Hospital and health system CIOs pegged patient engagement technology as their biggest focus for 2021, according to a recent poll. Stoltenberg Consulting’s Health IT Industry Outlook Survey found that 52 percent of healthcare organization CIOs cited patient engagement as the No. 1 issue while continuing to support their organizations’ COVID response efforts.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, which occupied last year’s top spot in the survey, dropped significantly this year with only 14 percent of respondents identifying AI as their chief focus.
“Whereas healthcare organizations may have previously gone through the motions of patient engagement enablement for value-based care incentives, the pandemic's dramatic shift to remote care and true digital health advancement has forever transformed consumer-driven patient expectations toward taking a more active, yet convenient role in their own care journeys,” said Sheri Stoltenberg, founder and CEO of Stoltenberg Consulting.
The survey noted that digital enablement and the patient experience also scored high on the list of major points of emphasis for healthcare organizations in 2021.
One area of patient engagement technology that hospitals and health systems may want to seriously consider for investment this year is a digital patient communication platform. With healthcare organizations continuing to recover from the pandemic and welcoming patients back for visits—either virtually or in-person, providers more than ever should look to innovate by upgrading their patient communication capabilities.
COVID or no COVID, perpetual scheduling disruptions like no-shows and late cancellations continue to be a source of revenue drain on providers—but they don’t have to be. With text messaging quickly eclipsing phone calls and emails as patients’ post-pandemic communication preferences, a text-first approach that delivers everything from automated appointment reminders to post-visit care instructions and follow-up notifications can dramatically curb no-shows and increase confirmations.
Moreover, an advanced digital patient engagement solution that offers automation, group messaging, and two-way text messaging aligned with a more streamlined patient appointment workflow can help providers connect with patients more efficiently and effectively at every stage of the patient journey.
To learn more about how a text-first approach paired with single patient engagement appointment workflow can make a pronounced difference in getting patients to keep their appointments, check out the guide “The Perfect Appointment Workflow: A Path to Improved Patient Outcomes and Increased Revenue.”