Patients and Staff Benefit from Personalized Care and Digital Transformation

By Dave Bennett, CEO, pCare
X: @pCarebyTVRC

As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve due to economic disruption, technological improvements, and patient expectations, the standard of optimizing healthcare performance must shift as well. Patients and their loved ones have become more consumer-driven and savvier over the last few years when it comes to selecting a health system and team for their care journey. Now, patients are approaching their care by considering the facility’s full offerings package – outcome, cost, staff, experience, and ratings – and seeking a health journey that will best fit their personalized needs.

How should healthcare leaders answer this growing shift? As digital transformation expands further into the healthcare sector, organizations must pursue emerging technologies and facility designs that increase personalized care to address the needs of both patients and staff. A good, positive experience for patients has to consider the whole person, not just the disease, while also fostering a collaborative approach between patients and providers. To do this, leaders must go beyond the Triple Aim (enhancing the patient experience, improving population health, and lowering costs) and meet patients with the now-established Quintuple Aim (increasing focus on the clinician’s well-being and health equity) while advancing value-based care.

In a study from Deloitte, healthcare leaders agreed that digital transformation is “a new way to deliver care, improve processes, and meet the well-being needs of consumers.” As the desire for consumer agency and engagement increases in healthcare, digital health will be a crucial building block. Facilitating the involvement and participation that patients crave, digital transformation will help healthcare providers increase operational efficiency and improve patients’ well-being through a better user experience. As predicted heading into 2023, digital transformation holds the power to significantly enhance care, operations, and satisfaction for patients, staff, and loved ones.

Empowering Patients and Staff Through Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is impacting how consumers communicate with providers and access healthcare services. When implemented correctly, it makes care delivery more efficient, customized, and collaborative for all involved. The use of data-driven solutions presents an engagement roadmap to patients during their initial admission, personalizing their care and allowing patients to have appropriate expectations when it comes to their involvement. When given access to their health data, patients are empowered to play a larger role in their recovery and make more informed decisions about their care, boosting their internal locus of control.

The adoption of different tools, such as an interactive patient care system (IPS), streamlines healthcare processes and helps patients connect better with their journey and care team. While it may appear at its core to simply leverage the television’s infrastructure as a hub for entertainment, an IPS addresses care delivery in many ways to supply personalized education and develop patient empowerment. Namely, it includes capabilities to allow patients to manage nonclinical tasks, such as changing the room temperature or placing a service request. This builds patient confidence in an unfamiliar environment by fostering team spirit with the care staff and creating a stronger feeling of partnership in reaching a common goal. Additionally, by promoting collaboration and communication, an IPS helps improve patient self-efficacy in their ability to manage care post-discharge.

From a patient engagement perspective, personalization starts with selecting the best communication channels for that patient. With an IPS paired with a digital journey that follows the patient, communication preferences are truly in the hands of the patient, providing two-way feedback mechanisms that keep them constantly connected to care. Real-time feedback captures opportunities for prompt service recovery and offers the ability for patients and caregivers to share thoughts openly and efficiently, improving involvement and morale.

Encouraging providers to connect with their patients and focus more fully on clinical care combats what is reportedly one of the main staffing concerns in healthcare, staff burnout. When providers feel like their time is valued and they are engaged in fulfilling work, they remain more motivated and provide better care. Job satisfaction comes when employees know they are making an impact. In short, increased patient engagement provides superior outcomes and experiences for patients, as well as improved efficiency and satisfaction for staff. It’s a win-win.

Pairing Technology and Personal Touch to Improve Care

Healthcare is a people business and digital transformation is about pairing the human component of healthcare with groundbreaking technology to provide value at each step of the care journey. At the heart of the value-based care model is patient personalization, which is centered on the principles of understanding patients as individuals, factoring in their medical history, and tailoring communications that will motivate them to engage. Good patient personalization strategies leverage data and analytics to understand how best to work with the patient for health and recovery. As care providers seek to avoid repeat visits or avoidable readmission, it helps to personalize the patient experience as much as possible.

A value-based patient engagement system leads patients through the care process, giving them engaging tools via the smart device of their choice, and allowing staff to better monitor patient data and track results. Comprehensive platforms support the efforts of healthcare providers and allow them to combine user-friendly technology with patient- and family-centered care to offer better outcomes and experiences. For example, in-room digital whiteboards improve patient-caregiver communication and collaboration by easily conveying critical information including daily schedules, the current care team, medications, meals, and more from multiple HIT systems.

Additionally, integration with EHRs paired with patient-generated de-identified data from registries lets provider teams analyze data to access similar health histories and patient demographics to gain 1:1 care recommendations. By learning more about the patient, caregivers can review specific demographics – medical, socioeconomic, genomic, etc. – to ensure any specific care protocols are factored in as necessary. Technologically advanced care delivery helps healthcare providers meet their patients exactly where they are.

Ongoing Impact of Digital Transformation

As the adoption of digital technologies and the growth of digital transformation continues to benefit patients and staff, healthcare leaders must connect with their teams to consider the best solutions to help drive greater collaboration between patients and caregivers to reach the highest-quality outcomes. With advanced patient engagement systems, patients can take greater control during their care journey, allowing providers to focus on ensuring superior care that is accessible, resilient, and efficient. Healthcare providers are able to practice at the top of their licenses when they can reduce non-clinical tasks. By gaining more care time together, patients and caregivers can build a rapport, understand preferences, and respond to feedback – leading to greater outcomes and satisfaction for both the patient and the clinician.