It’s no secret that healthcare organizations across the nation are still struggling to engage patients. While each patient care organization might have their own issues related to engagement, common widespread challenges include time and resources needed to develop programs, as well as some organizations simply relying on technology like portals to get the job done. Research has shown, though, that this isn’t suffice on its own.
Across Colorado and western Kansas, however, Centura Health is making patient engagement simple. With 17 hospitals, two senior living communities, health neighborhoods, physician practices and clinics, home care and hospice services, Centura Health leaders realized early on that from a quality perspective, improving population health would be a key focus as the healthcare system shifts from paying for volume of services to paying for value. “So how can we keep our patients well and prevent them from coming into the hospital? That is a big paradigm shift from how healthcare has operated in past, and that has been the vision of [Centura Health’s] CEO,” says Matthew Vitaska, Centura Health physician group administrator.
In his role, Vitaska says he is essentially “an administrator of outcomes effectiveness,” which translates into partnering with other leaders in the organization to drive quality and patient safety within their physician practices, of which there are approximately 200 throughout the system.
About three years ago, Centura Health implemented interactive programs and personalized call campaigns, through Chicago-based Emmi, which offers a patient engagement technology-based solution, to deliver actionable health information to patients. “Patient engagement is a key component in changing behaviors, if you look at the literature. So if we are looking at preventative care screenings, chronic conditions and trying to motivate people to stop smoking, we thought this tool would be excellent for that,” says Vitaska.