Capabilities Vendors Offer across Patient Engagement - Cover

Capabilities Vendors Offer across Patient Engagement

Patient engagement technology continues to play a significant role in the way patients interact with healthcare providers. From mobile apps and wearable devices to telemedicine and personalized health portals, these advancements empower patients to take a more active role in managing their health and facilitate a more patient-centered approach to healthcare.

The benefit of these technologies can’t be denied, but with so many options available in the market, it can be difficult for healthcare organizations to know which to invest in. To help shed some light on the capabilities that vendors offer, KLAS recently published our 2023 Patient Engagement Ecosystem report. In it, we share which vendors report the broadest capability sets, which vendors have made the most progress over the last two years (since our 2021 report), and how the industry as a whole has matured.

A Growing Number of Capabilities

One of the questions we wanted to answer in this report was how many new capabilities vendors have added since 2021. Most vendors reported expanding their capabilities in the last two years, but five in particular stood out for having the largest increases in capabilities.

We encourage you to read the report for more details on who the vendors are here. However, in general, the vendor who reports the highest number of new capabilities (12) since 2021 has added functionality around prescription refill requests, communication, risk management, care management, the triage/symptom checker, and more. Three of the five vendors say they have added 10 new capabilities since 2021, including care plan adherence, care management tools, self-scheduling, previsit education, and online bill pay. The fifth vendor has added 6 new capabilities, including care-setting guidance, prescription refill requests, and shared decision-making.

Capabilities for Health Systems vs. Ambulatory Organizations

We were also interested in seeing what capabilities are adopted by different types of healthcare organizations. Of all the customer organizations in the report, health systems are the most likely to have moved beyond basic patient engagement use cases and to have deepened their ability to engage with patients. Thus, they are the primary customer type of many of the vendors in the report. Some of the vendors who primarily focus on health systems have feature-rich patient portals and are focused on developing capabilities that enhance the full patient journey.

Many vendors in the report primarily focus on ambulatory organizations. Most patients’ healthcare touchpoints take place largely in an ambulatory setting, where organizations rely on patient portals and other tools to deliver information to patients, help patients communicate with the organization, and empower patients with capabilities such as self-scheduling and bill pay. The vendors who offer the most capabilities to ambulatory organizations include both longtime vendors in the patient engagement market along with newer entrants.

Evaluating Industry Progress

key platform capabilities, 2019–2023

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated adoption of many digital health capabilities. As the industry emerges from that rapid growth period, organizations are looking for solutions to help them with current challenges such as staff turnover and burnout, razor-thin or negative financial margins, and increased consumer demands. Patients increasingly want to feel empowered in their care journey; as a result, vendors continue developing and providers continue investing in capabilities like self-scheduling and self-registration. Other capabilities like online bill pay and prescription refill requests have also received significant development in the past two years.

A couple of patient-centric capabilities have also seen growth since 2021. Price transparency is one that has seen some of the most growth, given that the United States has recently passed legislation related to healthcare price transparency (see KLAS’ 2022 Price Transparency report). However, there is still room to grow, as not all patient engagement vendors offer price transparency capabilities.

Two provider-centric capabilities are also top of mind for healthcare organizations: marketing campaigns and reputation management capabilities. Both help organizations retain market presence and resilience and also get the message out about their services and the quality of patients’ experiences.

Where Does Patient Engagement Go from Here?

The future of patient engagement technology holds immense potential for streamlining healthcare delivery as more capabilities are developed and refined. We expect to see even more innovative solutions that empower patients to proactively manage their health, and we also expect to see vendor consolidation and growth in vendor capability sets. Through these changes, we at KLAS intend to keep working with vendors to see what they offer and to validate how well their solutions perform.

For more details about the information in this post, read our Patient Engagement Ecosystem report on the KLAS website.

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