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An IT Leader Shares How Stanford Health Care is Transforming Patients’ Digital Experience

November 22, 2017
by Heather Landi
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For the past few years, Aditya Bhasin has been leading Stanford Health Care’s digital transformation with a specific focus on evolving the patient’s digital experience. As vice president of software design and development, digital solutions, at Stanford Health Care, Bhasin is part of the IT leadership team at the health system, and he has been driving strategy for Stanford’s digital technologies related to web and mobile, as well as design and development of the organization’s digital health platform.

As part of this digital transformation, Bhasin and his digital team rolled out a new, in-house designed and developed Stanford Health Care MyHealth app back in January 2015. The digital team also launched a custom patient portal which connects each patient with his or her care team and delivers personalized information. The team continues to add new digital features and functionalities, with a focus on creating a seamless, fully integrated digital experience for patients. Through the MyHealth app, patients can make appointments, manage prescriptions, view health summaries, access and pay bills, share vital signs with doctors via integration with Apple’s HealthKit and conduct telehealth video visits with physicians. The mobile app engages patients prior to their arrival, offering an eCheck-in feature, and that engagement continues all the way through post-appointment.

What’s more, Stanford Health Care worked with Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, to integrate Aruba’s Meridian IoT beacon technology to enable in-building location awareness for an advanced wayfinding feature. When a patient walks into a clinic, the MyHealth app offers step-by-step directions to the doctor’s office, and then notifies the care team when the patient arrives. That project has been rolled out in several phases, with plans to deploy in the main hospital building this quarter. To date, the digital offerings are not only improving patient satisfaction, but also increasing operational efficiency and productivity.

Stanford Health Care is Bhasin’s first foray into healthcare as he previously held leadership roles at several Silicon Valley startups. He led software for Jawbone, a consumer technology and wearable products company. He has worked in telecom and Software as a Solutions industries, including leading multiple teams at OpenWave, which develops mobile messaging software solutions.

Bhasin recently spoke with Healthcare Informatics Associate Editor Heather Landi about Stanford’s work to transform patients’ digital experience, as well as the challenges, and opportunities, of designing and developing digital patient engagement solutions.

Coming into healthcare from other industries, what was your take on the healthcare industry’s use of digital solutions for patient engagement?

When I was looking at the different verticals, I felt that academia and healthcare had the most opportunity in terms of using digital solutions to transform the industry, and I think that was one of the things that attracted me to this vertical. In different industries, it’s about consumerism, and you can bring those ideas about creating consumer digital experiences into healthcare and reduce friction. How do you apply those principles, which are more about exciting you and driving adoption, and apply them here in an environment you’re trying to provide value at the point of care? It’s an industry that can definitely do very well bringing those notions into it.

What has been your strategy to transform patients’ digital experience at Stanford Health Care?

We wanted to bring patients’ digital experience into line with the leading-edge care they already value and trust. The goal was to create a premium experience consistent with the Stanford brand across all of our patients’ interactions with the health system. We transformed our external web experience on our main website, StanfordHealthCare.org, and we went for a user-centric design and focused on how to make it easier for people to find the content they are looking for. There is a general tendency in healthcare to actually put all the complexity of your organization onto the site. Then we transformed the patient portal and then built up the infrastructure to expand the digital experience with our mobile apps.

With regard to the wayfinding feature, we integrated that experience into the MyHealth app. We didn’t want to build a stand-alone app; when you’re coming into a healthcare facility and you’re not feeling well, the last thing you want to do is scan a QR code and download an app. to build out a standalone app, when you’re coming to healthcare organization, looking for, wayfinding, the last thing you’re doing when you’re coming in duress, scanning a QR code and downloading the app. For the patient, the journey starts the day prior when the patient gets a push notification that reminding them of an upcoming appointment and offering the option of eCheck-in. When patients use the eCheck-in feature, they can avoid standing in line. It helps us get operational efficiencies and provides patients with the best possible experience.

The engagement continues post appointment, and one of the key features that we just rolled out in January is patient education. If a patient has an elective surgery scheduled, it automatically triggers push notifications in the app about education related to the procedure or information about how to prep the area involved in the surgery.

Moving forward, what is going to be your focus?

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