5 Ways to Improve Your Digital Interactions With Patients

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Nov 30, 2016 2:05:00 PM

CMS & McKinsey Agree: Digitization Is a Necessity for All Hospitals

As healthcare payers shift their focus to value-based care, smart hospital leaders recognize that digitization is necessary to make that critical transition from volume to value.

Why Digitize?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) clearly sees the connection between digital patient connections and value; digitization is woven into the fabric of every new incentive plan the organization introduces. Why? CMS is insisting on engaging patients throughout their entire episode, not only during the in-hospital stay. Technology enables this expanded engagement.

Hospital leaders who promote consistent digital interactions before, during and after the hospital stay will see the greatest return on patient care, outcomes and cost—the 3 most important measures of value-based care. 

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Topics: Digital Patient Engagement, Value-Based Care, HCAHPS, Digital Patient Interactions

Too Many C-Sections?

Posted by Deirdre Wilson on Nov 7, 2016 11:00:00 AM

What Concerns About This Common Surgery Teach Us About Patient Engagement

The most recent issue of Consumer Reports had some pointed words about hospitals with high rates of Cesarean section deliveries. In an article detailing its evaluation of C-section rates in 1,200 hospitals nationwide, the consumer advocacy journal concludes that, in low-risk pregnancies, the biggest determinant that a woman will have a C-section may be the hospital where she chooses to deliver her baby.

It isn’t the first time an inferred link between C-sections and hospital practice has made headlines. The New York Times ran an opinion piece in January saying the same thing.

About 1 in 3 newborns (nearly 1.3 million babies) are delivered by C-section in U.S. hospitals each year. The surgery has been the most commonly performed operating room procedure here for almost a decade, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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Topics: Patient Education, Pregnancy Education, Digital Patient Engagement

3 Tips for Running an Innovative Healthcare Company

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Oct 25, 2016 11:00:00 AM

We were so excited to see our CEO, Betsy Weaver, Ed. D., on Becker’s list of Female Health IT CEOs to Know that we asked her for more on what it takes to start and run one of Boston’s most innovative healthcare companies. Here’s what she had to say:

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Topics: Innovation

Where do hospitals rate on going digital?

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Sep 21, 2016 3:32:07 PM

Will you succeed or die in digital America?

That is the question the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, Digital America: A Tale of the Haves and Have-Mores”, poses to all sectors of the American economy.

Looking at it through the lens of American healthcare—to tease out a road map for the business of healthcare—the report provides a compelling argument for aggressive hospital digitalization with the following key points:

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Topics: Hospital Workflows, Quality of Care, Digital Patient Engagement, Cost of Care, Patient Satisfaction, Patient Experience, Innovation, Technology

Tracking Patients’ Health-Related Concerns Is Key to Patient Engagement

Posted by Jo Charest on Sep 13, 2016 1:15:00 PM

Patients often face several health conditions at the same time. When speaking with their healthcare providers however, they may only mention the reason for that particular appointment and fail to bring up other health concerns that they consider to be unrelated.

This leaves you, as the healthcare provider, without the full picture of your patient’s overall health. Even with access to a patient’s electronic health record, there may be significant gaps. 

Understanding and being able to track your patients’ health-related concerns and questions is an important step toward providing better quality care. Thankfully, technology makes it easier to discover what’s happening in patients’ lives beyond the doctor’s office and hospital walls.

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Topics: Digital Patient Engagement, Patient Provider Communication, New Features

When Is the Best Time to Contact Patients?

Posted by Midge Lightbody on Sep 8, 2016 3:29:40 PM

“Targeted digital education” is a term we use often to describe how hospitals need to communicate with patients about their care. With so many healthcare terms and different meanings being tossed around, let’s take a closer look at what we mean by targeted digital education and how it prepares patients for better outcomes.

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Topics: Patient Education, Quality of Care, Digital Patient Engagement, Value-Based Care, Patient Provider Communication, New Features

How Social Media Content Attracts New Patients to Your Hospital

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Aug 17, 2016 3:00:00 PM

We discussed in an earlier post that information found on social media affects the way more than 40% of consumers deal with their health. But did you know that healthcare social media content also helps attract patients to your hospital and encourages them to return in the future?

Patients are increasingly becoming savvy healthcare consumers, shopping for hospitals the way they do other items online. They are looking for a concierge experience that combines the best care, accessible doctors, friendly nurses and amenities like private rooms and hotel-quality food. In patients’ minds, all of those items factor into a positive hospital experience.

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Topics: Digital Patient Engagement, Healthcare Social Media

Why Hospitals Need to Engage Patients on Social Media

Posted by Jackie Simon on Aug 4, 2016 8:30:00 AM

... And How to Do It Effectively

By now, most hospitals know they should be on social media, but they still struggle to understand where the value lies for them.

Consider this: More than 40% of consumers say that information found via social media affects the way they deal with their health. Social media offers hospitals the opportunity to impact health outcomes on a large scale.

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Topics: Digital Patient Engagement, Healthcare Social Media

Boost Patient Satisfaction, Avoid Penalties—and Win with CJR

Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Jul 13, 2016 2:00:00 PM

Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR), the latest bundled payment initiative from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), has now been underway for three months. If your hospital is among the 790 required to participate, you may already know that building and leveraging patient relationships is key to getting the highest CMS reimbursements.

Even if you aren’t a participant at this point, CJR and similar programs from CMS will likely expand. Paying attention now may be worth it in the long run.

Under CJR, hospitals are responsible for the cost and care quality of hip and knee replacements—starting with the surgery and hospital stay, and continuing for 90 days post-discharge for rehabilitation and recovery. CMS will reward hospitals that do well, in terms of cost and care quality, with more money. And it will penalize those that don’t, making them repay a portion of their reimbursements.

Patient satisfaction is one way CMS will evaluate care quality under CJR. And because the agency already requires hospitals to connect with patients digitally, through their Electronic Health Records, an effective way to develop and nurture patient satisfaction is also through digital communication.

Read on to learn how!

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Topics: Patient Outcomes, Value-Based Care, Patient Satisfaction, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement, HCAHPS, MACRA

Does Your Technology Improve Patient Care & Outcomes?

Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Jul 6, 2016 2:00:00 PM

The 2015 Medicare Access CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) outlines plans to overhaul reimbursements to physicians, based in part on their ability to provide quality care and to improve patient experience and outcomes.

One of the main goals the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has for MACRA is for individual healthcare providers to use technology as a tool for improving care in a way that’s helpful—rather than burdensome—to both patient and provider.

This goal is also central to the objectives for hospitals currently participating in CMS’ Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) initiative. Key to success with CJR’s bundled payment program is the nurturing of patient relationships—teaching and engaging patients to be better partners in their care, ultimately to improve both their satisfaction and outcomes. And this, too, can be accomplished through digital tools that work.

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Topics: Patient Outcomes, Value-Based Care, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement, MACRA

Making Us All Better

Digital Patient Engagement News & Strategy

Hear from the UbiCrew, our hospital clients and industry experts about how to:

  • Make meaningful, digital connections with your patients
  • Fully engage patients and attest to Meaningful Use and
  • Prove an ROI from patient education and engagement.

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