KLAS: No clear go-to source exists for patient engagement tools

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A new patient engagement report from KLAS Enterprises examines how well vendors are meeting patient needs. The research firm talked to 74 provider organizations that had an executive charged with engagement, asking which vendors they are using or considering.

Only three vendors stood out—CipherHealth, GetWellNetwork and Press Ganey.

Study participants mentioned more than 100 non-EHR vendors as playing a patient engagement role, but only 29 are being used or considered by three or more organizations, according to KLAS. In this fluid market, no single vendor is positioned as an all-purpose go-to source, KLAS says.

“The patient engagement market remains very immature, and vendor solutions are all over the place,” says Colin Buckley, strategic operations director at KLAS. “Only a handful of vendors are really steeped in patient engagement.”

Press Ganey is well known in the provider world for its Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, which is a formal public reporting tool measuring patient perspectives.

CipherHealth and GetWellNetwork are both developing a suite of patient engagement tools and have found some success, Buckley says. Beyond that, there’s no real up-and-comers yet.

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Buckley sees Apple and Google as companies that may want to play a role, particularly in developing the future of analytics capabilities for the patient engagement field. Further, don’t count out social media in playing a role in patient engagement, Buckley cautions.

Lyft and Uber are getting a lot of patients to appointments, and some providers may pay for the rides. Some patients are scheduling their appointments themselves and are more likely to show up for an appointment and be engaged in their care because they made the effort.

Increasing numbers of providers are sending out text messages with appointment reminders, which work better than email because the messages go straight to the phone that most people have. In using messaging, providers also get the benefit of inserting themselves into the patient’s life, further cementing the relationship.

The patient engagement report also considers other vendors such as Epic, athenahealth, Allscripts, HealthGrid and Cerner, among others.

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