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4 emerging trends in mobile-first patient engagement technologies

Engaged patients are more satisfied patients who live healthier lives. That being said, the healthcare industry is discovering many new possibilities when it comes to improving patient engagement, especially involving mobile-first technology.

I’d like to discuss trends in patient engagement technologies and telehealth to better understand population health management systems.

1. Providers can leverage technology to help meet patient expectations.

Healthcare consumers expect the same great experiences from their providers that they have with other large institutions, such as banks. They want secure mobile-first experiences, and they want around-the-clock access to their care providers and their health information.

Mobile patient engagement presents a real opportunity to streamline administrative processes like appointment confirmation and appointment check-in. With nearly ubiquitous mobile phone ownership, we estimate you can engage nearly 70% of your patient population via mobile technologies.

2. Hospitals with limited resources can prioritize investment in health IT.

Many health IT investments – such as mobile patient engagement tools – are no longer financially out of reach for most healthcare organizations. The return on investment is so great that it’s almost impossible not to prioritize these projects.

Another example: When people hear “telehealth” they automatically think of video visits, which are great, but organizations can start with other, more economical options. For example, email visits (eVisits) are based on asynchronous secure messaging and enable clinicians to treat patients or delegate tasks without the overhead costs for in-person visits or infrastructure investment for video visits.

These Health IT investments create great value for hospitals and physician practices alike. For example, our patient engagement platform can deliver 20-30% reduction in appointment “no-shows.” Simple mobile check-in and bill-pay technologies can deliver a 50% improvement in clean claims rates. These are significant technology investment returns hard to ignore as the cost pressures on organizations continue to escalate.

3. Telehealth has evolved in recent years and could go mainstream.

Telehealth evolved significantly in recent years as payment models evolved. I believe it’s very close to a mainstream option for consumers.

As we continue to move to value-based payments from fee-for-service, telehealth technologies can be deployed to close gaps in care without adding significant cost for providers. And, patient engagement technologies are no longer just about the portal. Providers are now active with patients and engaging with them in a variety of methods, most notably via mobile devices.

Empowered consumers are the future of healthcare. Patients are seeking the best quality care at the lowest possible price, and they want it to be convenient, too. Achieving this will require technologies that enable them to electronically interact with their care team around the clock and wherever they are.

We know that patients want simplified points of contact with healthcare provider organizations, too, and, in turn, providers are seeking out groups who can deliver that capability effectively at a cost point they can afford.

Consumer demand for this type of access will continue to grow, and mobile technologies like telehealth will continue to prove an effective lower-cost option for quality care delivery.

Healthcare organizations will turn to the technologies that make patients’ lives better, and as barriers disappear, I expect even more widespread adoption of telehealth and mobile technologies over the next couple of years.

4. As quality care becomes more dependent on the availability of quality data, the role of the CIO evolved.

Today’s CIO has immense responsibilities to address current, tactical needs with a keen eye on the future.

One major change for CIOs is to understand how to harness data to deliver better health outcomes. Increasingly, that data needs to be supplied to clinicians and patients in real time on mobile devices at the point of care and within relevant workflows.

CIOs at hospitals will need a Health IT partner that can provide the data insights and expertise that make delivering quality health outcomes possible.

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