By Susan Yeazel, Donna Hazen and Michelle Auchter, consultants, Point B.
It’s a familiar story among healthcare payers: Their companies spend significant time and money to roll out new digital capabilities for their employees, only to have the effort fall short or even fail altogether. The reason? People simply don’t engage, adopt or use the new tools and systems as expected.
While this problem didn’t begin with COVID, the pandemic has intensified the need to solve it. With remote work likely to be part of the new normal and employees relying more than ever on their companies’ digital infrastructure, existing gaps and new needs have surfaced. The challenge is especially complex in healthcare. As digitalization increasingly shapes the healthcare ecosystem, payers are looking to integrate new digital communication tools that support their ability to play a central role across the many different parties and layers of systems they serve—including customers, providers and partners.
There’s often an assumption that employees will naturally adopt new tools and technology simply because “they’re better.” But it takes more than the promise of a ”new and improved” tool to get people on board. We help companies take proven steps to improve digital adoption in ways that boost administrative efficiency, reduce costs, retain valuable talent, and improve the customer experience, which in turn leads to business growth. As an example, a company recently launched a digital program that employees rated 4.67 on a scale of 5 as being mission critical. That same program delivered a 263 percent increase in employee behaviors considered key to success. These numbers reflect high employee understanding and buy-in—both key to successful digital adoption.
Think, plan and invest in the employee experience
Think about the level of effort your organization puts into ensuring that externally-facing digital tools or web features are a success with your customers. How do you think, plan and invest to ensure that success?
While customer experience (CX) typically steals the spotlight, employee experience (EX) is nearly always the unsung hero to ensuring that companies succeed in engaging customers and driving growth. Companies that plan and invest in digital advances with this inside-out mindset are at a competitive advantage. We find they have a few key success factors in common:
Inspired and organized leadership: This is the #1 predictor of a successful digital adoption. Leaders need to be out in front – seen, heard and enthusiastically championing the value of the digital transformation.
Thoughtful preparation: Successful companies spend time upfront to really think through how they’d like to see this change unfold. What will success look like?
Active engagement: Inspiration and open, two-way communication are essential to engage heads, hearts and hands. Leadership can do much to support teams with the tools, capabilities and campaigns to make the digital journey as fun and rewarding as possible.
Make it clear: strategy, alignment and leadership
Before employees will invest in the “how” of digital adoption, they need to understand the “why.” Leadership must share a clear vision, articulate the drivers for change, explain the rationale for timing, and illustrate the alignment to corporate strategy.
By Matt Henry, senior manager consultant, Denver, Point B; Talia Avci, managing consultant, Chicago, Point B; and Ashley Fagerlie, managing consultant, Phoenix, Point B.
As the COVID-19 crisis disrupts traditional care delivery, digital tools such as telehealth are making it possible to deliver care outside your facility’s walls. Here’s how to prepare your organization both now and in the future.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare has literally left the building. With millions of Americans under orders to stay home, in-person care delivery and elective procedures have been effectively shut down, elevating the need for alternative care delivery options.
Health systems are in a crisis, balancing heroic action to ramp up and support their communities through the COVID pandemic with existential threats to established service line revenue and cost structures. The importance of using technology to extend reach and effectiveness of your mission has never been greater.
While other industries have spent years disrupting traditional operating models to deliver online engagement to meet customer needs, healthcare has lagged due to many practical, economic, regulatory, cultural and quality of care reasons.
As health systems prepared for a surge in infectious patients, many have leveraged their digital front door as a way to deliver credible information, guide care, and deliver safe and effective services to patients.
Taking lessons learned, the time is now to plan for your post-COVID plans and how your digital front door can extend your mission as you intentionally re-open your care facilities.
Re-imagine access: As you build your strategy, consider how new front door solutions are being offered by non-traditional ‘providers’, like Anthem, Walgreens and CVS/Aetna, to address gaps in the primary care landscape.
These gaps include inaccurate online health information, lack of access to personal health information, long wait times for appointments, lack of price transparency and other issues that impact patients along their care journey.
Barriers can be addressed by tools that assist in triaging, medication adherence, capacity management as well as two-way patient communication via websites, patient portals and apps.
Anthem has partnered with a digital health start-up, K Health, to offer symptom triaging to their 40 million members to provide care guidance and access. Members provide their symptoms to an AI-enabled algorithm and can text directly with providers for advice. Walgreens, with locations that are accessible by 78% of the U.S. population, has launched Find Care, which offers everything from lab tests to virtual consults.
CVS/Aetna has spent nearly 10 years building out digital health tools, focusing on medication adherence, with the power to leverage data as a pharmacy, payer and retail clinic to connect with their patients. Other organizations are launching chat bots for assessments and triage or more deeply leveraging remote patient monitoring for care. Each of these digital front door tools is changing how patients access care.
Guest post by Susan Kanvik, healthcare senior director, Point B.
The goals of data governance have long been clear outside of the healthcare industry. Organizations want to enable better decision-making, reduce operational friction, protect the needs of data stakeholders, train management and staff to adopt common approaches to data issues, build standard, repeatable processes, reduce costs and increase effectiveness through coordination of efforts and ensure transparency of processes.
That’s a tall order. And one that’s coming to healthcare this year for several reasons:
Data regulatory mandates will increase the need for data transparency. For example, the requirement for distribution of clinical studies data for public consumption requires pharma and biotech companies to publish clinical study information publicly. This public exposure shines a light on the data, requiring it to be accurate and with consistent definitions.
As patients move toward becoming data consumers, the need for accurate data with consistent definitions becomes even more important. Higher deductible coverage is driving patients to research and buy healthcare services based on published data regarding a healthcare organization’s cost and quality. Additionally, patients are managing their health correspondence via patient portals which, again, requires absolute precision with data accuracy and definition.
The migration to enterprise data solutions and less clear ownership of data is becoming commonplace. While many healthcare organizations were well on their way to implementing enterprise EHRs, moving away from siloed applications, the health IT incentives included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) have pushed a much higher number of healthcare organizations to enterprise solutions. With an enterprise EHR clinical solution, where data is less siloed, data “ownership” is less clear. In the not so distant past, individual departments would manage their own data. The move toward the adoption of enterprise systems requires enterprise level governance, which will increase in importance during the coming year and beyond.
Reporting requirements in healthcare have increased in scope and complexity. Having a data dictionary, a common data governance tool, facilitates common definitions, which is critical in supporting reporting requirements.
Sharing of data across healthcare organizations heightens the need for increased IT security. As healthcare organizations have grown through acquisitions and partnerships, many are finding it hard to share data within their organizations due to a lack of interoperability across different EHRs. This creates a challenge to share data beyond their organization, and healthcare organizations will need to carefully manage both how data is shared and the increased security risks that come with that sharing. Sharing of data and address the increased security risks that accompany it.