In recent years, the standard measure of quality and performance for healthcare organizations has begun to diverge from financial indicators alone, while patient experience has become increasingly important. The patient experience is a spectrum of interactions between patients and the range of healthcare facilities within their respective systems, such as physician practices, hospitals, orthopedic clinics and radio-imaging centers[1]. As a fundamental component of healthcare, patient experience consists of several facets of healthcare delivery that are essential for patients seeking care, including access to information and medical records, timely appointments, and straightforward communication[1].

In the era of digital healthcare, improving the individual patient experience is contingent upon promoting patient engagement — the involvement of patients in the management of their own health. The importance of facilitating patient engagement can’t be overstated, as it allows patients to interact with certain aspects of their healthcare journey at a lower cost to their provider. Genus’ simplified patient relationship management platform is connecting patients to their providers and empowering individuals to play a part in their own treatment outcomes. With the Genus app, patients can easily find clinics and hospitals in their vicinity, send secure messages to physicians and other healthcare professionals, manage and monitor treatment plans and prescription medication regimens, upload documents, complete questionnaires, and pay for healthcare related costs all with the touch of a button. By involving patients in the healthcare process, Genus aims to improve the patient experience and promote better treatment outcomes while concomitantly helping healthcare providers save time and revenue. 

From a patient perspective, having greater access to your healthcare information is a no-brainer, but the benefits extend beyond just the experience of the individual. According to recent studies, patients that are actively engaged in their own healthcare processes often see better treatment outcomes as a result of compliance with personalized health regimens[2]. Involved patients are more likely to consider taking preventative measures such as screenings, regular check-ups and immunizations[2]. Patients taking an active role in their care also tend to exercise more often, eat a healthier diet and avoid potentially harmful behaviors like smoking and excessive drinking[2]. All of this amounts to earlier identification and treatment with regards to disease, and an overall decrease in illness. In addition, actively involved patients living with chronic illness tend to experience better health outcomes than their less involved counterparts, as they are more likely to adhere to prescription medication plans and habitually engage in self-monitoring behaviors[2]. As a result, these patients typically experience fewer complications and thus require fewer hospitalizations and emergency room admissions[2]

The benefits of greater patient engagement within the sphere of healthcare are not exclusive to patients, as healthcare providers have plenty of incentives to adopt these platforms. For starters, data-driven patient relationship management applications can liberate doctors from menial administrative tasks, allowing them to spend more time with their patients. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, physicians spend up to 49% of each day completing desk work, much of which consists of dealing with electronic health records (EHRs)[3]. However, interactive chatbots can easily automate those processes by collecting patient data instantaneously. This data can then be utilized to help clinicians and healthcare professionals allocate resources more efficiently and effectively. Additionally, labor and staffing costs account for as much as 63% of most facilities’ total expenses[4]. The implementation of machine learning tools in areas such as scheduling could considerably reduce the need for staffing and cut expenditures for healthcare providers by up to 40%[4]. Patient engagement applications like Genus can be employed to do just that, by creating appointments, setting reminders, and streamlining communication between patients and their providers. 

Patient relationship management platforms can also facilitate instant two-way communication between the provider and the patient, which significantly increases “touch points” along a patient’s healthcare journey. These touch points can provide physicians with critical information, including valuable clinical measurements from patient monitoring devices, self-reported symptoms and side effects, and answers to specific questions. By automating the care of lower risk individuals and simultaneously identifying patients in need of immediate attention, the application can help physicians prioritize certain treatments while reducing the chance of costly and unnecessary readmissions.

Innovative patient engagement platforms are individualizing care and strengthening the patient’s role in improving health outcomes. As a result, patients are receiving personalized care that’s tailored to their specific needs and conditions, and healthcare providers are able to reduce administrative costs in the process. Integrating patient engagement strategies into every facet of healthcare is essential to refining the experience, efficiency and effectiveness of care. Patient engagement platforms like the Genus application are including patients as part of the solution to a problem that affects the quality of healthcare for millions of Americans, during a time when healthcare reform has never been more imperative.

References

  1. Bellows, Mandy. Burns, K. Katharina. Jackson, Karen. Surgeoner, Brae. Gallivan, Jennifer. Patient Experience Journal Volume 2, Issue 1, Article 5. 2015. https://pxjournal.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1069&context=journal 
  2. Hibbard, H. Judith & Greene, Jessica. Health Affairs Volume 32, Number 2. February, 2013. https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/full/10.1377/hlthaff.2012.1061
  3. Young, Kelly. New England Journal of Medicine. September, 2016. https://www.jwatch.org/fw111995/2016/09/06/half-physician-time-spent-ehrs-and-paperwork#:~:text=Based%20on%20430%20hours%20of,on%20EHR%20and%20desk%20work 
  4. Dalt, Rich. Healthcare Financial Management Association. October, 2019. https://www.hfma.org/topics/hfm/2019/october/hospitals-innovate-to-control-labor-costs.html
  5. Lee, H. Thomas. Harvard Business Review. May, 2017. https://hbr.org/2017/05/how-u-s-health-care-got-safer-by-focusing-on-the-patient-experience
  6. Zenooz, M. Ashwini & Fox, John. Harvard Business Review. October, 2019. https://hbr.org/2019/10/how-new-health-care-platforms-will-improve-patient-care
  7. Wiegner, Ralph. Harvard Business Review. 2018. https://hbr.org/resources/pdfs/comm/siemens/HBR_White_Paper_SiemensHealthineers_ImprovingPatientX.pdf
  8. Bulhman, W. Nell & Lee, H. Thomas. Harvard Business Review. May, 2019. https://hbr.org/2019/05/when-patient-experience-and-employee-engagement-both-improve-hospitals-ratings-and-profits-climb