The healthcare industry is catching on to the time and cost savings of automated technology. From appointment reminders to scaled communication efforts, technology is enabling healthcare providers and payers to more effectively scale their patient outreach strategy.

Fundamental to these efforts is the use of data in order to understand what existing—and prospective—patients need inside and outside of the doctor’s office to maintain good health. When healthcare organizations are equipped with the right information, they can better understand how to retain and grow their patient volume and refine their patient outreach strategy for better quality outcomes. This impacts their bottom line through value-based reimbursement programs and, more importantly, elevates the health and wellness of their communities.

Technology propels the ability to access healthcare data and analytics that can inform how healthcare practices and payers engage with their patient populations. Patient data can come from a variety of sources, including:

Electronic Health Records (EHR): Digital records that capture a patient’s demographics, medical history, lab results, and other clinical information

Patient Satisfaction Surveys and Scores: Feedback related to what patients like and dislike about their experience at your practice

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platforms: Centralized hubs of data originating from internal and external sources including call center interactions, behavioral patterns, and more to provide a 360-degree view of the patient

Engagement Hubs: Third-party solutions that enable healthcare organizations to automate and track communication efforts through integrations with various technology

The challenge with all of this data is that it’s often stored in disparate sources, making it difficult to consolidate data into a single source of truth for analysis. However, when these data sources are integrated, healthcare organizations are able to harness the power of data to inform strategic business decision-making as they work to improve quality outcomes and lower costs.

A powerful way healthcare organizations can use data to generate higher quality outcomes for their patients is by refining their patient outreach strategy based on actionable analytics. When clinicians and payers are able to access and understand vast amounts of data created by the digitization of their patient’s information, they can provide a more comprehensive care plan tailored to the individual needs of each of their patients.

In the past, efforts to customize patient outreach were time-consuming and expensive, but today’s technology makes it easier for healthcare organizations to collect and convert patient data into meaningful insights that can be applied to automated algorithms for scaled patient communication.

Here are three ways that healthcare organizations can leverage data to refine their patient outreach strategy and elevate quality outcomes.

1. Segmenting Patient Populations

For an effective patient outreach strategy, healthcare organizations must first understand exactly who they are targeting and what those patients need. Rather than relying on manual efforts or overgeneralized groupings, the right data analytics and technology can help identify and group patient populations using various criteria that already exist in your EHR, including:

  • Age
  • Demographics
  • Diagnoses
  • Hereditary Diseases
  • Social Determinant of Health (SDOH) data
  • Utilization History (e.g. office visits and hospital or acute care episodes)

For example, in a patient outreach campaign for patients with diabetes, healthcare providers and payers could target patients with HBA1C levels above 8 who have also not been to the doctor in the past 90 days. Using data to identify this particular patient population allows you to think more specifically and strategically about what interventions and communications could help to meet their needs and improve their outcomes.

In addition to chronic disease segments, using technology and data to inform risk stratification can help identify patients with a higher risk for particular diseases. This sets your practice up to more specifically refine your patient outreach strategy for how you provide care plan adherence advice, patient support programs, or social and community follow-up.

2. Mapping the Patient Journey

Once your patient population is identified using healthcare analytics, you can use data to fully understand what patient groups experience as they move throughout your organization. A healthcare CRM is often critical for this as it can help you identify patient engagement touchpoints at before, during, and after their care. This allows you to refine your patient outreach strategy with considerations at every stage in the patient journey, leading to patient retention and loyalty.

3. Personalizing Communication

Healthcare is personal by nature, as providers are interacting with patients at some of their most vulnerable moments. By using data to narrow down which patients you need to communicate within your patient outreach strategy, you can then tailor your messaging based upon their specific needs and where they’re at in their patient journey.

Automated patient outreach via text allows practices to communicate these messages at scale while using dashboards to ensure their entire patient population is covered. Patients can receive reminders about critical screenings, vaccinations, wellness visits, and other preventative care necessary to keep them healthy.

Similarly, automated messages can be tailored for a variety of common chronic disease conditions, including heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and cancer. Proactively delivering these messages gets patients in the door before it’s too late. This personalized patient outreach delivers resources at scale to help patients demonstrate self-care and receive continuous support beyond the clinical setting.

For example, patient outreach campaigns could target high-risk adults between the ages of 55-80 who have used tobacco within the last 15 years, prompting them to schedule lung cancer screenings or encouraging them to join smoking cessation programs to lower their risk.

When patients receive educational resources from their care providers, they’re more likely to respond by taking measures to maintain good health as a lifestyle. This reduces the need for acute care while improving the wellness of the patient.

Providing preventative service options through population health outreach for targeted at-risk groups can help each patient maintain the highest possible quality of life while avoiding crisis events and expensive services.

4. Adjusting as Needed

Finally, technology allows healthcare organizations to monitor and adjust their patient outreach strategy in real-time. Automated dashboards can provide insight into the performance of outreach campaigns, measuring how patients responded to communication efforts so you can adjust your strategy based on what is or isn’t working.

Data like opt-out rates, response rates, or keyword trends can inform healthcare organizations of areas of opportunity to improve message content—or even out-of-date patient information. This allows providers and payers to optimize their patient outreach strategy for higher engagement.

Perfecting your patient outreach strategy requires continuous tracking and analysis of data, but technology makes this possible in our modern world. Equipped with the right information, technology-driven data can help providers and payers alike more effectively meet the needs of their growing member and patient populations, resulting in healthier patients, families, and communities.

To learn more about how technology can help your health system leverage data to refine your patient outreach strategy, contact us today.