It was predicted that the healthcare industry would produce 202,314 exabytes of data by the year 2022. (Forbes, 2021). That was before the influx of COVID-19 patients. Now, with more data being collected than ever before, health information management is an even more important function for hospitals and practices.
Combining the task of data management with practical use, information management improves care for patients and business for hospitals, including: (MedCity News, 2021)
- Improving patient engagement
- Increasing contact center agent efficiency
- Influencing revenue cycles
- Increasing new patient acquisition
- Positively impacting patient loyalty
- Promoting specialties and service lines
These expectations aren’t new, but the demand for elevated patient experiences is increasing. The responsibility of patient loyalty is shifting to health information management.
Why is health information management important
With demand rising for services, patient retention, and better care, healthcare can turn to big data for help. Patients expect hospitals to provide proactive care before they even know they need an appointment.(Huron, 2022)
Ideally, health information management could significantly improve patient loyalty by connecting data points with algorithms and communicating better with patients. In the consumer world, this reflects the push for things like “recommended products” in an omnichannel system. It predicts what people want before they want it. But hospitals deal in life-saving care. That’s why health information management is so important. This role connects the dots in a major way by:
- Managing and cleaning data
- Automatically predicting a patient’s next health emergency
- Applying preventive care
- Communicating critical info to patients
However, the management consultancy Chartis Group found “52% of healthcare executives say they haven’t progressed beyond the pilot stages of digital integration, though they understand the need.” (Healthcare Dive, 2021)
The good news? It’s not too late or too difficult to catch up. If you’re looking to improve these services or build your healthcare information department, it’s time to get moving.
Dealing with big healthcare data
Nearly all U.S. health system leaders and “95% of their international peers agree that it’s important for their organizations to actively invest in digital transformation.” (State of Healthcare Report, 2022) This consensus, and the innovative tools companies like IntelePeer produce, help fill the demand for omnichannel communication. While big data might take a lot of time and effort, the patient communication side does not have to.
“You need to know what products to build and what’s the net benefit beforehand.” (Healthcare Dive, 2021) To find this out, care providers should focus on the patient experience and make sure data is collected and usable for those algorithms, according to Aaron Martin, Chief Data Officer of Health System Providence Health.
These are big IT projects and take careful planning. Will any of this even help with patient communication? Yes. But you must do it right from the start. Think of how your patients want to consume the data that’s collected. Knowing the last ten blood pressure measurements won’t mean much. But knowing that their blood pressure has been increasing over time is significant.
The process of translating data into a simple text message is worth the effort to improve your telehealth services. Over half your patients consider switching to a competitor if they provide better care and communication. (Healthcare Dive, 2021)
Health information management concepts, principles, and practice
“When done right, AI and automation solutions can maintain – if not, improve – patient/member engagement by delivering a more proactive care approach, improving direct communication between them and their payer or provider, and much more. For healthcare organizations, the ability to create faster, smarter, and more connected communications processes and workflows often leads to cost savings and operational efficiencies.” (MedCity News, 2021)
The demand is in the market. The technology is available today. Here’s how you can use big healthcare data to improve service and retain patients.
With clean and organized data secured in a HIPAA-compliant healthcare CRM, AI and algorithms help to predict probability of risk. If the algorithm predicts that a patient is at high risk for heart disease, it can trigger a CPaaS communications workflow.
The workflow could look something like this. Your system records increasing blood pressure over years of in-office visits, reports of increased stress, and an emerging heart rhythm problem. Your patient prefers and responds to texts more than other communication channels. These data points trigger a text communication workflow to the patient:
- The patient gets a message prompting them to schedule an appointment.
- The patient can schedule an appointment at their convenience via text.
- During the appointment, the doctor confirms the prediction, and the pre-heart disease diagnosis is recorded with the rest of the patient’s data.
- The doctor prescribes the patient a new prescription.
- The patient gets texts and reminders including prescription information and preventive care steps.
- The system asks the patient for their blood pressure as recorded by their wearable device, such as a Fitbit.
- After six months, the patient’s blood pressure is still high, and the system prompts another in-office appointment for reassessment.
During the visit of this workflow, the doctor changes the medication. Throughout the next six months the patient’s blood pressure and heart disease risk are reduced, and monitoring and preventative care continue.
Using health information, algorithms, automation, AI, and communication isn’t just convenient for both patients and hospitals. This can save lives.
Health information management combined with predictive technology and automated communication tools isn’t just expected by patients – it will help doctors and hospitals improve care. The work put into these data and communication tools today will help improve health tomorrow. Technology will help patients live better, longer, and stay loyal to the practice that provides services like this.