SeamlessMD Podcast – Episode 34 – Jason Burum: Past, Present & Future of Digital Patient Engagement



In this episode of the SeamlessMD Podcast, Dr. Joshua Liu, Co-founder & CEO at SeamlessMD, and marketing colleague, Alan Sardana, chat with Jason Burum, VP, Patient Engagement at Wolters Kluwer about the past, present & future of digital patient engagement. See the full show notes below for details.

Guest(s): Mr. Jason Burum (@jburum), VP, Patient Engagement at Wolters Kluwer

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

Episode 34 – Show notes:

[0:18] Introducing Mr. Jason Burum, VP, Patient Engagement at Wolters Kluwer Health;

[1:31] How digital health education has evolved over the last two decades, how certain challenges persist such as health record ownership, control, and access, and how opportunities that exist today were unfathomable back then such as cloud-based computing;

[4:48] How sending patient education digitally evolved since Mr. Burum’s time at WebMD, how basic personalization started with recommending prescriptive content based on a consumer’s assessment, and why focusing on translating medical terminology into consumer terminology paved the way for better patient engagement;

[7:05] How the Healthwise product suite evolved over the 13-year period Mr. Burum was with the company, from print-out self-care guide books to online content libraries and why Mr. Burum focused on improving provider workflow integration and shared decision-making processes to support informed patient agency;

[11:41] Why Mr. Burum defines shared decision-making as a process rather than a tool since decision-making is often justifying emotional reaction with logic, and how distilling complex information into simple, easy-to-understand material is vitally important for patients to make informed decisions;

[18:34] Why Mr. Burum views digital patient engagement as a facilitator of behavioral change because it helps inform patients and guides them to take a specific action similar to a reliable way-finder;

[22:24] Why Mr. Burum focuses today on 2 distinct layers of patient engagement;

Layer 1: “Hygiene” – is there a reliable patient education source(s) that is integrated into workflow to close the knowledge gap between patient and clinician and are patients being tracked?

Layer 2: “Personalization” – are patients engaged dynamically based on their unique profile?

[27:48] How the Wolters Kluwer partnership with Amazon Alexa represents a disruptive opportunity for the industry, leveraging Amazon Alexa’s HIPAA-compliant voice platform to engage with the 60-70% of Americans who use voice only;

[31:12] How COVID-19 changed the product roadmap for Wolters Kluwer and Emmi Solutions, creating a stronger need for up-to-date, evidence-based content as well as an overall increase in the volume of digital health interactions;

[34:51] How Mr. Burum defines good patient engagement as the patient being just as engaged as the clinician in improving their health status and how we can measure the impact of patient engagement through various proxies such as “sent patient X information”, “patient did Y”;

[37:33] Why Mr. Burum’s holds the mantra “keep it plain, keep it personal, and keep it possible” as it is a reminder to focus on the patient, their accessibility, their condition, and their experience;

[42:00] Why Mr. Burum believes everyone in the healthcare industry is doing their best, how progress comes down to aligned incentives, and how incremental progress leads to solving big challenges;

[48:00] How COVID-19 has accelerated the need for digital patient engagement and why Mr. Burum believes digital patient engagement will become more personalized over the next 3-5 years;

[51:26] Lightning Round Questions:

Q1: What is your favorite book / book gifted the most? A: “Pecans, because I feel like they can go on anything and I’m just a bit nutty.”

A:Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action’ By Simon Sinek because of his optimism and view of life. Also, the author and poet, Paulo Coehlo, has a great quote I love: “The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.”

Q2: What is your favorite movie / TV show?

A2: Schitt’s Creek, a Canadian TV sitcom – It’s so authentic, optimistic and open-minded… Everything we want to be!

Q3: Would you rather have super strength, super speed, or be able to read people’s minds?

A3: “Super speed! Brute force is not my nature and seeing inside of others’ minds is not fun… I like to get things done so super speed means I can do more of the things I love to do.”

Q4: What is something in healthcare you believe that others may find insane?

A4: “If healthcare was direct-to-consumer and we had to plan for it just like we do for things such as home improvement, I believe we would see immense positive changes for consumers and the industry.”

Q5: What is one hobby/activity you’ve gotten into since the pandemic started?

A5: “Photography and videography. My wife is a professional photographer (and is immensely talented). I’ve sort of learned from her… And I’ve really enjoyed taking a moment or two to capture moments (in life) for introspection and reflection.”

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