The digital tools backing Adventist Health's patient engagement strategy: 5 Qs with marketing chief Lauren Davis

As system director of digital marketing and consumer strategy at Adventist Health, Lauren Davis has helped spearhead the Roseville, Calif.-based health system's patient engagement initiatives in wake of the acceleration brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms. Davis, who joined Adventist Health in 2015, told Becker's Hospital Review that her team is working "at a record pace" to roll out new digital tools and strengthen existing platforms as strategy "timelines have changed from years to a matter of months," in response to widespread digital health adoption during the pandemic.

As part of its digital engagement strategy, Adventist Health in September announced it deployed a provider-patient matching tool from health IT startup Kyruus on its website and within its patient engagement platform, which is powered by EHR vendor Cerner. Kyruus' software displays consumer-friendly terms for physicians' specialties, allowing patients to more easily search for and find the appropriate providers.

Here, Ms. Davis shares how Adventist Health's digital marketing and consumerism strategies have changed during the pandemic and what initiatives the health system plans to roll out in the near future.

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: What is your No. 1, top priority as director of digital marketing and consumer strategy at Adventist Health? 

Lauren Davis: Adventist Health is focused on empowering individuals to realize their health goals by knowing their needs and delivering consumer-centric solutions. The digital team's top priority is to support that larger initiative by designing online experiences to empower the patient while also personalizing and simplifying interactions.

Q: What has been your organization's most effective patient engagement tool to stay connected with patients during the pandemic? 

LD: Virtual care and patient portal usage have dramatically increased due to the pandemic. These tools are paramount for engagement since people want convenient access to their physicians from the comfort of their home. The digital experience is now more important than ever.

Q: How has the pandemic altered and/or impacted Adventist Health's digital consumer strategy? 

LD: While our digital consumer strategy was very important before COVID-19, the pandemic accelerated all initiatives. We are working at a record pace to enhance existing platforms and release new tools. Timelines have changed from years to a matter of months. We added a virtual assistant to help website visitors check symptoms, find a location or physician, access patient services and better navigate the site.

Q: How will Kyruus' patient-provider matching software affect your overall patient engagement strategy? 

LD: The Kyruus patient-provider matching software makes it easier to find and schedule an appointment with the right physician at the right time on the Adventist Health website and patient portal. This ultimately improves the online experience, increases access and gives patients more control over their own care.

Q: What other digital initiatives do you plan to roll out in the next three to five months to enhance Adventist's digital marketing and/or consumerism strategies?

LD: We are continuing the move from transactional encounters with patients towards deeper, lifelong relationships as we continue to focus on the complete experience across the full care continuum. The digital experience is a core part of that journey. As part of our vision to empower consumers to actively engage in their personal health and well-being, we are developing a direct-to-consumer well-being service, Adventist Health + Karla.

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