SeamlessMD Podcast – Episode 33 – How to Evaluate Digital Patient Engagement



In this episode of the SeamlessMD Podcast, Dr. Joshua Liu, Co-founder & CEO at SeamlessMD, and marketing colleague, Alan Sardana, share their thoughts on “How to Evaluate Digital Patient Engagement”. See the full show notes below for details.

Guest(s): Dr. Joshua Liu (@joshuapliu), Co-founder & CEO at SeamlessMD

Episode 33 – Show notes:

[2:37] #1: Evidence – Does the digital patient engagement vendor have evidence to suggest your organization will succeed?

[3:00] Why evidence for a particular Digital Patient Engagement platform is important to mitigate risk, and how evidence not only refers to the results that a platform has, but also to who is using the technology (i.e. partners) and their degree of similarity to your organization;

“Is there an organization that is similar to mine that is actually using the technology? If so, what does that partner say about the technology?”

[5:38] #2: Outcomes – Does the digital patient engagement vendor have favorable outcomes?

[5:50] Why positive clinical outcomes are important for evaluating digital patient engagement platforms because it tells you the technology succeeds in multiple layers such as patient adoption & engagement (do patients actually use the platform?) and clinical evidence (does the platform impact LOS, readmissions, ER visits, total care cost, etc.);

SeamlessMD has 20+ studies conducted by independent academic medical centers showing exceptional improvements in clinical outcomes and costs.

[7:50] #3: Features – Does the digital patient engagement vendor have the “table stakes” features such as reminders, tasks, surveys, education, and turnkey EHR integration?

[8:00] How are these features important to the different stakeholders involved (eg. IT, surgical teams, administration, etc.), and how do they lead to success in outcomes?

[10:20] Why it’s dangerous for clinical teams to evaluate digital patient engagement from a feature-centric perspective ONLY and why outcomes should supersede features because it’s easy to build features, but difficult to build features intentionally that impact outcomes;

[13:41] #4: Clinical Team Composition – Does the digital patient engagement vendor have clinicians building the product?

[13:55] Why having clinicians build the digital patient engagement care plans is important for achieving success because they understand what information needs to be communicated to the patient as well as how to best communicate the information for empowered action;

[14:05] “What am I getting with this product besides the technology? Is this being developed by engineers or clinicians? To what extent does the team understand the information that they are trying to educate patients on?”

[15:00] Why SeamlessMD’s team is over 25% clinicians who share an intimate understanding of patient care and provider needs, which is different than some other companies who consult physicians to create “templates”, which may or may not lead to actual results;

[17:14] #5: Accessibility – is accessibility top-of-mind for the digital patient engagement vendor?

[17:25] How digital patient engagement accessibility is multi-faceted including:

  • Device accessibility: can a patient access their care using any device?
  • Content accessibility: is the content delivered at a grade 6 or below reading level, are there accompanied illustrations, is the language empowering and encouraging?

[19:00] #6: Professional Services – What level of support can we expect from the digital patient engagement vendor?

[19:05] Why SeamlessMD provides a team to the integration and ongoing partnership to help drive patient engagement results, technical support and to share best practices from the network of partners;

[20:44] How SeamlessMD has built internal playbooks for accessibility best practices, including integration, adoption, stakeholder training, and evidence analysis;

[21:43] How, in addition to viewing case studies and speaking with reference partners, you can determine the quality of the services provided by speaking to the company reps to see if they are genuinely helpful in contributing to your understanding of digital patient engagement;

[26:40] #7: Stakeholder involvement – Who from our organization is needed to implement & use the product and who is necessary for the evaluation process?

[27:00] Why feedback from various stakeholders should not hold equal weight due to varied levels of involvement;

[27:25] Why it is important to involve all stakeholders in evaluation process since it could heavily affect their willingness to participate after implementation;

[32:11] #8: Workflow integration – How is the digital patient engagement used day-to-day? Who are the end users from our team? How does it integrate into both our current workflow and the workflow that we are striving towards?

[36:08] #9: Template Care Plans & Process – Does the digital patient engagement vendor have templates built for our area of interest and/or do they have a proven process to build a new care plan?

[36:25] How templates reduce the amount of time needed for implementation, why outcomes should again supersede the number of templates since anyone can build a template (that doesn’t work), and why process is the most important criteria in trusting that the digital patient engagement company can build for a particular use-case;

[39:36] #10: Pricing – Is the pricing clear? Is there a setup fee? Are there licensing fees? What are the ongoing operational costs?

[41:00] Why pricing for Digital Patient Engagement can be nuanced and requires context since it is not one particular feature such as “cloud storage” or “video chat”, and how opportunity cost is viewed differently to different stakeholders;

[47:50] #11: Security – Again, this is table-stakes, but is the digital patient engagement platform HIPAA / PHIPA compliant?

[48:50] #12: Culture Fit – Does the digital patient engagement vendor fit well with our organization?

[49:00] Why the vendor fit needs to be considered for an ongoing successful partnership;

[49:10] How the values demonstrated by one part of the company (eg. the sales team) can reflect your compatibility with the rest of the company, and why the integrity displayed by a vendor is a good sign for a successful partnership;

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