When it comes to communication technology in healthcare, there is no generation gap. It’s being used by everyone, whether they realize it or not. The barriers, real and perceived, are crumbling.
Communications technology in healthcare, allowing patients to choose how and when to communicate, has evolved to become tools of engagement, participation and activation.
To improve health outcomes, communication plays a key role in patient engagement. But it is the “quality” of interaction between providers and patients that determines whether they communicate to engage, engage to participate or participate to activate. And where quality is determined by value to the provider, relevance to the patient and how engaging the language to elicit the value and relevance
Looking at Gen X, Y, Z, Generation Alpha, and even Boomers, each of those generations is linked to a particular way of communicating either face-to-face or facetime, by phone calls or SMS, email, text IM and video chat. Healthcare needs to adapt to these changes because those demographics are the present and future consumers of healthcare.
In a report by Gartner analysts Mark Gilbert and Jeff Cribbs, “Healthcare Innovation Trends: Bridging Consumers’ Engagement Gap With Their Health”1, (access to full report requires subscription to Gartner.com) leading research and advisory company Gartner identified the three generations of consumer engagement technologies:
1. First-Generation Consumer Engagement: “these technologies focus on improving the engagement of a consumer during an episode of their health journey.”
2. Second-Generation Consumer Engagement: “these technologies are used to deepen relationships, trust and loyalty between the consumer, healthcare organizations and business partners by engaging individuals within greater portions of their health journey.”
1. Third-Generation Consumer Engagement: “this wave of technologies builds upon the first two generations to enable the mass personalization of health and healthcare services based on a comprehensive understanding of the medical, genomic, socioeconomic and behavioral determinants of health.”
The report further states, “this technology and innovation trend analysis demonstrates the need to create a systemic five-year consumer engagement strategy capable of cumulatively achieving the full transformational business and health potential of consumer engagement. The strategy should reflect the three waves of consumer engagement technologies and the business objectives desired for each milestone evolution of engagement. Rebalance your consumer engagement investments so you are investing in all three generations of technologies simultaneously.”
LifeWIRE believes the real next gen therefore is not just when that strategy of three can be in just one technology, but when you add a level of patient participation. And then the “consumer” engagement investment will produce the ROI through patient activation and engagement.
LifeWIRE’s patented communication platform was designed from the start to encompass all three generations of consumer engagement to offer a cohesive solution across each. As examples of such communication products, here are some of the solutions that LifeWIRE provides across three generations of consumer engagement:
Remote Patient Monitoring
Patient, client, member or employee - LifeWIRE’s private cloud-based communication platform can engage them. Through scripted, automated dialogue on any device, any place, any time, communication is personalized and dialogue is relevant to the needs of the individual, helping improve participation with healthcare providers and payers.
Members are engaged in automated, real-time dialogue choosing how they want to communicate such as text, email, interactive voice, IM, Chat. It enables instant remote monitoring in over 400 wearable/medical devices, without the need for special equipment, software, or app.
Client outcomes include a reported clinical efficiency increasing 600% from a clinician patient ratio of 1:25 to 1:150 . Member, client, or patient outreach resulted accessing 54% of hard to reach population versus no previous successful access.
Virtual Assistants, Healthcare CRM, and HCEH
Healthcare communication technology must be able to assist virtually, manage healthcare consumers, and be a hub for the whole health care team. This 3-in-1 capability is used for outreach, follow-up, and feedback.
Whether it’s for pre-admission assessment or pre-optimizing a patient for surgery, a post-operative pain or medication management, or a multi-discipline collaborative care, LifeWIRE provides an interactive, coordinated, and integrated communication hub for individualized care programs.
LifeWIRE solutions enable automation of patient/member education, monitoring, and management while integrating the whole healthcare provider team in one loop of communication for a team-based approach to care.
It also reaches out to 3rd parties such as family and/or peers as needed, in support of the treatment or care plan.
Use case in anesthesiology noted that Day of Surgery (DOS) cancellations went down from 17% to less than 2%, and also resulted in 60% fewer pre-surgery tests required. For medication management, reported outcome for reduced relapse rates by over 60% in substance abuse cases.
As far as patient outreach is concerned, a client outcome reported a 63% successful outreach vs 17% through call center.
Mass Personalization Platform and Precision Health
As an interactive population health management platform, the engagement platform is used to personalize communication among large client/patient populations.
It gathers and collect patient data and information, and transfers to Electronic Health Records to generate qualitative and quantitative reports.
LifeWIRE does this and more. The qualitative and quantitative data combines to form continuous, real time, 24/7 situational awareness of the patient.
The data is used to define baselines and norms, and to work with client workflows (reducing load, not increasing it) clinicians only sees the escalations, out of range results, warnings, or flags.
Its multi-modal outreach as an intervention for monitoring and support enables effective triage, improves clinical outreach, provides accurate charting, and reduces clinical workload.
The platform uses existing, provider protocols or workflows, which can include defined assessments and validated instruments.
From a use case to address readmission and relapse rates due to PTSD among the veteran population, LifeWIRE's communication platform supports the participant’s recovery and provides a periodic assessment of the participant’s level of distress.
In healthcare, tech is ever changing and evolving. To address the ever changing needs of patients and evolving means of wanting to communicate with the healthcare providers, there are innovations that have already journeyed through the next-gen of consumer engagement, leading the way in communicating care. Find out more - #BeLifeWIREd.
1Gartner “Healthcare Innovation Trends: Bridging Consumers’ Engagement Gap With Their Health,” Mark E. Gilbert, Jeff Cribbs, 22 October 2019