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Empowering Patients: A Journey Through Innovative Healthcare Engagement

Written by : Aishwarya Sarthe

March 21, 2024

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Patient engagement has transcended from mere options to pivotal necessities in today's rapidly evolving healthcare landscape.

Gone are the days when patient engagement was viewed as an ancillary aspect of healthcare delivery; it has become imperative to drive outcomes, shape experiences, and define the essence of healthcare provision.

The quest for better patient engagement has spurred innovation across the healthcare sector. Large and small hospitals are reimagining traditional approaches, harnessing the power of technology, and strategizing with meticulous precision to elevate the patient experience to unprecedented heights.

This paradigm shift underscores a fundamental truth: patient engagement is no longer a passive concept but an active pursuit that demands attention, investment, and ingenuity.

Innovative Approaches to Patient Engagement

In recent years, the healthcare landscape has witnessed a paradigm shift towards patient-centered care. Hospitals increasingly recognize the importance of engaging patients throughout their healthcare journey to improve outcomes and experiences.

Innovative approaches to patient engagement encompass many initiatives, including technology integration, personalized support, and holistic care delivery.

Speaking exclusively to DHN, Vikash Sharma, CEO, Avisa Smart Hospitals, emphasized the significance of personalized interaction preceding technological integration.

According to him, "Understanding patient pain points and providing personalized care are key drivers of patient engagement."

Sharma highlighted Avisa's approach, integrating Smart Hospital infrastructure to streamline patient experiences and deploying dedicated Patient Care Coordinators (PCCs) for personalized support.

Echoing similar sentiments, Udayan Lahiry, MD of Medica Hospitals, emphasized the significance of fostering strong relationships through personalized support groups and activities.

"Patient engagement is a continuous activity at Medica," Lahiry noted.

Medica Hospital's initiatives, including health hosts and support groups, prioritize patient satisfaction and retention, enriching the healthcare experience.

The Medica MD further shed light on the hospital’s holistic approach to patient engagement, focusing on building trust and rapport with patients through personalized interactions and support services.

While, Dr Nitish Shetty, CEO of Aster DM Healthcare, India, shared innovative strategies to enhance patient experiences.

One such initiative, according to Shetty, is Aldun billing services, which streamline the discharge process by allowing patients to leave immediately after the doctor writes the discharge summary.

Patients no longer need insurance confirmation, as Aldun coordinates billing post-discharge. This service, costing INR 500 per patient, ensures a hassle-free experience.

Another noteworthy initiative is the provision of free houseboat rides for patients undergoing preventive health check-ups or medical tourists, highlighted the Aster CEO.

He noted that this enhances the medical tourism experience, allowing patients to explore Kerala's beauty.

Additionally, Aster incorporates music therapy, with differently-abled artists performing daily in the hospital lobby. QR code-enabled bedside services empower patients to request services conveniently.

At the same time, the Aster Seniors team ensures a seamless journey for elderly patients, known as Aster Buddies, who assist from pre-arrival to post-discharge. These initiatives reflect Aster's focus on personalized care, enhancing patient engagement, and fostering a positive healthcare environment.

Primary Drivers of Patient Engagement

The primary drivers of patient engagement encompass a multifaceted approach, ranging from compassionate care delivery to seamless communication and access to information.

Talking about it, Avisa CEO said that the focus on human touch and empathy resonates deeply, emphasizing the importance of continuous engagement and partnership between hospitals and patients.

When asked about the core values that drive patient engagement in Avisa, Sharma stated, "Transforming 'cure into care' through personalized interactions is pivotal."

However, Lahiry focused on the four essential C’s: care, compassion, competence, and communication. It addressed them as the foundational pillars of patient engagement.

For Lahiry, patient-centered care remains paramount, empowering patients to make informed choices about their healthcare journey.

Dr Shetty, on the other hand, highlighted access to information, care continuum, personalized care, and technology as primary drivers of patient engagement within healthcare settings.

According to Shetty, providing patients with easy access to medical records, continuous care delivery, and personalized support fosters a sense of belonging and trust among patients.

