Since the introduction of value-based care, healthcare organizations have been told they must demonstrate better patient outcomes in order to receive reimbursement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS).
Hospitals and health systems remain in transition mode, as they work to figure out what this looks like for their specific approach to care delivery and business operations. It’s a big undertaking, but ultimately comes down to making smaller changes organization-wide that can amass a large-scale shift.
One of the seemingly small, but important changes is increasing your organization’s focus on patient portal usage and adoption — something especially pertinent in response to the recently released CMS Interoperability and Patient Access final rule. To drive patient engagement and improve outcomes, your patients must have easy access to their unique health data.
Why Prioritize Patient Portals?
When patients sign up for and actively use their health portal, they’re more likely to be engaged with their health, loyal to their providers, and accountable for their own health outcomes.
These platforms provide critical health information that equips them to follow through on treatment plans, as well as tools for communicating with providers about their health progress. This ultimately minimizes the need for direct intervention, which keeps readmission rates low and leads to better outcomes for portal-engaged patients.
For example, a Kaiser Permanente study published in JAMA Network Open found that diabetes patients who used its patient portal and mobile phone app experienced improved outcomes over a 33-month period. The provider saw a 1.67 percentage point increase in medication adherence and a 0.13 percentage point lower HbA1c level among patients who switched from no portal use to using both methods.
With access to their health data, these patients gained agency and took the right actions to better manage their disease. Increased patient engagement helped them achieve better health overall.
Three Tips for Maximizing Patient Portal Engagement
How do you make this a reality at your health system? Below are three tips for prioritizing patient portal use organization-wide to drive patient engagement, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.
1. Make Your Goal Known
It’s important for all patient-facing staff to understand the organization’s goals around increasing patient portal usage and adoption, so they can urge patients to sign up and participate. When everyone recognizes the larger financial and clinical impact of this initiative, they’ll work together more effectively to achieve the desired results.
2. Identify Biases and Barriers
There are a lot of reasons patients may not enroll in your patient portal, and most go beyond the surface of their interactions with your organization. You need to understand potential cognitive biases, psychosocial barriers, and contextual factors that could keep them from signing up. This gets to the root of low adoption and provides a starting point for moving them toward enrollment.
3. Employ Hyper-Personalized Communications
With this insight into patient behavior, you can employ hyper-personalized communications that overcome barriers to and amplify benefits of patient portal enrollment. These communications should address each individual’s unique preferences and move them to make healthy decisions.
How Lirio Helps
Lirio’s behavior change AI platform combines behavioral science and artificial intelligence to create personalized behavior change programs and optimize them within your existing communication channels.
One of our programs focuses on patient portal enrollment. The Lirio platform identifies portal enrollment as a targeted behavior, and then applies behavioral science principles to solve for your patients’ barriers and benefits to action. It then assembles content elements into thousands of unique message combinations that are matched to individual recipients.
Through hyper-personalized communications, we drive patients to portal usage and adoption, so you don’t have to invest excess time and resources in direct intervention techniques. We help your patients make the right decisions for themselves and their specific health journey.
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