How Saint Joseph Mercy Health identifies early lung cancer while boosting patient experience: 4 notes

Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, part of Trinity Health Michigan, has implemented a program that identifies cancer earlier while improving overall consumer experience. 

During a recent webinar hosted by Becker's Hospital Review and sponsored by Healthgrades, industry experts discussed a new approach to the lung cancer assessment process that guides individuals to the most clinically appropriate next steps.

The speakers were: 

  • Mitch Holdwick, director of consumer engagement for the Michigan region of Trinity Health, Saint Joseph Mercy's parent company
  • Dan Lavelle, associate vice president of client development at Healthgrades

Four things to know: 

1. Better patient experience is the way to revenue recovery, Mr. Lavelle began.  Consumer experiences are non-linear and occur across multiple channels, happening in-person, online, over social media and via phone, said Mr. Lavelle. Patients' expectations about virtual experiences are also changing, with the 11 percent of consumers using telehealth in 2016 jumping to 76 percent of consumers now interested in using telehealth. The consumer experience has never been as important as it is now, with hospitals emerging from a year that saw median operating margins drop 55.6 percent. 

2. Spend the time to design the seamless patient experience, Mr. Holdwick said. Armed with the goal of allowing the consumer to do what is easy, Holdwick urges listeners to remove the burden typically placed on healthcare consumers by spending the time to design and engineer a process, implement technology, and train people to provide a seamless experience for patients. Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, an eight-hospital health system with 2,269 licensed beds, has increased digital leads by 385 percent from 2017-20, with a 35 percent average lead-to-patient conversion rate. 

3. Saint Joseph Mercy kicked off this population health initiative with the SEMI Lung Cancer Screening Program. Mr. Holdwick recommended starting with a service that is more complex, citing the power of continuous iteration and evolution from campaigns to programs to experiences that harmoniously bring together the three key facets of the digital front door: CRM, marketing automation, and contact center integration. The program targets consumers more likely to be at risk. The consumer then takes the assessment via their preferred channel and, through automated workflows, is matched to the best next step for care based on their assessment risk score. The result is a great consumer experience as well as improved operational efficiencies including appropriate care utilization. In just a few short months after launching, they’ve generated a total of 2,087 inbound leads. While innovation takes grit, it is most important to shed subjective opinions and allow the data to drive the decision-making, said Holdwick. Some key takeaways Mr. Holdwick has learned from the promotion of the program that X-ray-style imagery drives the most interaction and Facebook is the top-performing channel for capturing interest. 

4. Saint Joseph Mercy uses the Hg Mercury engagement platform to target consumers most likely to need pulmonology services and begin the process of identifying lung cancer at an early stage. Hg Mercury combines what are normally thought of as individual solutions into one engagement platform that supports consumer, patient, and provider efforts, Mr. Lavelle explained. Using the Hg Mercury CRM solution, Mr. Holdwick and team identify targeted audiences, track cross-channel engagement—whether from direct mail, social media, or other digital efforts—and measure program downstream contribution margin and ROI. Pairing the CRM with the Hg Mercury Engagement Center allows call center agents to provide a consumer-first, seamless experience. The combination of the workflows and integrations let clinical navigators to focus on high-risk individuals, allowing Saint Joseph Mercy Health to realize numerous operational efficiencies.

To learn more about Healthgrades, click here. To view the full webinar, click here.

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