Implementation best practices: Patient engagement tech done right

Posted by Stephanie Hollingsworth | July 29, 2019

Four experts offer advice and best practices for how to launch and maintain success with technologies that boost engagement and improve the patient experience.

Implementing patient engagement technology can help health systems involve and empower their patients to achieve better health outcomes – and better clinical and business outcomes for the provider organizations.

But to roll out these technologies effectively, CIOs and other IT leaders need to put together patient-centric systems and processes and focus on change management before, during and after implementation.

We spoke with four experts in patient-facing technology who each offered some tips and best practices for how engagement and experience tools should be deployed at provider organizations.

A set of guiding principles

One of the first things a healthcare provider organization should do when implementing patient engagement technology is to adopt a set of guiding principles anchored to the needs of the patient, said Dr. Ashwini Zenooz, senior vice president and general manager of healthcare and life sciences at Salesforce. Before joining Salesforce, Zenooz was the chief medical officer responsible for EHR modernization at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Reorient engagement around each specific patient’s wide range of needs, understanding that healthcare delivery is an ongoing practice, not just what happens during an acute care episode,” Zenooz advised. “Patients do not just consume their healthcare, they experience it. A patient-focused personalization of healthcare needs to use engagement strategies that recognize this broader support system that providers and payers participate in, but may not always be at the center of.”

Healthcare organizations need to understand that patient health needs are diverse and can include short-term and long-term needs, preventative care and traumatic care, Zenooz added. Further, patient demographics can influence how different patients prefer to interact and consume health engagement technologies, she said.

“Minors or elders may need a proxy, millennials thrive on using technology, Baby Boomers may prefer to have in-person/phone contact instead of leveraging technology,” she said. “Other demographic factors may influence access, whether it be language barriers or access to technology. By understanding patient needs and preferences, this would help drive greater adoption and engagement throughout an individual’s health journey.”


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