A new research report, from the Boston-based Chilmark Research, indicates healthcare organizations have yet to fully develop and adopt patient engagement technologies.
After interviewing various industry stakeholders, researchers say that healthcare organizations are doing the "bare minimum" when it comes to digital, between-visit or post-discharge interactions with patients. This, they note, despite the fact that there have been significant advances in consumer-based mobile health technologies, federal incentives from meaningful use that encourages this behavior, and a shift to value-based reimbursement.
The main reasons for this lack of adoption are competing priorities, Chilmark researchers say. It is taking a backseat to other initiatives such as, "defining and integrating clinical networks, building analytics capabilities, mastering risk-based contracting, and making other preparations for effective population-based health management." Those that have invested in patient engagement have mostly brought on a tethered-to-an-EHR portal.
Vendors are not given a free pass in the report. Chilmark researchers say that vendors have done a poor job of optimizing their portals. Specifically, they say in a blog post announcing the report that they have failed to create a "longitudinal record using a combination of external (beyond the native EHR) clinical and patient generated data."
Despite this, all hope does not seem to be lost for the market. Chilmark anticipates more patient engagement activity in the next few years, both from a provider and vendor standpoint. The researchers point to "glimmers of hope" in the form of a few advanced patient engagement pilot projects currently ongoing.