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Patient Engagement Ecosystem 2021
How Has the Industry Progressed?

author - Adam Cherrington
Adam Cherrington
author - Dan Czech
Dan Czech
March 25, 2021 | Read Time: 6  minutes

Patient engagement technology continues to be offered by a large group of vendors aiming to solve varied, complex challenges—leading to the need for clarity about what capabilities vendors offer to meet provider and payer organizations’ core needs. This study, along with additional deep-dive content on KLAS’ website, seeks to show which vendors report the broadest capability sets, which vendors made the most progress over the last two years, and how the industry as a whole has matured. For reader ease, links to relevant online content are provided where applicable. Note that the data in this report is based on vendor-reported information.

the klas patient engagement platform

At KLAS’ 2019 Patient Engagement Summit, vendor and provider executives helped refine KLAS’ patient engagement framework and, using the patient voice as a guide, helped define the key platform capabilities that are most important for healthcare organizations to leverage and for vendors to create. Those capabilities form the KLAS Patient Engagement Platform. This summit group also identified other patient engagement capabilities, some patient-centric, some provider-centric (see page 6 for a full list). This report examines all three types of capabilities (key platform capabilities, other patient-centric capabilities, and other provider-centric capabilities). Vendors were asked to self-report which capabilities are available to customers today and the depth of adoption among their customer base.

patient engagement klas content

GetWellNetwork, Vocera, Salesforce & CipherHealth Show Large Capability Growth through Development & Acquisitions

vendors with most new capabilitiesGetWellNetwork, Vocera, Salesforce, and CipherHealth have seen some of the largest increases in their reported capabilities since KLAS’ 2019 patient engagement ecosystem study. Common areas of development for these vendors include virtual visit and triage/symptom-checker functionality accelerated by COVID-19. GetWellNetwork—in addition to further developing their Inpatient, Rounds+, and Loop products and the Anywhere mobile app—recently acquired Docent Health, expanding their consumer engagement capabilities. GetWellNetwork offers one of the broadest capability sets in the market and reports deep adoption. They have also added tools to guide patients to care and include family members in the care process. Vocera acquired the Ease product in late 2020 to improve the care experience for patients and families. They have increased customers’ ability to reach out to patients via appointment reminders and pre-visit broadcast messaging. Salesforce has continued to leverage a strong partnership approach with other vendors while also offering native capabilities to solve many patient engagement challenges. Most of Salesforce’s capability growth since 2019 has centered on pre-visit capabilities, such as patients’ abilities to find a provider, schedule an appointment, and self-register/check in. CipherHealth, historically focused on post-visit engagement and rounding, has grown mostly through developing new pre-visit capabilities for self-scheduling and self-registration, along with family/caregiver collaboration capabilities. Change Healthcare, Jellyfish Health, and HealthBanks have also reported significant growth (with the caveat that KLAS has spoken to <6 of their customers to date).

patient engagement overview measured vendors

Epic, Allscripts & R1 Report Broadest Capabilities among Health System–Focused Vendors

In addition to previously highlighted CipherHealth, Salesforce, and GetWellNetwork, Epic, Allscripts, and R1 (all used most often by acute care organizations, though not exclusively) stand out for offering a broad range of capabilities. With deep adoption across the board, Epic’s functionality-rich MyChart, MyChart Bedside, and CRM products provide broad capabilities that span the continuum of care. Allscripts’ FollowMyHealth solution is used in both ambulatory and acute care organizations. The vendor continues to report broad capabilities, though reported customer adoption is not as deep as that of other broad-capability vendors. Allscripts has some gaps around certain in-room inpatient capabilities and social media tools. R1—focused on revenue cycle and patient access—reports offering nearly all platform capabilities (minus telemedicine and prescription refill requests) through both self-developed tools and the acquisitions of SCI Solutions and Tonic (primarily for pre-visit capabilities). Many other provider-centric capabilities (acute care and ambulatory) are still on R1’s development road map; in-room capabilities are not offered by R1 today.

For Ambulatory Practices, athenahealth, NextGen Healthcare, Luma Health & Mend Offer Broadest Patient Engagement Capabilities 

Though ambulatory organizations tend to have less extensive patient engagement needs than their acute care counterparts, vendors that focus on the ambulatory setting tend to offer most core platform capabilities. Outside of the core platform capabilities, these vendors often offer fewer than half of other capabilities. Across vendors, common gaps include care-setting guidance and price transparency/patient estimations. athenahealth has been validated for 11 of the 12 platform capabilities and reports deep customer adoption across many communication and portal-centric capabilities, such as bill pay and prescription refill requests. NextGen Healthcare, who acquired Medfusion in late 2019, is also validated for 11 platform capabilities—their only non-validated capability is provider search/matching, and NextGen Healthcare reports it is on their road map. Depth of adoption across their customer base is moderate. Physician messaging and prescription refill requests are most commonly adopted. EMR-agnostic Luma Health was validated for broad capabilities in KLAS’ 2020 Patient Engagement Platforms report and, in particular, offers many capabilities centered on communication and patient outreach. Online bill pay and prescription refill requests, Luma Health’s biggest gaps, are offered through third parties. Mend’s offering has some of the deepest customer adoption; the vendor augments their strong telehealth technology with tools that help engage and involve patients (e.g., scheduling, check-in, reminders).

