At Healthcare Innovation Midwest Summit, held April 18-19 at the Westin Downtown Cleveland Hotel, a panel discussion on April 18 entitled “Patient Engagement: Revisioning the Patient Experience,” featured Justin Coran, Ph.D., chief data science and analytics officer, NOMS Healthcare; Terri Hanlon-Bremer, R.N., senior vice president, employer solutions and population health, TriHealth; and Iahn Gonsenhauser, M.D., chief quality and patient safety officer, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The panel was moderated by Mark Hagland, Editor-in-Chief of Healthcare Innovation.
Hagland and Gonsenhauser kicked off the panel by discussing the current moment regarding the patient experience. Consumers are used to experiences like they have with Amazon—a few clicks and whatever they ordered is on its way. Now, in healthcare, individuals are expecting a similar experience. And with disruptors like CVS expanding their offerings, consumers are expecting more.
“Top-of-site care maximizes care options in environments—getting the most of every environment you can,” Gonsenhauser said. “For example, home care, hospital care at home, patients are already demanding this. This is what CVS is doing—bringing care to patients in environments where care was not previously offered. They’re playing a different game and we need to start playing that game as well.”
Gonsenhauser also touched on how there was, and still is in many cases, a power imbalance when it comes to healthcare, especially when it comes to rural communities. Many homes in the country do not have broadband, especially rural areas. Yet, there are several coalitions and groups working on this.
Hanlon-Bremer then touched on psychographic segmentation in healthcare, specifically. “Think Myers Briggs,” she said. “But instead, we’re looking a populations to see what their motivation and attitudinal level is so you [healthcare providers] can speak to them in a language they can speak and act upon.”
Next, Hagland brought up analytics and data science in healthcare regarding the patient experience. “Data science and analytics are in its infancy and there are very few cheap data scientists,” Coran said. He explained that with a budget, all areas of an organization can be optimized.
One of the areas that Coran touched on, specific to patient experience, was top of site care and the changing behaviors that are difficult to accumulate when it comes to data. He added that, in his experience, he accumulates as much data as possible from national data repositories that isn’t regularly collected in healthcare. Some of this data includes how far an individual’s closest relative is, like if they have support person who can help with their healthcare within a five-to-ten-minute drive or perhaps they don’t have any family or support even in the state that they live in.
“Think about what 2010 healthcare was like,” he said. “Your appointment is this time, this day, your bill is this much, this is how long you have to pay. We did very little communication other than that.”
Hagland then asked Gonsenhauser about the challenges in developing artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. Gonsenhauser mentioned that the availability of data and what data can do to drive care through evidence-based data driven decisions is a challenge. During the COVID pandemic, data was used for ICU availability, ventilator availability, and most importantly, patient deterioration—for conditions like sepsis.
“We are doing a lot with data and AI,” Hanlon-Bremer added. She explained that her organization is using health bots for pharmacy services. The bots are reaching out to patients, and they have embedded psychographic segmentation. Some individuals did think the bot was a scam, but some simple explanation cleared up the misconception. She concluded that the bot takes care of everything that it can before passing the interaction off to a human and the bot allows her team to reach more lives without having to add an extra full-time employee.
The panel discussion wrapped up with each panelist’s biggest learnings so far in their patient engagement and experience journeys.
Hanlon-Bremer said, “Just changing our mindsets in our health system. It took a lot to think like a consumer, but we used technology to our advantage. The real barrier was trying to get over ourselves.”
Gonsenhauser said that as his organization learned the amount of data was far more than they could process and manage and they had to be cautious not to get overwhelmed.
And finally, Coran said that he’s learned that technology development has shifted into provider organizations, and they will lead from the front that way instead of through third parties.