The Patient Experience Framework: Using Health IT to Bring Patients and Providers Closer Together

National eHealth Collaborative Kicks Off New Consumer Engagement Project

National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) today announced the kickoff of a collaborative project to develop a Patient Experience Framework.  An evolution of NeHC’s widely recognized Patient Engagement Framework, this project marks NeHC’s latest effort to support and accelerate consumer engagement through the use of health IT.

Healthcare providers agree that engaging patients should be at the heart of strategies for improving the delivery of healthcare.  NeHC recognizes that patient engagement is not one-size-fits-all.  Effective patient engagement strategies must be understood from the perspective of both the provider and the patient.  The new Patient Experience Framework will help to clarify what it means to meaningfully engage patients.

“There is no question that patient engagement in eHealth has become a priority because it will lead to more effective partnerships between patients and their providers and better outcomes,” said NeHC CEO Kate Berry.  “We are at the very early stages of cultivating culture change and ongoing engagement among patients, providers and other stakeholders, starting with a better understanding of different perspectives.  NeHC’s new effort aspires to contribute to this very important journey.”

In 2012, NeHC collaborated with over 150 leading healthcare and health IT thought leaders to develop its widely recognized Patient Engagement Framework. Through the lens of health IT, the Patient Engagement Framework was designed to support the provider’s unique perspective and use of technology. NeHC’s next phase of work will address consumer and patient engagement strategies on behalf of the patient. NeHC will begin the work by asking, “What experience does a patient want to have with their healthcare providers, health system, health records and health education?”

The patient experience varies widely according to consumer needs, expectations and cultural contexts, which will require a different approach to this work.  Informed by research conducted by Healthwise and leveraging “The U.S. Health Care Market: A Strategic View of Consumer Segmentation” by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, the Patient Experience Framework will support multiple patient perspectives.

The patient personas that anchor the new framework will define how various patients might interact with their healthcare providers, system, records or education, including their assumptions, motivations and expectations.  This will help providers assess the types of consumers they currently address with their engagement strategies, what types of consumers they would like to address going forward and where to invest to accomplish their goals.  It will also help those who support healthcare to identify who they would like to impact and where they can make valuable new investments in technology and other services.

NeHC plans to map the Patient Experience Framework to the Patient Engagement Framework, such that together the frameworks will provide clarity for stakeholders from multiple perspectives and help the community as a whole continue to make progress in the right direction.

Led by Leslie Kelly Hall, Senior Vice President of Policy at Healthwise and NeHC Board member, NeHC and Healthwise have launched a consumer-led process to develop the new Patient Engagement Framework. Hall also led NeHC’s work on the original Patient Engagement Framework.

“We are excited to learn about the experience patients want to have with their providers, technology and education,” said Hall.  “We believe that the answers will inform the industry and ourselves as patients. Engagement is grounded in trust and aligning the interests and needs of all stakeholders.  It creates a better experience and better outcomes.”

NeHC is conducting research during the fourth quarter of 2013, with the work expected be completed in early 2014.  There are multiple opportunities for organizations to engage in the development of the Patient Experience Framework.  Participation in the project will give organizations an early view into how their organization can make plans in alignment with the new framework.

In November and December 2013, NeHC will be hosting four NeHC University webinars to help stakeholders understand the personas, discuss feedback received to date and contribute their experiences to the research.  For organizations seeking deeper engagement with the project, NeHC will be scheduling focused on-site sessions in which organizational leadership teams can both contribute to NeHC’s research and receive strategic advice on ways to improve the organization’s current patient engagement efforts.  NeHC members will also have an exclusive opportunity to participate in a development session with the NeHC Consumer Consortium on eHealth.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for companies to support and build on NeHC’s groundbreaking work in consumer engagement.  Sponsorship options are designed for companies leading the way in helping providers and payers to meaningfully engage consumers.  Each sponsorship offers the opportunity to participate in and contribute to the research as well as partnering with NeHC on a broader dissemination and education program.

The final outcome of the Patient Experience Framework project will be freely available to NeHC members and available to non-members for a fee. It is expected to include the following:

  • A Patient Experience Framework that is more personal, approachable and friendly, developed using patient personas and designed to serve as a companion to the Patient Engagement Framework
  • Journey Maps that depict how specific personas think, feel, act, experience and interact with their providers, health system, health records, and education that supports their health
  • A published research report that will include a guide for healthcare communities, providers, health systems and other stakeholders to inform their strategies and investments
  • A roadmap for future Patient Engagement Framework gaps and next steps based upon the findings

Consumer engagement in eHealth is a top priority for NeHC because it is a critical element driving better outcomes and greater value.  NeHC leads a diverse portfolio of patient engagement related initiatives, including developing and promoting the Patient Engagement Framework and Patient Experience Framework, collaborating to encourage widespread adoption of the Consumer eHealth Readiness Tool (CeRT) – powered by HealthCAWS, building a broad database of organizations providing consumer engagement solutions and support through the CeRT Solutions Directory, convening a project on patient generated health data on behalf of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and leveraging NeHC University to showcase patient engagement success stories, challenges and lessons learned.  The NeHC Consumer Engagement Advisory Council helps to shape NeHC’s patient engagement strategies and programs.

Additional information on the Patient Experience Framework project is available at or by contacting Ian Hoffberg at