depth of adoption vs breadth of capabilities measured vendors

Vendors Not Yet Measured in Patient Engagement

A number of other vendors are also on KLAS’ radar for patient engagement and shared information about their customer bases, capabilities, and customer adoption. To date, KLAS does not yet have enough customer feedback on these vendors to measure their performance in patient engagement. As KLAS continues to interview these vendors’ clients, vendor-reported capabilities will be further validated.

patient engagement overview vendors not yet measured in patient engagement depth of adoption vs breadth of capabilities vendors not yet measured in patient engagement


Unsurprisingly, the market was flooded with telehealth capabilities over the last year, and more than half of measured vendors now offer them, compared to just over one-third in 2019. Additionally, because of the need to reduce physical touchpoints with patients during COVID-19, many vendors developed self-scheduling and self-registration capabilities.

most commonly offered capabilities
least commonly offered capabilities
key platform capabilities 2019 vs 2021

COVID-19 also had an impact on other patient-centric capabilities (beyond the key platform capabilities)—such as triage/symptom checkers for patients. Self-assessments, another area of growth, have helped patients independently evaluate their health status and learn when a face-to-face visit is not needed.

other patient-centric capabilities areas of highest growth 2019 vs 2021

White labeling is the provider-centric capability that grew the most since 2019. As more healthcare organizations seek to provide patient engagement services for their community and build strategies around their digital front door, the ability to white-label technology to be branded for their organization becomes increasingly important.

other provider-centric capabilities areas of highest growth 2019 vs 2021

Patient Engagement Capabilities Index


Key Platform Capabilities


  • Provider search/matching
  • Provider profile/quality data
  • Care-setting guidance
  • Self-scheduling/rescheduling
  • Self-registration/check-in
  • Pre-registration forms/intake
  • Appointment reminders
  • Broadcast messaging
  • Pre-visit education/instructions

During visit

  • Family/caregiver collaboration tools
  • Virtual visits
  • On-site education
  • Real-time patient satisfaction surveys/analytics


  • Discharge education/instructions
  • Wellness education
  • Remote patient monitoring
  • Provider messaging
  • Post-visit follow-up
  • Care-gap reminders
  • Care-plan adherence reminders/tracking (e.g., medications)
  • Online bill pay
  • Bill details/explanations
  • Prescription refill requests

Other Patient-Centric Capabilities


  • Triage/symptom checker
  • Price transparency/patient estimations
  • Online patient guides/directions
  • Virtual tours
  • Transportation arrangement
  • Visit-planning tools

During visit

  • Shared decision-making tools
  • Provider care-team visibility
  • Care-plan/schedule visibility
  • Patient access to requests/orders (e.g., meals)
  • Environmental controls
  • Service-recovery tracking
  • Entertainment/programming
  • Mapping/geolocation (inside and outside facilities)


  • Capture of other patient- generated data
  • Tracking of patient-reported outcomes
  • Longitudinal care planning
  • PHR capabilities
  • Patient self-assessments
  • Online coaching

Other Provider-Centric Capabilities

Organizational promotion/outreach

  • Contact management
  • Market intelligence/analytics
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Community/social media tools
  • Social media optimization
  • Reputation management
  • Advertising
  • White labeling

Organizational decision-making

  • Risk assessment/analytics
  • Care-gap identification/reminders
  • Access to social determinants of health
  • Post-visit patient-satisfaction surveys/analytics
  • Care management/care planning tools
  • Referral management
  • Transitions-of-care planning

About This Report

This report is designed to give payer and provider organizations a clear picture of what capabilities vendors offer to meet their core patient engagement needs. Most data in this report comes from vendor-reported information.

However, a limited amount of KLAS performance data is also shared. Overall scores are measured on a 100-point scale and represent the weighted average of several yes/no questions as well as other questions scored on a 9-point scale. A vendor’s sample size for performance data may not reach KLAS’ required threshold of 15 unique respondents; when a vendor’s sample size is less than 15, their score is marked with an asterisk (*) or otherwise designated as “limited data.” If the sample size is less than 6, no score is shown. In these cases, vendors are marked throughout the report as “not yet measured in patient engagement.”

author - Amanda Wind Smith
Amanda Wind Smith
author - Jess Wallace-Simpson
Jess Wallace-Simpson
author - Natalie Jamison
Project Manager
Natalie Jamison
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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.