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Patient Engagement Summit 2019 White Paper Patient Engagement Summit 2019 White Paper
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Patient Engagement Summit 2019 White Paper

author - Adam Cherrington
Adam Cherrington
author - Dan Czech
Dan Czech
February 4, 2020 | Read Time: 7  minutes

On November 11–12, 2019, healthcare IT leaders (20 from healthcare organizations and 19 from vendor organizations) gathered in Park City, Utah, to help guide the healthcare industry toward a common patient engagement target. The goal of this summit was two-fold: (1) to share success stories and recommendations for overcoming barriers and (2) to define what a patient engagement platform should entail.

klas patient engagement research road map

2018 Patient Engagement Summit

Patient engagement framework identified

2019 Patient Engagement Future Trends Report

Where are provider organizations investing?

2019 Patient Engagement Ecosystem Report/Website

What capabilities do vendors claim, and how well are they aligned with provider energy?

2019 Patient Engagement Summit

What should a patient engagement platform include?

2020 Patient Voice

How well do patient desires align with vendor development and provider energy?

2020 Patient Engagement Platforms

Which vendors really offer a comprehensive platform, and how well do they deliver for customers?

Sharing Success Stories and Strategies for Overcoming Barriers

Points of Light—Sharing Success Stories

A common desire of attendees at KLAS’ first patient engagement summit (held in 2018) was to learn best practices from their peers. To this end, KLAS asked attendees at the 2019 summit to identify and share “points of light”—that is, recent projects or initiatives that have been effective in driving patient engagement at their organizations. Interestingly, the 20 initiatives shared were all unique, driven by each organization’s desired outcomes. While the projects centered around many different areas of the fragmented patient engagement market, a few interesting commonalities were identified.

social determinants of health
care adherence care gap reminders
streamlined access to care
portal enrollment
other points of light

Common Barriers and Strategies for Overcoming Them

The barriers that provider organizations report encountering and the strategies recommended for overcoming them are just as varied as the success stories shared above. As unique as the barriers are, they typically fall into one of four main categories: organizational, patient, technology, and industry. A few of the barriers shared by participants, along with the strategies they recommend for overcoming them, are outlined below.

organizational barriers
patient related barriers
technology barriers
industry barriers

Defining the Patient Engagement Platform and Framework

The patient engagement market has evolved, and provider organizations have now begun looking for a one-stop-shop solution to replace disparate departmental tools. To clarify what a complete patient engagement platform should include, KLAS asked vendor and provider participants to identify the crucial components of a platform solution. KLAS also surveyed patients so their voice could be considered.

While many HIT capabilities are important for a broad patient engagement strategy, summit attendees identified 12 key capabilities that must be included in a patient engagement platform. Some span multiple areas of the patient journey.

the klas patient engagement platform

Key Platform Capabilities Defined

Provider search/matching: Tools that allow patients and consumers to locate specific providers to meet their immediate care needs. May include the ability for patients and consumers to view and compare providers’ profile data (e.g., background, specialties, and quality measures) and may include care setting guidance (structured guidance that directs patients toward the most appropriate care setting for their needs).

Self-scheduling/rescheduling: Ability of patients to schedule appointments online without live assistance.

Self-registration/check-in: Ability of patients to fill out registration forms remotely or at a kiosk. These abilities may also be available for pre-registration forms and surveys.

Pre-visit communication: Ability to communicate with patients through various means prior to a scheduled episode of care. May include appointment reminders and broadcast messaging (non-patient-specific bulk messages—e.g., holiday-/weather-related closings).

Family/caregiver collaboration tools: Communication tools that keep families informed of a patient’s condition and gather input for care planning. May include family/caregiver enrollment or tools that capture, store, and report contact information for a patient’s family and other personal caregivers.

Telemedicine: Platforms that facilitate interactions between patients and providers in lieu of face-to-face visits. May include virtual visits (typically real-time video visits) or remote patient monitoring (tools that collect, aggregate, analyze, and report patients’ vital data, typically from patients’ homes).

Meaningful and timely education: Tools that deliver timely education content and instructions relating to a patient’s care at any stage in the care continuum. May include previsit education/instructions, on-site education, discharge education/instructions, or wellness education.

Real-time patient experience improvement: Ability to gather, analyze, and react in real time to patient needs in order to improve their current experience. May include patient satisfaction surveys/analytics, capabilities delivered through IPS tools, or digital rounding tools (to help staff proactively and formally check in with patients, families, and staff on a predetermined schedule).

Provider messaging: The ability for patients and caregivers to send and receive electronic messages.

