Consumers recently have been given a legal right to receive their medical records promptly and free of charge. That change came in 2021 when the Biden administration set the rules for implementing the 21st Century CURES Act, requiring providers to give patients access to all the health information in their electronic medical records “without delay” and without charge.
The Game Changer
That “patient right of access” has finally positioned consumers at the center of their own care, enabling them to be truly active participants in their own health. Now for the first time, consumers can aggregate all their health data from multiple providers into a longitudinal view using trusted third-party applications. This means that we are now giving healthcare consumers the power to consent to share their data with healthcare organizations and enablers; like clinical trials, for example.
Depending on their choices, consumers and their providers can have access to clinical information from payers, providers, wearables, and sensors, combined with health risk assessments, behavioral and lifestyle habits, and social determinants of health.
All of that data can be run through a personalization engine to deliver targeted communications down to an n of 1 – the individual. Delivered via consumers’ own choice of channel, which most often is text, personalized communications yield higher activation and can deliver care insights leading to better treatment adherence and outcomes.
The Easy Button Drives Loyalty
The key is to make it easy. Giving consumers simple workflows drives real, meaningful results for stakeholders, starting with loyalty. Consumer loyalty benefits providers and health systems by driving proactive care, improving performance in value-based contracts, reducing leakage, and creating network effects through the consumer’s health circle, those with whom they share their health information.
To get there, providers need to redesign and digitize their access-to-care system. A solution like b.well can remove friction between stakeholders so that you’re not saying to consumers “Hey, we think you should participate in this behavioral health program – please go to this outside application, complete another form and create a new log-in.”
Instead, b.well lets providers establish a digital identity for consumers and make sure they can pass information they choose through an open Application Programming Interface (API) so a new account can be created automatically within any third-party application. Through informed consent, providers can also ensure that consumers are given all the permissions they need for sharing their data, as well as the right to be forgotten if they choose to drop an application.
Positive Business Results with People-Powered Data
These initiatives lead to positive business results and gives organizations opportunities to expand their business models. Simply enabling a user to set up a guest account before committing to something, routine in a retail setting, can increase appointment booking by over 20x. Allowing consumers to book, reschedule, and own their own appointments also significantly reduces no-show and cancellation rates, sometimes to as low as 2% versus the industry average of 18% to 24%.
When consumers can see their own data and are educated about a care need between provider visits, they proactively make appointments and follow through to receive care, often at frequencies 20%-30% higher, and without nudging.
The Bottom Line
As an industry we can stop making it hard for consumers to do business with us. We can make it easy for them to participate in all of the great health programs we’ve developed for them.
Ironically, by giving up control over consumers’ data, we end up gaining more control over the one thing that matters most – their health.
To learn more about how focusing on the consumer experience pays off for health systems, listen to this webinar, provided by b.well CEO Kristen Valdes for Becker’s Hospital Review.