Improving Care Delivery Workflows in “the Pursuit of Happiness”

Abhinav Shashank
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As healthcare is becoming increasingly patient-centric, post-episodic patient engagement has arisen as a crucial element of care delivery. Not only is physician reimbursement getting linked to patient experience metrics but also care quality and utilization are impacting health networks’ drive towards value-based care. Together, the trend towards more patient engagement is impacting patients along each step of their care journey.

Providers and health networks are enhancing their engagement efforts to make patients active participants in their care journey. However, major challenges in the process are holding back these efforts.

Care teams have to invest a lot of time manually contacting each patient due to scattered patient data. Apart from being time-consuming, disintegrated data creates bad and unorganized workflows for the care-coordinators. These inefficient workflows lead to poor patient engagement and prevent providers from achieving high-quality patient care.

Why Workflow Challenges are Important for Healthcare?

The macro-view of a typical care team workflow highlights many underlying challenges. The primary responsibilities of a care coordinator include reviewing outpatient records, looking over patient tests to be administered throughout the day, coordinating schedules with doctors, checking emails, calling patients to confirm appointments, seeing patients, handling medical emergencies, and checking on procedures by reviewing charts and collecting data. The majority of the time in a typical workday is spent in front of a  screen, leaving little time for genuine patient engagement. 

Challenges Bad Workflows Create

  1. Heavy Time Investment in Follow-Ups: The majority of a care team member’s time is spent in front of computer screens, creating reminders or confirming events/appointments, creating lists of patients, and sending individual messages to patients. 
  2. Poor Patient Engagement: Low patient engagement leads to a high rate of patient no-shows. Communication gaps with patients based in different geographies also lead to low patient adherence to appointments and medication.
  3. Care Teams Burnout: Administrative tasks such as calling and following-up with each patient daily is extremely time-consuming and inefficient. Long screen hours can exhaust care coordinators, leaving them with little energy to interact and connect with patients.
  4. Low Patient Satisfaction: Patients do not feel empowered to make informed health decisions and end up paying higher care costs due to low medication adherence or missing preventative examinations.
  5. Poor Health Outcomes: As a result of low adherence, patients stop actively participating in their care. This consumes huge costs and inferior health outcomes. 

How can Activating Data Solve this Problem? 

The first step to engage patients is streamlining healthcare data aggregation and collection. With hundreds of patients under care, it is impossible for care teams and providers to analyze the data for each member. Networks require a solution that understands their patients better and improves care at both individual and population levels. Once all the data is aggregated and activated, a simplified and impactful patient engagement solution follows effortlessly.

  1. Streamlined Workflows: Care coordinators are empowered with workflows that tell them the daily patient flow and only ask for their input when needed. It automates end-to-end follow-ups and supervision schedules for all the patients in a network. 
  2. Automated Follow-ups: The solution sends and schedules thousands of automated outreach campaigns. It also empowers patients with contextual information about their health and optimized clinical visits through messaging campaigns.
  3. Limited Screen Time: Care team members can spend limited time on their screens, as most of their non-direct care tasks are automated.
  4. Robust End-to-End Engagement: The solution looks after the patient’s health journey across the continuum of care. Data-driven and automated at each stage, it has triaging capabilities that engage patients in full accordance with their risk-scores.
  5. Closed Care Gaps: Care teams and patients are both provided with their to-do lists, medical history, lab reports, upcoming appointments, messages sent in the past, and many other relevant details to ensure there are no gaps in care.

Road Ahead

While patient engagement is in a nascent stage for most networks, it is a key component that will drive the most value for them in the future. 

Bad workflows do irreparable damage to healthcare delivery and care providers have an increasing need to stay connected with their patients throughout the care continuum.

With data-driven patient engagement, we will be able to look forward to a more active, responsible and value-driven care journey.

To know how you can combat patient engagement challenges to facilitate swift communication and unify healthcare for your patients, learn about Innovaccer’s Patient Engagement Solution.

To know more about how you can improve patient experience and healthcare outcomes, get a demo.

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