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Patient Engagement Ecosystem 2019
Is the Industry Aligned?

author - Adam Cherrington
Adam Cherrington
author - Dan Czech
Dan Czech
November 7, 2019 | Read Time: 9  minutes

Patient engagement is one of the most complex and overwhelming areas of healthcare IT that KLAS measures, involving dozens of relevant HIT capabilities and a slew of vendors claiming to offer them. To cut through the noise in this chaotic market, KLAS has undertaken several research initiatives, including this Patient Engagement Ecosystem, which explores how closely vendors’ claimed capabilities align with provider organizations’ patient engagement priorities. Due to the profusion of vendors in the market and the large number of technology capabilities to consider, the ecosystem encompasses this report as well as additional content on the KLAS website. For reader ease, links to this online content are provided where applicable.

In contrast to most KLAS research—which relies on the voice of the customer—the majority of the information in this report is derived from vendor-reported claims of product capabilities and customer outcomes. Future research will focus on validating these claims and providing insight into vendor performance.

How Is Vendor Alignment Measured? 

To determine vendor alignment, KLAS weighted the 80 HIT capabilities outlined in the patient engagement framework (created by KLAS in conjunction with leaders from provider and vendor organizations) according to how top of mind they are in organizations’ current and future purchasing decisions. Two types of solutions achieve high alignment: (1) multi-product suites that cover all or nearly all patient engagement needs and (2) narrower offerings that are focused on areas of high purchasing energy.

hit investments today and in the future

In Sea of Options, Allscripts, CipherHealth & GetWellNetwork Stand Out for Multi-Product Offerings That Are (at Least) Fairly Well Aligned 

vendor alignment to provider energy all vendors

Though Allscripts, CipherHealth, and GetWellNetwork took different development paths, each has multiple patient engagement solutions that are at least fairly well aligned with provider organizations’ priorities. Allscripts claims to have a nearly complete suite via the vendor-agnostic FollowMyHealth solution, which includes a portal as well as outreach functionality procured through the HealthGrid acquisition. Moderately aligned, CipherHealth’s self-developed offering includes kiosk tools as well as outreach and rounding solutions that achieved KLAS Category Leader awards in 2019. Delivered through their native IPS and acquired rounding, patient intake management, and care-guidance tools, GetWellNetwork’s claimed capabilities stretch across most tracked areas. Cerner and Epic also have multi-product offerings, though customers primarily use their portals (see next page for additional details).

Portal Solutions from Epic, athenahealth, & NextGen Closely Aligned with Provider Energy

vendor alignment to provider energy portal vendorsThough patient adoption of portals is typically limited—due partly to usability challenges—the self-reported capabilities of vendors that offer portals are some of the most closely aligned with provider priorities, such as bill pay and patient self-scheduling. Included in this group are several enterprise vendors with EMR-tethered portals. Epic’s functionality-rich MyChart portal is augmented by CRM and IPS offerings. athenahealth and NextGen Healthcare claim to meet most needs. Hospital-focused capabilities such as service recovery, environmental controls, and entertainment/programming are gaps for athenahealth and not on the road map for ambulatory-focused NextGen. The capabilities claimed by Cerner and MEDITECH are moderately aligned with provider energy; gaps exist around some access and patient experience capabilities (MEDITECH) and wayfinding (both). Cerner—who offers a portal and IPS—reports plans to augment current capabilities through internal development and partnerships with Salesforce and GetWellNetwork. The portals from Medfusion and Bridge Patient Portal are vendor agnostic. Medfusion’s portal, which gives patients access to their health data, is augmented by self-schedule and bill-pay solutions. Gaps exist around social media and advertising abilities. Bridge Patient Portal claims to offer most capabilities; the only gap exists around patient experience.

