Advancing Patient Engagement Using Self-Configurable, Self-Service Applications and AI

Family using mobile device to contact healthcare provider.

Consumers now work and play in an on-demand world. Advances in application development and platforms powered by artificial intelligence allow anyone with a Wi-Fi-enabled mobile device to make, change or cancel appointments; place, track or cancel orders; make and accept online payments; and many, many other conveniences. It’s time healthcare organizations universally provide a similar level of engagement.

Improving the patient experience is among the top three strategic objectives of every healthcare CEO in the United States, given its importance to today’s value-based care model. They understand the demand for highly personalized engagement solutions and the platforms that can provide multiple capabilities to empower their patients to create their own experiences and better manage their health.

Similarly, these healthcare leaders understand their competition is no longer limited to nearby hospitals or healthcare groups; instead, it’s e-commerce retailers like Amazon and syndicated or franchised global health services well versed in how to best engage today’s consumer through one-click orders and voice recognition logins.

If people can use their phones or tablets to order meal delivery and remotely turn up their home thermostats and turn on house lights, shouldn’t they be able to refill prescriptions and organize medical appointments with the same level of simplicity?

It’s not that big of a leap for healthcare organizations already providing some level of personalized care through robust patient portals and modern communications like text messaging.

Industry trailblazers for years now have leveraged AI and machine learning to expand their digital health offerings. It’s now the late adopters’ turn to join in, for their own viability as much as their patients’. As providers offer these self-configurable, self-service tools, consumers will migrate to them for both the ease and expanded options. Always remember: Perception is important in today’s consumer-oriented healthcare environments.

A big benefit of adopting a more modern approach to patient engagement is the operational efficiencies when engagement rates rise. It improves staff productivity, creates more appointments, reduces no-show rates, and closes care gaps because patients feel more involved and more invested in their own health. This translates to more revenues for providers and better outcomes for patients.

To achieve these improvements, organizations first need to step back and establish a patient engagement strategy for electronically connecting with patients. Then pursue a platform to achieve intended results.

KLAS Research recently published a patient engagement report in which analysts outlined the benefits of adopting a platform with multiple capabilities versus deploying point solutions from myriad vendors. The report also shows the greatest provider-centric gains cited by healthcare vendors: increased HCAHPS scores (71%), increased staff efficiency (46%) and reduced patient no-show rates (35%).

Secondly, organizations should pick capabilities within a chosen platform that align with current offerings, and enhance them with additional self-service components and new techniques through AI and machine learning. Patients will appreciate the improvements.

The consumer demand for self-configurable, self-service applications is increasing. Soon, organizations won’t have much choice. Provide better patient engagement platforms, or perish. Visit us at HIMSS Booth 6173 or on the web at

Originally published on HIMSS here.

By Raj Toleti

SVP and General Manager, Patient Engagement