Meaningful use stage 2 sets the bar of 5% portal access for patient engagement and stage 3 raises the bar to 25%. What does it take to drive the adoption curve?
There are multiple factors that help the adoption curve to take off. The three key factors that are very important are:
1. Access: The key question is what information and resources are made available for the patients?
2. Value: The key question is based on the data that is made available, what is the value for the patients?
3. Experience: The key question is how seamless experience does the patient have while accessing information and the experts?
While today, the primary focus is to increase access to information by providing a portal to your information system, it will be difficult for adoption to take off if value and experience are not focused on.
Enabling a portal to your information system is the starting point. Providing value added capabilities such as collaboration capabilities in your portal to communicate with your care teams increases the value for the patients. Once these capabilities are provided anytime, anywhere and on any device, with a seamless experience, patients will start using these systems. Enabling continuity of care from the hospital room to the patient’s home and enabling the data to be seamlessly available in the portal when the patient is discharged enables a higher experience. In the era of social media, a great experience leads to more influence with other patients and the adoption continues to grow.
Checkout the Cisco booth (#1301) to learn more about how Cisco is enabling access, value and experience leveraging its solutions at the American Telehealth Association (ATA) conference 2015 currently underway from May 3-5, 2015 in Los Angeles.
Value is certainly an important dimension when thinking about adoption. But there is also an important constraint to consider. Most of the patients using these patient engagement platform are relatively healthy. They may seek medical attention a few times a year, especially in the primary care context. How do you engage these folks when they are incentives to participate in the platform may be low? How do you demonstrate the value of engagement to someone who is not a regular consumer of health care? These are important questions to think about because the value a relatively young and healthy patient derives from a patient engagement platform may be very different from that of an older patient with a chronic illness.
Thanks for your comments. You make a very valid point. While we clearly see that value has a very important role in adoption, as you clearly pointed out, with a widespread audience that you are trying to engage, the value for each of them is not the same. The key is to tailor the engagement approach for each category to make appropriate value of each category. On a very high level, we can classify the audience into three major classifications – Chronically ill, At Risk and Healthy population. The current approach of patient portals is to provide information such as medication, immunization. This has limited value for Healthy, whose goal is stay well. Focusing on patient education, activity tracking for wellness and fitness is an approach that a higher value for this category. Analytics plays a key role in identifying what similar demographic groups are interested in and providing recommendations can be an approach to initiate peer group collaboration, which in turn increases the value.
Correctly. in the era of social media, causing great experience more influence with other patients and adoption continues to grow.
With the use of technology, the access to drive the adoption curve seems to be the easiest to achieve. Though access is the first step to a successful adoption curve, value and experience is indeed more important especially for patients who would be the primary users of engagement portals. However, both of these also rely on access and value might also be dependent on user experience. This only means that these factors cannot go as separate entities but rather a part of one another to function well.
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