SONIFI Health and pCare Provide Strong Options in High-Priority Area of Patient Experience 

vendor alignment to provider energy ips vendorsUsed largely by hospitals and IDNs, the entertainment, service recovery, and environmental control offerings from IPS vendors align well with provider organizations’ strong focus on the patient experience. SONIFI Health claims their comprehensive patient experience solution can be leveraged for several access and navigation capabilities. pCare—the KLAS Category Leader for IPS—gives patients control over their environment and delivers educational content and patient entertainment. pCare recently expanded their capabilities into nurse and staff rounding with the acquisition of TruthPoint. Many TeleHealth Services customers highlight the patient education content, though the solution also delivers patient entertainment. eVideon claims to offer a nearly comprehensive suite of partnership capabilities through their patient entertainment and education system. GetWellNetwork (already discussed above) has IPS roots but has broadened their capabilities.

Among a Plethora of Outreach Options, Orca and Luma Report Deep Access and Navigation Capabilities

vendor alignment to provider energy outreach vendorsWhile other types of solutions may offer similar capabilities, outreach solutions are particularly aligned with provider organizations’ goals to help patients find and obtain care and navigate their healthcare journey. Encompassing a broad array of mobile capabilities that cover the entire patient life cycle, Orca Health’s comprehensive claims mark them as one of the vendors most aligned with provider energy; patient account management capabilities are still being developed. Luma Health’s highly aligned outreach tool assists patients with appointment self-scheduling, pre-registration, and appointment reminders. It is used mostly by outpatient facilities. mPulse Mobile primarily contracts with payers/insurers; their smart texting tools use natural language processing to customize automatic responses and make them feel conversational to patients. Relatient’s multimodal outreach platform gives patients multiple ways to do things like arrange a visit, receive appointment reminders, view their balance, and pay bills; the vendor’s recent acquisition of Everseat provides self-scheduling and waitlist capabilities. IBM Watson Health offers coordination and education capabilities through the Phytel outreach tool, which is most commonly purchased by hospitals and IDNs. Longitudinal care planning and patient self-assessment capabilities are on IBM’s road map. Jellyfish Health claims to deliver an end-to-end solution that guides patients before, during, and after an episode of care. Used primarily by outpatient facilities, Solutionreach’s patient relationship management tools proactively send reminders and educational content and enable two-way texting between patients and providers. CipherHealth (already discussed above) has a broad offering that includes outreach, rounding, and kiosk capabilities.

Of More Focused Solutions, Salesforce’s Flexibility and Docent’s Breadth Cover a Wider Variety of Needs

vendor alignment to provider energy crm rounding wayfinding and other vendorsCustomers of the flexible Salesforce platform can employ internal development and third-party solutions to close functionality gaps and customize the system to provide broad capabilities. Docent Health offers a CRM designed to follow patients through their longitudinal journey, including tools to help with outreach, patient surveys, and rounding. Healthgrades’ healthcare CRM tool helps organizations manage marketing campaigns and enables patients to search for providers and self-schedule visits. Twistle and Phreesia provide functionality-rich solutions for more targeted needs. Twistle’s care-adherence reminder tool includes pre- and post-visit education and follow-up. Phreesia, the KLAS Category Leader for patient intake management, offers a focused patient access solution that includes patient self-scheduling, preregistration, patient payment, and outreach capabilities through their kiosks and mobile offerings. Though niche vendors’ focused offerings are less aligned with provider organizations’ top priorities, organizations looking to fill gaps in other solutions turn to these vendors for capabilities such as wayfinding (Connexient, Uber Health), digital rounding (Vocera, Huron, Nobl, and others), and patient satisfaction (Press Ganey, who also offers rounding capabilities through iRound), among other areas.

Achieved Outcomes Still Largely Provider-Centric; Patient Satisfaction Leads the Way 

most common customer outcomes as reported by vendorsAs vendors continue to develop functionality to meet the wide array of capabilities desired by provider organizations, the question remains: how patient-centric is patient engagement? Provider organizations looking to prove the value of their technology investments are more likely to seek tangible measurements that promote provider outcomes rather than patient-specific needs. By and large, the most common customer outcome reported by vendors is increased patient satisfaction measured through HCAHPS scores, direct surveys, and other methods. Other top outcomes are also provider-centric: increased staff efficiency (gained through tools that bypass manual processes), reduced patient no-show rates, and improved financial outcomes, such as lower A/R days or increased collections. Only one-fifth of vendors report improved clinical outcomes, which benefit the patient, such as increased medication adherence, care-plan compliance, and primary care follow-up.

principles to guide patient engagement

Performance Data for Select Vendors 

what klas knows today overall performance scoreVendors may claim any number of capabilities, but how well do they actually deliver for customers? Though the breadth of the patient engagement vendor landscape precludes in-depth performance data from being shared on every vendor, the chart to the right provides overall performance scores for those that KLAS currently rates. High-level performance insights can also be found in the online resources that are part of this patient engagement ecosystem.

