Intelichart CEO details patient engagement trends for HIMSS24 attendees

Patient engagement is high on the list of important trends that healthcare CIOs and other health IT leaders at provider organizations are working on.

Intelichart, in Booth 3920 at HIMSS24, is a vendor of patient engagement technologies for provider organizations. It is showcasing its Healthy Outcomes platform, which offers technologies tailored to each stage of the patient journey designed to simplify patient engagement, improve health outcomes and increase profitability.

We interviewed Gary Hamilton, CEO of InteliChart, to discuss major patient engagement trends, how these trends are translating into technologies, and advice he’s offering HIMSS24 attendees in the exhibit hall.

Q. What are the major patient engagement trends you’re discussing with attendees on the exhibit hall floor?

A. For decades, patients have been largely passive partners in their own healthcare. Those days are over. Patients empowered by technology and a new sense of autonomy are shopping for providers the way they do for other services and demanding that clinicians accommodate their expectations for scheduling, service and technology.

Providers – despite what they think about healthcare consumerism – must adjust if they are going to thrive in this new environment.

On a related note, healthcare is transitioning to value-based care, with its emphasis on population health, patient satisfaction and new payment models. Patient engagement is a critical tool to help providers achieve their VBC goals.

By satisfying patient demands for technology, providers create a pathway to improve health outcomes, increase patient satisfaction and find money-saving workflow efficiencies. By focusing on innovative approaches to extend the clinical setting, engage patients wherever they are, and explore staffing models that empower clinicians to work at the top of their licenses, leaders can successfully move to VBC.

Finally, long-term care and post-acute, which often are neglected in healthcare discussions, face mounting challenges, such as rising demand for services and staffing shortages. The industry urgently needs solutions to alleviate staff burdens, including platforms that facilitate communication with residents’ families.

Such tools offer organizations the chance to streamline interactions, develop efficient workflows and monitor quality effectively. Embracing technology not only enhances working conditions but also fosters a collaborative relationship between organizations and families, fostering trust, and bolstering a facility’s reputation.

Q. How will these trends translate into technology innovations?

A. Patient engagement revolves around future healthcare innovations that can provide frictionless experiences across various care touchpoints. The methods to increase patient engagement are rapidly evolving, which will shift the focus of strategies on self-management, self-care and self-monitoring. Healthcare organizations are expanding their digital connections accordingly to improve the care experience.

Healthcare leaders and organizations can rely upon technology innovations to help navigate these trends successfully. Providers need to turn to solutions that offer comprehensive tools designed to simplify and optimize patient engagement processes.

By embracing these trends and leveraging innovative technologies, they can enhance patient experiences, improve outcomes and remain competitive in an evolving consumer-driven healthcare landscape.

Q. What’s the most important piece of advice you are giving to HIMSS24 attendees about patient engagement in 2024?

A. With all the uncertainty surrounding healthcare – consolidations, regulations, budget crises, workforce shortages – there’s a tendency to overlook the central figure in it all – the patient. That would be a mistake because patients now wield significant influence over the nature and delivery of care as well as those who provide it.

Patients, especially younger ones, are reshaping their interactions with their providers and healthcare in general. Providers who fail to adapt to this evolving dynamic risk both attracting and retaining patients in the long run.

Patient autonomy may be unsettling to some providers, but they should view it not as a threat, but as an opportunity. Embracing it allows providers to enhance engagement, leading to improved outcomes, increased efficiencies and streamlined workflows.

While navigating interactions with more empowered patients may pose challenges, providers shouldn’t shy away from change. Engaged patients tend to exhibit better adherence to medical advice, appointment attendance and medication adherence, and are more inclined to ask questions.

Importantly, this shift doesn’t signify the demise of patient-provider relationships. While traditional notions of loyalty have changed, patients will continue to seek out and trust providers who deliver superior care.

However, the concept of optimal care now encompasses more than just patient-provider relationships and medical decision making; it extends to providing access to modern patient engagement tools that empower patients to actively participate in their healthcare journey.

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Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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