The power of geospatial data – and other 2017 healthcare trends
While 2016 was the year of viewing the patient as a consumer of healthcare, 2017 will be the year of consumer connectivity. As we continue to expand the importance of patients as consumers, we need to find better ways to increase engagement and connectivity. Healthcare providers are searching for ways to bolster engagement, going beyond the EHR and looking to new resources to foster enhanced connectivity and touch points with their target populations.
Here are on four trends that 2017 will bring to healthcare data in leveraging patients as consumers:
1) Recognizing the Power of Geospatial Data
As Dr. John Showalter, CHIO, University of Mississippi Medical Center, points out on Healthcare Tech Outlook, “Geospatial analytics gives us the ability to look at large populations, smaller communities and even individual risk factors. Block-level socioeconomic and environmental data is the most under-utilized set of existing data in healthcare.” Geospatial data allows you to see where co-morbidities exist within a specific geography, so you can concentrate resources where they are most needed. Knowing how the location of your patient populations is mapped against their co-morbidities delivers actionable insights that you simply can’t find in current EHR systems.
2) Expanding the Definition of “Healthcare Data”
According to RevCycle Intelligence, only 23% of organizations currently have consumer-centered healthcare capabilities. One of the sticking points is that we still think of healthcare data in a very traditional sense—claims data, EHR data, etc. As we continue to recognize patients as consumers, we must also expand the definition of what comprises healthcare data. Consumer-centric data has been used by marketing and advertising agencies for years to understand how consumers feel, think and interact with brands. This data will become imperative in understanding how consumers view their own personal healthcare and for healthcare organizations to recognize how best to move the needle forward in engaging with them across modalities.
3) Increasing Patient Retention with Consumer Data
Healthcare organizations are continuously getting smarter with data. Last year’s trends point to growth in using healthcare analytics and other data sources to drive retention and growth among their patients. In an article by Patient Engagement HIT, they cite a survey from Kaufman, Hall & Associates that shows only 16% of healthcare organizations currently integrate patient feedback and preferences into their clinical practices even though 66% feel it’s important to use patient feedback. Healthcare organizations should take note of their patients’ attitudes, feelings, interests and preferences when implementing new programs, expanding their services or developing interventional programs. By understanding the perspective of the consumer, healthcare organizations can increase patient engagement and retention. In 2017, look for healthcare organizations to expand their use of consumer data by integrating non-traditional data sources, adding patient advisory councils or offering direct feedback surveys within their organizations.
4) Growing Telehealth Across Communities
Studies suggest that by 2020, there will be 27 million telehealth visits. There is no slowing telehealth down but healthcare intelligence can help you determine whether or not your populations are ready to utilize this innovative strategy, as well as as the best way to set up programs to deploy telehealth with maximum efficiency. As MedCity News points out, “Healthcare delivery is changing to meet consumer demand for convenience and cost of care.” Meeting those consumer demands means smartly leveraging non-traditional healthcare intelligence to deploy effective telehealth programs within communities.