5 health IT execs on exciting patient experience initiatives for 2020

The patient experience is coming to the forefront of the healthcare delivery conversation.

Patients demand an experience closer to booking a hotel online or making dinner reservations when scheduling appointments with their physicians or selecting their healthcare providers. Technology enables many of the consumer-focused initiatives hospitals and health systems pursue today. Here, five health IT executives discuss the most exciting patient experience initiatives they have planned for 2020.

Phyllis Teater. CIO of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (Columbus): The most interesting work we are doing is understanding how to use artificial intelligence to think through the virtual health space, our user experience, and our future with analytics. AI at its heart is teaching machines to behave more and more like humans. Going forward, we need to leverage those capabilities to provide better patient care, and that includes making healthcare easier to obtain. All of us as patients know that interactions with the healthcare industry are not easy.

We want to leverage voice technology for an amazing customer experience so they can learn about OSUWMC services from Alexa like the nearest ED and interact with us virtually via chat. This can both elevate the user experience as well as increase the efficiency of offering these types of services.

Everything from the first interaction of trying to schedule an appointment to paying the bill requires several steps in the healthcare world. We want to make that feel as streamlined as our personal actions in terms of shopping, booking a hair appointment or making dinner reservations; all the things that have made the digital world in these industries easy need to be brought to healthcare.

Leo Bodden. Vice President and CTO of NewYork-Presbyterian: Access is key. We want to make sure patients have access to our services 24/7, 365 days a year without any disruption or limitations. If you think about the way services are provided in other industries, they make it easy for you to access them online any time. You can purchase something from Amazon without even setting up a password account. If you want to schedule a flight, you log into the app and you can set up your itinerary without any problems. For healthcare, if you want to schedule an appointment, you have to call the office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on a weekday to schedule the appointment. This isn't convenient for patients, and an issue we will solve with [our strategy].

Kristin Darby. CIO of Envision Healthcare (Nashville, Tenn.): One of our most exciting initiatives is a new digital engagement platform that transforms the way in which our team members communicate with one another and enables clinicians to have more meaningful interactions with patients. I'm looking forward to talking about this more once it’s rolled out.

Jeffrey Sturman. Senior Vice President and CIO of Memorial Healthcare System (Hollywood, Fla.): Remote patient monitoring is a huge opportunity for us. We have historically looked at that from a disease standpoint, but there are ways we can make our strategy more comprehensive. Technology now allows us to engage patients to take more control around their condition so we are more predictive and proactive. We as caregivers want to educate the consumer to be more proactive about their care.

We also want to roll out the star rating system in a pilot fashion over the next few months more comprehensively, and increase the touchpoints so patients have the ability to chat with us online and talk about bill pay or scheduling an appointment. We want to put those tools at the fingertips of our patients.

Jason Williams. CIO of CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center (Los Angeles): Two of our most exciting patient-focused initiatives are to roll-out webcams for pre and post-procedure to allow patients to contact their long-distance family members and to launch a centralized IT communication hub for clinical teams to manage communication for patient care and services.

More articles on health IT:
Mayo's approach to patient data management, security and digital health: Key thoughts from CIO Cris Ross
12 technologies that will define health IT in 2020: report
How UW Health's population health chief is moving the needle to address social determinants of health

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