As we’ve talked about in previous pieces, the Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH) digital strategy is to first deliver a 10x better experience online to entice healthcare consumers to work with us online, as opposed to offline. The second phase, once we’ve earned the right to interact with patients online, is to engage on an ongoing basis through a personalized health platform. Healthcare is challenging because unlike other industries and services we use as consumers, there isn’t a natural engagement model that is frequent. Healthcare consumers and patients often only interact with the system episodically if ‘something is wrong’.
However, this can be overcome by engaging consumers about their health between episodes of care. In this post, we’ll give two examples of how PSJH is engaging customers between episodes of care. PSJH has taken steps toward more frequent consumer engagement across two platforms: CircleTM and XealthTM.
Circle by Providence and Circle by Swedish is PSJH’s personalized platform which delivers relevant content, products, and services for women to help them manage their health and the health of their families. Circle focuses on building what is known as “the daily habit”, driving loyalty through personalized consumer engagement. Circle’s pillars of driving loyalty are:
- Access to personalized family health information
- Easy access to PSJH providers and services
- Trusted and curated health related resources
The app provides content, trackers, and to-do lists, while also offering an array of resources, including listings for classes and groups in Providence and Swedish hospitals. Personalization is driven either through a connection to the patient’s electronic medical record or by the woman providing information about herself and her family. The resources Circle offers continue to grow with new, relevant information continually being added. Circle was developed by the Providence’s consumer innovation group in Seattle in collaboration with clinical specialists from Providence and Swedish. PSJH’s development team is in the process of expanding the functionality beyond pediatrics, with the end goal of making the app a resource for women across the full spectrum of all women’s health related issues.
Ultimately, Circle’s value is in capturing the customer lifetime value of the most valuable consumer in healthcare, the female “Chief Medical Officer” of the family who controls approximately 90% of health-related spend. Women control not only the expenditure for themselves but also for their families, including spouses and children. By building a loyal relationship with them, health systems can ultimately create long-term engagement and loyalty with this most important customer.
Another way PSJH is driving digital engagement is through Xealth. Xealth is a digital prescribing platform that was built by a team of Entrepreneurs in Residence that came to PSJH by way of the technology world. Xealth is led by Mike McSherry and his senior management team formerly at Swype, a mobile predictive text keyboard. The problem the Xealth team found that caregivers, nurses, and clinicians couldn’t prescribe much other than pharmaceuticals to their patients from the EMR. If providers wanted to tap into rich universe of digital applications, content, services, products, and devices, they would need to “swivel hip” outside of their existing workflow, creating barriers and friction for them in their already challenging workflow. The Xealth team determined that they needed a solution that allowed caregivers to prescribe content, digital apps, services and products just as they do with pharmaceuticals today thereby extending PSJH’s care for patients beyond the clinic. Because Xealth’s belief is that every interaction should drive engagement with the patient into the health system’s digital assets, they have worked to build a simple, continuous connection back to the health system ecosystem and existing portal. Finally, the clinician can see if the patient has taken action on what was prescribed right in the EMR workflow.
The benefit to health systems using Xealth is five-fold:
- Xealth is EMR integrated, therefore providers can prescribe digital care directly through their charting workflow in the EMR, easing the way for clinicians who want to tap into resources for their patients and prescribe them as easily as they would a pharmaceutical.
- Enables systems to onboard & launch new solutions in days rather than months thereby increasing IS efficiency.
- Enables clinicians to order and monitor patient utilization and engagement with prescribed apps, content, etc.
- Provides a branded enrollment experience which strengthens the relationship between the health system and its patients, mitigating potential disintermediation, and;
- Gives the health system analytics and engagement data, allowing remote monitoring and necessary interventions when indicated from device and app data.
Xealth has launched multiple solutions at the systems they’re working with for palliative care, pre-diabetes coaching, pre-appointment Lyft rides, surgical bundle pathways, custom health system videos, and CPAP monitoring. They have delivered 80% email open rates and 40% view rates on prescribed content from clinicians. Clinicians and caregivers using EMR’s have been impressed with the ease of use of Xealth’s integrated Digital Care solution. Finally, most recently, Xealth was nominated as a Geekwire Seattle Top 10 start up.
To-date, CircleTM and XealthTM have been used to support PSJH in its journey to grow its market share of commercially insured patients. Both solutions are now being adopted by health systems outside of PSJH. In our next piece, we’ll talk about how the portfolio of assets developed by the digital team is being used in the future, in our 2018 roadmap and beyond, to serve other patient populations and solve a broader set of strategic problems.
Aaron Martin is Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer for Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH), and Managing General Partner forProvidence Ventures (PV). Aaron is responsible for the digital, web, mobile, and online marketing channel for PSJH.
Sara Vaezy is the Chief Digital Strategy Officer for PSJH. Sara leads the development of the digital strategy and roadmap, digital partnerships and business development, and technology evaluation and pilots.
Mary Haggard focuses on creating new health related consumer products and services in areas like women’s health, chronic disease and senior services. Current incubation work includes Circle Women’s Health (available as Circle by Providence and Circle by Swedish in the App Store and Google Play) and Optimal Aging – services and tools to help seniors remain at home safely as long as possible.
Mike McSherry is a serial tech entrepreneur and has served in the industry for over twenty years, co-founding 6 large tech business. McSherry currently serves as CEO of Xealth, a digital prescribing and analytics platform integrated into healthcare electronic medical records (EMRs). Xealth recently spun out Xealth from Providence St. Joseph and raised $9m from leading VC’s and healthcare systems.