Finding, Guiding and Keeping patients engaged for life: A path to enabling seamless Patient Engagement

Akif Khan and Pankaj Singh Bhati
Thur 24 Aug 2023
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Delivery of patient-centered care is gaining momentum not only in the GCC, but across the globe. As simple as it may sound, I believe it is one of the most intricate aspects of healthcare that needs undivided attention to achieve quantifiable outcomes. Even now, few health systems aren’t aware of the importance of building one-to-one (1:1) consumer journeys by bringing in personalization, accessibility, and innovation and how it can help them “find, guide, and keep patients for life.”

According to a recent report by Boston Consulting Group, along with the hard aspects of provider selection like value, coverage, availability of specialties, and qualified teams, the patients also look for the softer aspects such as convenience, look and feel, and reputation. The aspect that interests me the most is convenience which includes but is not limited to the entire patient journey, starting from the ease of booking, availability of appointments, travel distance, and short waiting times. This accompanied by seamlessly connected patient data can enable the provision of high-quality care. This would also positively impact the building of 1:1 health journeys that can help health systems find consumers, guide them to achieve wellness, and keep them lifelong by proactively delivering care.

Roadblocks in the ecosystem

Personalization of care and aligning that to the clinical context requires better ways to capture, harmonize, and utilize patient data. On the whole, inadequate utilization of health data by hospitals and clinics costs nearly a trillion dollars annually to the healthcare system across the globe. According to a recent report by the World Health Organization-( Global Report on health data systems and Capacity), 51% of the counties across the globe have disaggregated population projections. This indicates that there is a lack of data readiness and the presence of inept systems that don’t talk to each other which together hinder health systems from achieving the high degrees of clinically contextualized personalization and convenience which are at the core of the “find, guide, and keep” triage.

Building digital engagement strategies that drive consumer activation requires health systems to invest in data integration and have data-driven insights on multiple factors including SDoH, medical history, financial transactions, etc. The report also emphasizes on the need of high-quality data for increasing the monitoring of patients at risk. However, a considerable number of countries haven’t integrated medical and social data, which makes it difficult for them to find the right consumers. In general, health systems aren’t doing enough to find the right prospects and health consumers to help them grow their service line business, which they can do while engaging with the right existing patients to decrease costs and improve health outcomes.

Furthermore, there is a lack of confidence among health systems regarding the capture and use of the full range of patient data, which makes it difficult for them to guide patients toward improved and lasting health outcomes based on informed decisions. On the whole, this hinders their prospects of building and deploying personalized, interconnected healthcare journeys which are the cornerstone to keeping patients engaged for life.

Find-Guide-Keep: A three-tier strategy to build healthy 1:1 patient journeys

Integrating and activating valuable sources of data–EHR, claims, labs, pharmacy, SDoH, and more–gives healthcare organizations the information they need to guide patients along their wellness journey. It enables providers to streamline workflows among the care team members, as well as produce reports to measure the effectiveness of outreach, engagement, and loyalty efforts. With all data accessible through one platform, healthcare organizations can develop strategies to keep patients for life. And that strategy is based on three stages.


In the find stage, healthcare systems need to utilize a rich blend of behavioral, clinical and claims data to determine their top service and market opportunities, be that through growth or retention strategies. They should consider building risk models to determine which specific consumers and patients are at the highest risk and design digital engagement strategies to drive consumer activation while simultaneously implementing proactive, preventative care outreach strategies for their existing patient population.

Awareness and consideration: In this first step, the consumer experiences and self-assesses symptoms, driving them to online research, discussions with family and friends, and social media to seek opinions. Investing in a data integration platform can help health systems leverage this rich behavioral data as well as marketing engagement data (e.g. clicks, impressions, click path data, etc.) to drive more personalized content to consumers to build their awareness of treatment options.


In the guide stage, healthcare systems start investing in long-term patient relationships which they can initiate by developing guided care pathways to improve access, scheduling, care coordination, and health outcomes. At this stage, hospitals and clinics implement data-led insights to boost their efforts of personalized hospital outreach, either through digital or 1:1 personalized engagements.

Help and enroll: After consideration, a consumer/patient contacts a health system or provider to schedule an appointment or receive other informational resources. However, the appointment-seeking experience is often siloed and blind to consumer/patient data, which reduces the chance of building long-term 1:1 health journeys. For example, the efficiency of booking appointments is still frequently measured on the number of appointments booked and not on the amount of time spent on the call to make the patient’s experience seamless and delightful. This requires a deep change management exercise with healthcare systems as they need to equip the call center agents with insightful patient data that can drive meaningful engagement and enrollment.

Care and treat: The provider meets the patient, performs an assessment, makes a diagnosis, suggests treatment, and/or delivers on-site care. This is the stage where providers need to have proactive conversations and improvement on clinical care coordination and care delivery. Investments in a data integration platform focused on building 360-degree patient profiles can improve operational efficiency and outcomes in real time for physicians, care managers, health leaders, and patients.


In the keep stage, healthcare systems provide value by expanding on the find and guide steps. They take steps to build and deploy personalized, interconnected healthcare engagement journeys that go beyond the immediate needs of treating illness to proactively encourage long-term wellness.

Recovery and rehab: After treatment, it is critical for health providers to motivate patients to continue with their follow-up care and make positive changes in their daily activities. Healthcare systems can focus on strengthening and streamlining their communication so patients don’t miss their regular checkups, medication, screenings, tests, vaccinations, etc. If there is a communication gap at this point, it can literally ruin all the previous efforts in building a 1:1 health journey. Activating their data helps to personalize the healthcare system’s communication, making it more effective. Such personalized reminders are typically received positively and help to build trust in the healthcare system.

Ongoing care and proactive health: After the recovery and rehab step, the actual test of 1:1 health journeys begins. Healthcare systems must take steps to sustain engagement with patients for their ongoing care management, promote long-term engagement, and enable better self-care. Many healthcare systems still fail at this, either because of their inability or unwillingness to break down data silos which causes reactive, versus proactive engagement.

Setting the stage with data as a competitive advantage

According to a 2021 McKinsey study, improved utilization of data could eliminate 50 to 75 percent of the trillion dollars wasted in healthcare annually. In the U.S. alone, this would save $500 billion to $750 billion in healthcare costs. Solving data fragmentation is about enabling every health decision to be supported by a holistic view of patient data.

The Innovaccer Data Activation Platform (DAP) helps unlock the data investments housed on siloed systems as it accelerates strategies designed to find, guide, and keep patients for life. This is enabled with the ingestion, aggregation, and normalization of - healthcare data across systems and settings to create a longitudinal, unified view of the patient that serves as a single source of clinical and financial truth across the health system enterprise.

When paired with Innovaccer’s Patient Relationship Management (PRM) solution, the unified patient record helps to boost patient acquisition and retention and improve the bottom line. Innovaccer’s internal and customer data shows health systems using the PRM solution have realized as much as 15% improvement in patient outcomes and 30% higher patient satisfaction.

Through data accessibility and interoperability enabled by a cloud data platform, healthcare organizations can develop integrated strategies that have the scope to go from illness to wellness and stay with consumers for life. Integrating and activating all patient data wherever it resides can help ensure health systems have the full clinical view of the patient which is crucial for proactively and perpetually promoting better health.


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Akif Khan and Pankaj Singh Bhati

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