BOSTON, Feb. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Few topics in healthcare IT have been more widely celebrated than patient engagement in recent years. Yet the reality of digital participation from patients in their own care is far removed from the hype according to the latest report from Chilmark Research: 2014/2015 Clinical Patient Engagement Market Trends Report. The first-of-its-kind report on this emerging technology sector reveals a market wherein healthcare organizations (HCOs) are still doing the bare minimum when it comes to digital, between-visit or post-discharge interactions with patients. This is running counter to broader market dynamics – such as consumer advances in mobile and cloud technologies, federal incentives like the Meaningful Use program, shift to value-based reimbursement, and greater consumerization of care delivery through retail clinics and pricing transparency. Leading, innovative HCOs recognize this and are making moves but broad adoption faces a host of challenges.
Focusing on the clinical applications of engagement technology, this report found that the basic patient portal, often tethered to an electronic health record (EHR), still serves as the foundation for a majority of digital patient interactions. After interviewing several healthcare executives, clinicians, and over a dozen technology suppliers with established footprints in the provider space, Chilmark found a mixed market for new approaches to clinical patient engagement, where some provider organizations have yet to adopt even these basic patient portals, others have begun piloting advanced, "smart" tools. It is clear that patient engagement is taking a backseat to other enterprise priorities, such as defining and integrating clinical networks, building analytics capabilities, mastering risk-based contracting, and making other preparations for effective population-based health management.
Despite the proliferation of new technologies and use cases in recent months, Chilmark's research found a market still struggling to catch up with basic consumer expectations set by banking, airline, and other major consumer industries. Beyond EHRs, several vendors, including those with backgrounds in information exchange or CRM, have gained traction with untethered products. Yet even among this group, most offerings have limited or no mobile-friendly patient tools or advanced care planning applications. Other solutions that have had success to date – from standalone mobile-first tools to interactive inpatient platforms, do not represent complete, end-to-end solutions.
The report suggests this speaks to an emerging best-of-breed approach, where HCOs will pick and choose multiple vendors in an effort to meet the diverse clinical and business needs across different departments and patient populations. No one technology vendor has shown an ability to do it all.
Report author, Naveen Rao, sums up the state of affairs: "The majority of today's market is operating at a kind of standoff: provider organizations are relying on their existing vendors to lead the way on new engagement tools, while those companies have been reactive, not proactive, with their customers' engagement needs. The more innovative products – the mobile apps, cloud-based care plans, remote-monitoring plays – are coming from outside traditional legacy vendors' purview. While some of the bigger vendors are showing signs of updating their products, we expect to see most legacy vendors follow a buy rather than build strategy to address market needs more rapidly."
The report outlines both the advanced use cases that will play a pivotal role in enabling value-based models of care, as well as the specific technical and organizational challenges that vendors and HCOs are navigating when it comes to developing and implementing a modern patient engagement strategy. The research profiles 14 market-leading vendors* of clinical patient engagement solutions, rating them on both the completeness and sophistication of their product offering as well as their performance in serving the provider segment of the healthcare industry. With few exceptions, vendors fared poorly in creating longitudinal records and offering modern mobile tools for patients.
The report is available to subscribers of the Chilmark Advisory Service or may be purchased separately. For more information, visit www.chilmarkresearch.com/reports. Direct inquiries for purchase should be addressed to Sean Campbell at [email protected]
About Chilmark Research
Chilmark Research is the only industry analyst firm focusing solely on the most transformational trends in healthcare IT. We combine proven research methodologies with intelligence and insight to provide cogent analyses of the emerging technologies that have the greatest potential to improve healthcare. We do not shy away from making tough calls, and are respected in the industry for our direct and thoughtful commentary. For more information visit: www.chilmarkresearch.com
*Vendors Profiled: Aetna/iTriage, Allscripts, Axial Exchange, Cerner, Dossia, Emmi Solutions, Get Real Health, GetWellNetwork, Influence Health (MedSeek), McKesson/ RelayHealth, MedFusion, Microsoft HealthVault, NoMoreClipboard, WebMD
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