Post-visit communication: Ability to communicate with patients through various means following a scheduled episode of care. May include post-visit follow-up (outreach and tracking tools that check in with patients after a procedure to ensure they are recovering and to schedule follow-up appointments if needed), care-gap reminders (analytics tools that help caregivers discover lapses in ongoing care for individual patients and automate outreach to such patients), or care-plan adherence reminders (outreach and tracking tools that remind patients of care-plan tasks and request confirmation of completion).

Online bill pay: Ability for patients to pay bills online. May include bill details/explanations or the ability to view account details, including itemized costs (not just amount due).

Prescription refill requests: Ability of patients to electronically request that refill prescriptions be forwarded to appropriate pharmacies.

an updated platform

An Updated Framework

Once summit attendees identified the 12 key platform capabilities defined above, it became necessary to update the KLAS Patient Engagement HIT Framework, which now includes key platform capabilities as well as many secondary capabilities. These secondary capabilities can be divided into two groups: patient-centric capabilities and provider-centric capabilities. All capabilities in the latter group would ideally trigger a corresponding patient behavior that requires either a key platform capability or a patient-centric capability. For example, deploying a social media campaign about flu shots (a provider-centric capability) may cause a patient to self-schedule a flu shot visit (patient-centric capability).

Key Platform Capabilities

Provider search/matching

Provider profile/quality data

Care setting guidance



Pre-registration forms/intake

Pre-visit communication

Appointment reminders

Broadcast messaging

Family/caregiver collaboration tools


Virtual visits

Remote patient monitoring

Meaningful and timely education

Pre-visit education/instructions

On-site education

Discharge education/instructions

Wellness education

Real-time patient experience improvement

Real-time patient satisfaction surveys/analytics

Provider messaging

Post-visit communication

Post-visit follow-up

Care-gap reminders

Care-plan adherence reminders/tracking (e.g., medications

Online bill pay

Bill details/explanations

Prescription-refill requests

Secondary Capabilities

secondary capabilities
  • Triage/symptom checker
  • Price transparency/patient estimations
  • Capture of other patient-generated data
  • Tracking of patient-reported outcomes
  • 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
  • Longitudinal care planning
  • Online patient guides/directions
  • Mapping/geolocation (inside and outside facilities)
  • Virtual tours
  • Transportation arrangement
  • PHR capabilities
  • Patient self-assessments
  • Online coaching
  • Visit-planning tools
  • Contact management
  • Market intelligence/analytics
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Community/social media tools
  • Social media optimization
  • Reputation management
  • Advertising
  • White labeling
  • 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

Laying the Foundation: Fundamental Principles to Consider in Your Patient Engagement Strategy and Technology Platform

key principles of a patient engagement strategy
key fundamentals of patient engagement technology

The list below was created during KLAS’s 2018 patient engagement summit and provides a foundation for patient participation, provider strategies, and vendor development.

  • Patient-centric: Actively helped by their providers, patients achieve their own goals for their health and care.
  • Personalized: Providers get to know their patients and provide a personalized experience, meeting patients where they are (for example, by taking into account social determinants and patient preferences).
  • Connected: Providers maintain constant and meaningful communication with patients, patient families, and other caregivers. Care is well coordinated between all parties.
  • Simple: Engagement tools and processes are as easy to use and convenient as possible for patients and their families.
  • Timely: Care delivery and interactions happen on time. Information, including health data, is made available to patients in real time.
  • Continuous: Patient/provider relationships extend beyond individual episodes of care. Care plans and other patient requirements (including financial) are documented and communicated and represent a pathway into the future.
  • Measured: Providers continuously measure their performance in achieving their patients’ goals and in achieving their own organizations’ patient engagement goals, adjusting strategies as needed over time.

To help provider and vendor organizations achieve the principles to the left, patient engagement solutions and strategies should be built around the following fundamentals:

  • Secure: Tools must be secure and compliant with all privacy laws.
  • Integrated: Tools must be able to seamlessly integrate with necessary systems, such as EMRs, patient accounting systems, and other patient engagement tools.
  • Multilanguage: Tools should offer multiple languages to ensure patients are able to engage in their care in their native language.
  • Mobile friendly: Tools should be built with the mobile experience in mind, whether that involves native mobile apps or leveraging text messaging and other mobile capabilities.
  • Personalized: Tools should be personalized to the patient; for example, they should be able to capture patient preferences, enroll and involve family and caregivers, and capture patients’ health goals.
  • Transparent: Tools should give patients access to their own data and visibility into their health information and the decisions made on their behalf.
  • Consolidated: Patients desire a one-stop-shop experience. Tools should minimize the need for patients to use multiple tools to engage in their care.
  • Portable: Tools should give patients the ability to share their information with others (providers, family, caregivers, etc.)
author - Amanda Wind Smith
Amanda Wind Smith
author - Madison Moniz
Madison Moniz
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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.