Driving Patient Loyalty in a Consumerized, Value-Based Industry

Patient loyalty and outreach have been, and continue to be, key priorities for health care organizations. However, as the industry shifts from fee-for-service to value-based payment models, and patients become more like consumers, the path for achieving those goals has changed.

John Ward, the senior vice president and chief information officer at Ohio-based TriHealth recently talked to Patient Management HIT about how his health system is making that transition.

“When we were looking at our key performance indicators, we did not really see that we were losing patients,” Ward said. “From a market leadership perspective, we were pretty well-suited in this market. But with the changes that are hitting health care from a reimbursement perspective, and a movement [from] fee-for-service to population health, we knew we needed to continue to grow.”

Rather than focusing on getting more patients, TriHealth decided to focus on care coordination and the patient experience with the whole health system. And at the crux of this effort was convenient care.

“When we started looking at how digital will impact health care, we knew we needed a way to make it easy for those patients that are seeking to use TriHealth to find us, find the appropriate physician, to be connected into our health system, and to be able to schedule visits,” Ward said.

TriHealth started this transition by working with Kyruus, a health IT platform that Ward said has turned into the health system’s “digital front door.” With the Kyruus technology, patients and providers can look through available clinicians at the health system’s numerous care sites.

“We can identify when physicians are one, taking new patients, and two, where they’re located through geo mapping and zip code locations,” Ward explained. “Patients can find exactly who’s taking new patients, where they’re located, how to get there, what kinds of services clinicians provide, and then get one-click access to schedule appointments and so on to get in to see that physician.”

The Kyruus tools have reshaped the way patients access the TriHealth system. Between February and July 2019, TriHealth has seen nearly 124,000 internet provider searches, which has proven that putting appointment availability online has enhanced patient access.

In addition to the Kyruus product suite, TriHealth has implemented direct-to-consumer telehealth options and secure direct messaging to providers for patients who can’t easily access a clinic.

“Convenience is everything,” Ward said. “We’re living in the world today of having anything that you want at your fingertips digitally. And we as consumers today are going to choose those opportunities that are easiest to interact with.”

Value-based care has steered TriHealth toward Kyruus and other innovative patient loyalty strategies, and those strategies will continue to support the health system’s journey to value-based care.

“Health care, as I’ve said, is changing,” Ward concluded. “And we as an organization—just like other health systems—continue to work differently. We continue to approach our consumer differently.”

And the Kyruus product suite is helping TriHealth do just that.

Read the full interview here.