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Patient Communications 2017

Patient Communications 2017
How Are Organizations Reaching Out to Patients?

Authored by: Adam Cherrington and Colin Buckley December 31, 2017 | Read Time: 3  minutes

Patient portals seem like the perfect tools for engaging patients in their care. They are pervasive, multi-functioned, integrated with EMRs, and . . . poorly adopted by patients, who have little interest in logging in to them unless they absolutely must. To compensate, provider organizations have increasingly deployed outreach tools that automatically push messages and content to patients’ phones and mobile devices. Organizations say these tools are very successful and that their use is expanding. Seeking greater value and impact for customers, vendors are extending capabilities beyond their individual niches. This report examines the different ways vendors are helping engage patients and delivering value to customers.


1. Early Customers Say HealthGrid Is Most Holistic; CipherHealth, Solutionreach Lead Satisfaction

HealthGrid is being used the most deeply by customers across multiple areas. These early customers say they have capabilities that go beyond reminders and include patient check-in, bill pay, and population health analytics, leading a few to say they want the HealthGrid solution to replace their patient portal. Among traditional appointment reminder vendors, Solutionreach has had the most success in helping with scheduling, care reminders, and payment reminders. CipherHealth, Emmi, and Phytel lead clinical adoption with care reminders, while also specializing, respectively, in post-discharge follow-up, education, and care gaps.

patient communications solution breadth

2. CipherHealth and Solutionreach Most Proactive

Most outreach vendors receive positive scores, but the highest performing vendors—CipherHealth and Solutionreach—are also considered as the most proactive in helping customers maximize the value of their solutions. Early HealthGrid customers say the same of their vendor. Users say all three start customers off on the right foot with strong implementations and training and then follow through to deliver the most tangible outcomes. Phytel and West (formerly TeleVox) have seen performance scores decline over recent years, a situation some customers attribute to past acquisitions by IBM and West. Integration with parent companies has curtailed the quality of service and support, leaving both vendors with lower-than-average ratings for proactive service and delivery of tangible outcomes.

tangible outcomes vs proactive service

3. Clinical Uses Vary, Leaving Room to Grow for Most

Outreach tools, in general, are known for providing a quick ROI, but most benefits are financial or administrative in nature (e.g., reducing missed appointments, saving staff from making phone calls, etc.). Engaging patients in their healthcare requires greater clinical focus for all vendors. Improved EMR integration is most requested by HealthGrid, Phytel, and Solutionreach customers. Emmi and West users would like greater ability to personalize messaging to better direct patients in their care. CipherHealth customers have that ability but don’t always have the resources to use it. Not all customer bases have a clinical impact vision: Solutionreach, Talksoft, and West have the most customers say they have no expectations for greater clinical usefulness.


what would make your solutionmore clinically impactful
primary clinical value

4. CipherHealth Provides the Most Effective Reporting Tools

Reporting and analytics tools are key to optimizing the benefits of outreach solutions. Top-performing vendor CipherHealth is said to have the most effective reporting and analytics tools, followed by Emmi. Early HealthGrid customers are also complimentary. Customers say fast, accurate reporting is a must for these clinically oriented solutions in order to appropriately follow up with patients who are preparing for or recovering from surgery or who are past due for needed care. Phytel customers say reporting tools are adequate for day-to-day use but would like more advanced analytics (something available from Phytel’s more specialized population health solutions not covered in this report). In contrast, the majority of Talksoft customers say that with their narrow focus on appointment reminders, they do not need reporting tools.

reporting and analytics effectiveness

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Key Findings

  1. Early Customers Say HealthGrid Is Most Holistic; CipherHealth, Solutionreach Lead Satisfaction
  2. CipherHealth and Solutionreach Most Proactive
  3. Inconsistency Leads to Declines for Cerner & Allscripts
  4. CipherHealth Provides the Most Effective Reporting Tools


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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2020 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.