KLAS Measurement of Patient Engagement Technology—A Road Map

Going forward, KLAS plans to monitor the patient engagement market in the following ways:

  • Validate actual adoption and performance—How real are vendors’ claims? Which vendors offer end-to-end platforms, and what capabilities are being used? How satisfied are customers with these offerings?
  • Monitor the impact of mergers and acquisitions—How will the industry respond to provider organizations’ needs for a broad array of capabilities? What future partnerships may develop as a result?
  • Evaluate how well patients’ needs and desires align with provider purchasing and vendor development—Where is the patient’s voice in patient engagement?
patient engagement road map


The KLAS Patient Engagement Ecosystem report includes not only the analysis contained on the previous pages but also a dynamic web view that gives additional vendor-reported information, vendor comparisons, and KLAS analysis. For additional details, click any of the links below to go directly to the KLAS website.

Explore by HIT Capability


Finding a Provider
Triage/symptom checker
Web-based provider search/matching
Provider profile/quality data
Care-setting guidance

Arranging Care
Preregistration forms/intake
Insurance verification
Prescription-refill requests

Patient Account Management
Price transparency (including longitudinal TCOC and financial steps)
Online bill pay
Bill details/explanations

Marketing and Communication
Contact management
Market intelligence/analytics
Marketing campaigns
Broadcast messaging

Community/social media tools
Social media optimization
Reputation management
White labeling

Types of HIT Solutions 
Typically Used for Access

Consolidated patient portal
Telemedicine/virtual visits
CRM/PM platform
Language translation tools/services
Kiosk support


Knowing the Patient
EMR integration
Interoperability tools
Risk assessment/analytics
Care-gap identification/reminders
Access to social determinants of health
Readiness/behavioral assessments
Capture of patient health goals
Capture of patient communication preferences
Capture of other patient-generated data
Tracking of patient-reported outcomes
Remote patient monitoring

Patient Empowerment
Patient access to own data
Ability to share own data
Shared decision-making tools
Family/caregiver enrollment
Family/caregiver collaboration tools
Provider care-team visibility
Care plan/schedule visibility
Multilanguage support
Provider messaging

Patient Experience
Patient-satisfaction surveys/analytics
Provider-satisfaction surveys/analytics
Patient and staff rounding tools
Patient access to requests/orders (e.g., meals)
Environmental controls
Service-recovery tracking

Types of HIT Solutions 
Typically Used for Partnership

Secure communications
Secure email
Interactive patient systems (IPS)
Bedside communication


Previsit education/instructions
On-site education
Discharge education/instructions
Wellness education
Longitudinal care planning

Care management/care planning tools
Referral management
Transitions-of-care planning
Care-gap reminders
Appointment reminders
Care-adherence reminders/tracking (e.g., medications)
Post-visit follow-up
Visit-planning tools

Online patient guides/directions
Mapping/geolocation (inside and outside facilities)
Virtual tours
Transportation arrangement

Patient Self-Management
PHR capabilities
Patient self-assessments
Online coaching
Fitness/activity tracking

Types of HIT Solutions 
Typically Used for Navigation

Comprehensive mobile apps
Multimodal patient outreach

web preview

Explore by Vendor

Bridge Patient Portal
Change Healthcare
Docent Health
Greenway Health

IBM Watson Health
Jellyfish Health
Keet Health
Luma Health
mPulse Mobile
NextGen Healthcare
Oneview Healthcare
Orca Health
Patient Pop
PerfectServe / Telmediq / CareWire

author - Elizabeth Pew
Elizabeth Pew
author - Jess Wallace-Simpson
Jess Wallace-Simpson
author - Robert Ellis
Project Manager
Robert Ellis
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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. © 2024 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.