The New KLAS Patient Engagement Ecosystem - Cover

The New KLAS Patient Engagement Ecosystem

In October 2018, KLAS® held a patient engagement summit. The overall goal of the healthcare IT leaders in attendance was to create a patient engagement framework. You can find the resulting framework and many other insights in our public Patient Engagement Keystone Summit White Paper, but here is a brief overview.

The provider and vendor executives that participated in the summit identified three pillars that patient engagement strategies should cover:

  • Access (helping a patient get access to and arrange care)
  • Partnership (patients and providers working together toward their health goals)
  • Navigation (coordinating patients to their care and walking them through the process)

Under each pillar are subcategories which KLAS has used to organize the 80 capabilities that summit attendees agree should be part of a broad patient engagement program.

The Genesis Behind the Ecosystem

Having outlined what patient engagement solutions need to address, what do we do with the information? Based on the framework, KLAS invited patient engagement vendors to self-report what their capabilities are. We asked the following questions:

  • What capabilities do you have in place today?
  • What is on your road map for development?
  • Where do you partner with other organizations to offer a capability?
  • What is not on your road map?

This last question is key; it is just as important for a vendor to tell providers what they do not plan on offering as it is to tell them what they do plan on doing. This helps providers avoid confusion about where the vendor’s road map leads.

The responses we collected from these vendors were the genesis of what we at KLAS call the Patient Engagement Ecosystem. This site gives providers and vendors a way to compare their patient engagement programs to others, and it can also help identify areas of improvement.

Exploring the Site

There are three levels in the site to explore. The first level outlines all the pillars and their subcategories with the determined capabilities, with the first pillar shown below.

patient engagement access category and sub functions

Click into any of the subcategories (such as Arranging Care), and you’ll see the second level with a chart of all the vendors with dots marking what capabilities they have in the category as well as which capabilities have a lot of vendor offerings or few vendor offerings to date.

Arranging Care Functionality by vendor chart in patient engagement ecosystem 

For the third and final level, click on any specific vendor on the left of the chart for a current KLAS analysis of how well that vendor delivers for their customers, along with a broad view of the vendor’s complete offering in which you can identify in one place where a vendor is today and where they are going. 

Providing Answers

This ecosystem site answers a few requests. Providers occasionally ask us what we know about vendors prior to going out and validating with their customers. This site gives them a window to see that data and also helps them assess their current patient engagement capabilities, better leverage investment opportunities, and select vendors.

The site also gives vendors the opportunity to state what they offer. Beyond this capability, they can also use the site to evaluate their current offerings and use that information to guide market strategies and development.

KLAS will always be transparent in stating what the vendor claims, and we will continue to validate claims in the future. But this site offers a good starting point on what KLAS already knows about patient engagement vendors.

The new ecosystem gives providers an opportunity to weed through a bit of the mess around patient engagement and identify areas where they may want to invest. But another part of the intent behind that framework is to give providers a picture of what is possible with patient engagement. Many providers start with a very narrow focus of patient engagement, but they can use this site to get a feel for what a broad patient engagement program looks like. Our hope is that this also helps provider organizations understand next steps and build a road map as they expand their patient engagement strategy.

Where We’re Going

In the future, KLAS will continue to keep refining this idea. We plan to further identify which capabilities are most important to provider organizations and validate how real those capabilities are.

This site represents a brand-new offering from KLAS, and I would love your feedback on how impactful this patient engagement ecosystem is for your organization and where you would suggest we take this idea in the future. You can reach me at

     Photo cred: Adobe Stock, Syda Productions



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