Shetty's insights shed light on the importance of leveraging technology to enhance patient engagement and streamline healthcare delivery processes.

Role of Technology in Patient Engagement

Technology has revolutionized healthcare delivery, providing patients access to information, resources, and support services.

Hospitals that leverage technology to enhance patient engagement prioritize seamless communication, personalized care delivery, and access to healthcare services.

In the modern era, technology is crucial in empowering patients to participate actively in their healthcare journey, from mobile apps to wearable devices.

Outlining Aster's focus on technology, Dr Nitish Shetty informed Aster's development of a super app and AI lab to improve patient outcomes through innovative diagnostics and patient-centric solutions.

“Technology facilitates communication, education, and access to healthcare services, empowering patients to participate in their healthcare journey actively,” Shetty pointed.

While talking about Avisa's technological infrastructure, and how it is leveraging technology to improve patient engagement, Sharma deliberated a few developments in the hospital.

This includes smart hospital solutions and patient engagement apps, aimed at enhancing patient outcomes and experiences.

“Avisa's approach integrates various software and hardware elements to streamline patient care delivery processes. From IoT labs to digital medical records, Avisa leverages technology to provide personalized care and support to their patients,” the CEO informed.

Likewise, Lahiry emphasized the integration of AI, chatbots, and virtual assistants to provide personalized healthcare delivery and streamline administrative tasks, when enquired about the same.

According to Lahiry, “Technology solutions bridge the gap between patients and healthcare providers, enabling seamless communication and access to healthcare services.”

Lahiry's insights shed light on the importance of leveraging technology to enhance patient engagement and improve healthcare delivery processes.

How Success is Ensured?

Beyond traditional ROI metrics, hospitals prioritize patient satisfaction, appointment attendance, and patient feedback to measure the success of patient engagement initiatives.

By tracking key metrics and considering holistic value considerations, hospitals gain valuable insights into patient experiences and preferences, enabling them to effectively tailor their strategies to meet patient needs.

Discussing the same, Sharma emphasized the importance of retaining patients through engagement solutions and enhancing overall patient satisfaction levels.

He said, "Positive patient experiences and feedback are key indicators of success," enabling hospitals to implement targeted interventions.

Furthermore, Lahiry highlighted the significance of tracking appointment attendance, utilization of preventive care services, and patient feedback to measure the success of patient engagement initiatives.

He noted, "High patient satisfaction levels reflect positive patient experiences and provider trust."

Per him, Medica's focus on patient feedback and engagement informs their decision-making processes, enabling them to tailor their strategies to meet patient needs effectively.

Similarly, Dr Shetty outlined Aster's focus on patient feedback and engagement on social media to enhance patient outcomes and experiences.

According to Shetty, patient feedback provides valuable insights into patient experiences, preferences, and suggestions for improvement, enabling hospitals to identify areas for enhancement and implement targeted interventions.

Patient Engagement: The Future of Healthcare

In conclusion, the journey toward excellence in patient engagement is marked by innovation, compassion, and a relentless pursuit of patient-centric care. As hospitals navigate the complexities of modern healthcare, the insights of visionary leaders provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

From personalized interactions to leveraging technology and tracking key metrics, hospitals are pioneering transformative practices to elevate patient experiences to unprecedented heights.

Through unwavering dedication and a commitment to fostering meaningful connections, hospitals are shaping the future of healthcare, one patient interaction at a time.


About Chime India

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving senior digital health leaders. CHIME includes more than 5,000 members in 56 countries and two US territories and partners with over 150 healthcare IT businesses and professional services firms. CHIME enables its members and business partners to collaborate, exchange ideas, develop professionally and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care throughout the communities they serve. CHIME's members are chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs), chief innovation officers (CIOs), chief digital officers (CDOs), and other senior healthcare leaders. The CHIME India Chapter became the first international chapter outside North America in 2016 and is now a community of over 70+ members in India. For more information, please visit www.chimecentral.org

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