Increases Patient Engagement With Expanse Patient Connect

mature woman checking phone at home

Phoning patients with appointment reminders can be time consuming for everyone involved, and often results in a frustrating game of phone tag. However, Hancock Health has been able to improve patient outreach and engagement through Expanse Patient Connect, MEDITECH’s automated communication solution.

In a few short months, Hancock Health is already seeing noticeable benefits, including increased patient satisfaction, reduced no show rates, and improved staff efficiency.

Recognizing the need for a robust solution

Communicating with patients through another vendor’s bidirectional texting tool was creating issues for Hancock Health.

“We had issues with it integrating into the EHR,” said Director of Information Services Angela Soliday. “We also couldn’t control the frequency of texts or customize the content. We needed more flexibility to increase the usefulness for staff and patients.”

Soliday noted that the tool led to integration issues and the inability for disparate systems to communicate with each other, creating potential gaps in care and workload redundancy. In addition, departments weren’t able to define how many messages were sent and when, resulting in patients complaining about the volume of texts.

The healthcare organization needed a solution with advanced functionality that could be customized and tailored to its needs.

Communicating more effectively with patients

Expanse Patient Connect seamlessly integrates with the rest of Hancock Health’s MEDITECH EHR. Its flexibility allows the organization to control more aspects of patient communications, including defining message cadence and merging messages between departments and practices. By reducing the number of texts that patients receive, Hancock Health has addressed a pain point from its previous solution.

“Everyone – staff and patients – loves Expanse Patient Connect,” said Soliday. “It’s easy to install and easy to use. Plus, it allows us to customize messages so we can control the volume and type of messages going out to our patients. We’ve just scratched the surface of its functionality and it has already exceeded our expectations.”

According to Soliday, more and more staff have requested access to Expanse Patient Connect because they want to incorporate the dynamic tool into their patient communications. The texts also drive patients to the patient portal for test results and messaging, which provides another avenue for continued engagement.

Hancock Health is also seeing measurable results since implementing Expanse Patient Connect. In the three months since going LIVE with the solution, the organization saw a 35% reduction in no-shows from the three months prior to implementation. By having patients cancel appointments via text ahead of time, Hancock Health can fill those empty slots with new appointments, reducing the potential for lost revenue.

Taking patient outreach to the next level

In the near future, Hancock Health plans to take advantage of more advanced functionality to focus on population health initiatives. With approximately 10,000 patients overdue for mammograms, the facility aims to use targeted texting campaigns to remind those patients to schedule their test. In addition, staff can use campaigns to remind patients to get a flu shot or schedule an A1C test.

Soliday stated that Hancock Health also plans to leverage the MEDITECH solution for scheduling diagnostic imaging appointments and informing patients of facility closures due to inclement weather.

“Expanse Patient Connect provides a vital communication link between our facility and our patients,” said Soliday. “We’ve seen the benefits across the board, from reduced no-show rates to increased patient engagement and staff efficiency, and are excited to explore all the other ways it can help us.”