre- or post-operative care, or in between office visits for a pre-diabetic or pediatric asthmatic, JourneyLabs allows healthcare systems to easily take in their existing or future assets (which can include telehealth or medical devices) and create custom digital pathways that provide remote monitoring, real time outcomes, and improve patient engagements. JourneyLabs costs significantly less than coffee for your employees and patients, yet produces an ROI that includes improving patient health and patient satisfaction, and decreasing physician burnout.
Shayan Vyas, MD is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine and an active medical advisor to healthcare IT companies. He is also an MBA student at Auburn University and will be completing his degree in May 2019. Dr. Vyas is the Healthcare Innovation Advisor for JourneyLabs and was previously a pediatric critical care physician at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Florida. For more information about JourneyLabs or to set up a demo of the JourneyLabs platform, email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.