About the Forum:
Hospitals and health systems are facing an uphill battle to thrive and survive because of rapid changes and advances in healthcare. Hospitals that can get ahead of the technology curve and harness the right patient-friendly technologies for their organization can quickly improve marketing, employee engagement, quality of care, and financial performance. These new technologies strengthen the patient experience, your brand, and loyalty.
But which technologies save the most money and generate the greatest results in the fastest time?
What platforms and programs are the simplest to set up?
How do you leverage these programs to improve performance and simplify the patient experience?
At our upcoming conference, learn about innovative hospital technologies and best practices for improving performance.
Benchworks CEO Thad L. Bench and President Melissa M. Johnston gave opening remarks on the role of positive patient experiences in building brand loyalty and advancing commercial goals, explaining how important a focus on innovation and technology can be to furthering these objectives.
The keynote address, “Disruptive Innovation: Learning from the past to provide for a productive future,” was presented by HAPevolve President Joe Tibbs. Disruptive innovation, Mr. Tibbs explained, causes the incumbent to fail—as was the case with cellular technology disrupting the telephone industry. “It’s only disruption if you don’t see it coming,” Mr. Tibbs said, making the case for allocating resources to stay informed of trends and identify areas that may be disruptive.
Because change is certain, he continued, to be successful in the new economy organizations need to build systems and processes that are flexible enough to survive disruption: “It’s not the strongest tree—it’s the tree that’s most flexible that will survive the storm.” Mr. Tibbs mentioned that there is an increased trend in the healthcare industry towards consumerism, with more people taking ownership of their own healthcare and opting for cheaper options.
Mr. Tibbs’ suggested additional reading included the Harvard Business Review article, “What is Disruptive Innovation?” and two books by Clayton Christensen: “The Innovator’s Prescription” and “The Innovator’s Dilemma.”
Benchworks Director of Health System Marketing Lisa Wolfington presented on behalf of CentraForce Health on the subject of “Predictive Analytics: Better marketing & lower costs.” Ms. Wolfington addressed unique market intelligence technology which uses predictive analytics to grow service lines, locate physician practices and outpatient centers, and improve population health management efforts. She explained how CentraForces combines the social determinants of health with individuals’ trusted communication preferences in any audience you want to target, down to the zip code. With this information at your fingertips, you can quickly and efficiently sharpen and narrow the focus of your marketing campaigns by conducting outreach to individuals most likely to respond by preferred channels.
She detailed CentraForce’s method of pulling data from large, national consumer databases of nearly 250 million Americans and using a proprietary micro-analytics engine to help determine and segment target consumers most likely to take action.
Ms. Wolfington also presented a CentraForce case study revealing how a marketing plan originally slated for 13 counties was culled down to less than half of those counties. Because CentraForce data provided more targeted consumer information, only 6 counties needed outreach. This cut the campaign in half and helped a mid-Atlantic provider’s launch of a Medicare Advantage Plan reach 90% of its enrollment goal. In addition, the data helped the plan reduce its expenses for out-of-network care. CentraForce’s unique predictive analytics saved the client saved $1 million.
In response to a question, Ms. Wolfington explained that CentraForce also helps marketers grow their service lines in less time with less expense while generating significantly more volume than traditional marketing methods.
CentraForce can also identify, map and list all physicians and specialties by zip code including those contracted with a hospital or health system and those who are not-contracted.
Shockoe Mobile Director of Consulting Services Stephen Baker followed with a lecture on “Differentiating through Technology: The value of unique mobile customer experiences.” Mr. Baker explained that increasing consumerism in healthcare has given patients more choice than ever, increasing the need to compete for patient awareness, attention, and consideration.
He noted an example of how airlines reduced customer friction by installing touch screen check-ins as evidence that by “meeting consumers where they are most,” on their phones and online, you can help improve the consumer patient experience. With use of healthcare apps tripling from 2014-2018 (to 50% of consumers) and wearables becoming 4 times as popular in the same time period, Mr. Baker explained, adopting new technologies is key to engaging patients with healthcare brands and controlling their experiences.
As it stands, Mr. Baker’s presentation explained, only 2% of healthcare providers are reaching patients via mobile. He urged those in the industry to catch up with emerging technologies and consider adapting augmented and virtual reality along with mobile-based options.
PHARxSIGHT President Ron Leopold spoke on “Preventing Patients from Falling through the Cracks,” largely through a look at PHARxSIGHT’s Medication Reconciliation (MedRec) program and After Hospital Care Plans (AHCPs) and their effects on lowering costly hospital readmissions. Mr. Leopold described how—with services like text-message adherence programs, weekly medication report cards, and internal workflows and resources that increase medication adherence—PHARxSIGHT has been able to demonstrate significantly reduced readmission rates.
In his talk “Re-thinking Patient Financial Management,” FinPay CEO Christopher M. Wolfington discussed how stratifying the riskiest financial patients up front and providing them with financial education and affordable payment options before they receive care has dramatically increased the total amount of patient financial revenue captured by health systems he supports. When it comes to paying for services, said Mr. Wolfington, your patient’s financial experience should be just as positive as their hospital care experience.
Healthcare has quickly become the 4th largest consumer expense with medical debt being the leading cause of debt and bankruptcy in the U.S. Even among consumers who are privately insured, 43% have a high deductible plan—meaning that 27% of American families put off or postpone necessary medical treatment because of concerns about cost.
By focusing on enhancing the financial experience—through fair and transparent conversations about money and flexible payment options with personalized experiences—you can “do for your patient as you would like done for you.”
He detailed best practices for the industry, explaining, “If a provider makes [the patient’s financial experience] their primary objective, the other patient financial management goals and an improved botton line become easier to achieve and you create brand loyalty and higher customer satisfaction in the process.”
The closing presentation, “Building Community with Brand Ambassadors,” came from Viddler Co-Founder and Vice President Donna DeMarco. She explained the importance of keeping your employees aware and engaged in system successes, services, and innovations so they can inform inquiring customers. “If your staff doesn’t know why your system provides the best care,” she said, “your community won’t know either.”
How is this achieved so efficiently and quickly? The Viddler platform allows employees to watch HIPPA-compliant videos and learn more about the hospital and its services. And they can share some of the videos on social media with their friends which encourages physician referrals. The best part is employees are rewarded for watching the videos with points they can redeem for company-branded merchandise. This lets them showcase their organizational pride and help spread the word in the community as well.
The key to a staff that understands how to communicate with patients, Ms. DeMarco said, is sending out internal communications that your team will want to receive. Viddler touts a 76% voluntary participation rate and personal social media sharing rate of 20% of staff, numbers she credits to the company’s three-pronged approach: fun and engaging video content, an interactive video player, and incentivizing rewards.
The benefit of brand ambassadorships and attributable referrals, Ms. DeMarco explained, is that compared to a company reaching out to a potential consumer, “if a trusted person sells something to you, there is a roughly 561% increase in engagement.”