Providence's CIO zeros in on patient loyalty

Improving the patient experience is a top strategic priority for Renton, Wash.-based Providence, even as finances tighten and health systems in general are struggling to generate free cash flow.

"We'll definitely be looking at tightening our belts on non-strategic programs and really focusing our investments in areas that improve patient experience and patient loyalty or stickiness with Providence as a system," B.J. Moore, CIO and executive vice president of real estate strategy and operations at Providence, said on the "Becker's Digital Health + Health IT" podcast.

The CIO should play a big role in patient and consumer loyalty, Mr. Moore said, because the IT teams have a unique view of the entire healthcare ecosystem. His team is responsible for building the technology infrastructure and road map to deliver the end-to-end-patient care.

"We're really the only ones that stitch together all aspects of the patient journey," Mr. Moore said. "The nurse has a perspective, the caregiver has a perspective, and the patient has a perspective, but that's really it. We are the only one that can pull together all those constituencies to have an end-to-end view. I was at Microsoft for 27 years, and I think tech companies are better at building end-to-end consumer journeys. It's a new muscle for healthcare."

Improving the patient journey is a challenge in healthcare, especially since the different stakeholders typically work in silos. Care teams and patients need more seamless connectivity to make real-time decisions about care and easily access information.

"It's really building that patient or caregiver vision first and then coming with technology to solve those problems," Mr. Moore said. To meet the patient experience goals and drive loyalty, Providence is creating a single-identity system to streamline information flow and improve the patient experience.

Mr. Moore said the single-identity system allows patients to log in to one application to access all their information. Patients only need to log in once, and the health system is updating the systems on the back end to remove the complexity and create common scenarios for consumer needs.

"Our secret sauce is simplifying healthcare," Mr. Moore said. "We're far away from other consumer experiences. Most people are used to Expedia, Uber or Amazon where they get amazing consumer experiences. We're slowly making progress."

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