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Change Healthcare Partnership to Round Out Good Patient Experiences

The partnership with Adobe and Microsoft will tie together clinical tools with administrative tools to streamline and improve the patient experience.

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Source: Thinkstock

By Sara Heath

- Change Healthcare has joined forces with Adobe and Microsoft to streamline different patient touchpoints and optimize the patient experience, the companies announced at this year’s HLTH conference in Las Vegas, NV.

The collaboration will integrate the Change Healthcare Intelligent Healthcare Network, the Adobe Experience Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Together, these technologies will collect and activate patient data from each disparate datacenter and health IT sources. Specifically, the partnership will drive better use of EHR data, registration, patient billing, appointment scheduling, and other patient-facing areas.

Overall, this will connect the clinical and administrative technologies most healthcare organizations use. Instead of tying different administrative tasks to the patient portal and EHR, the collaboration will allow medical professionals and office staff to toggle seamlessly between various applications, a capability that Change Healthcare president and CEO Neil de Crescenzo said will enhance the healthcare experience.

"This unique collaboration is all about helping our customers put the consumer first," de Crescenzo said in a statement.

"Bolting transactional features onto portals can't provide the frictionless, end-to-end experience consumers want,” de Crescenzo added. “That ideal can be met only when providers can infuse and orchestrate intelligence into touchpoints across healthcare's administrative, clinical, and financial continuum. This alliance aims to merge the finest consumer capabilities with unrivaled healthcare data, AI-enhanced workflows, and operational expertise—and that's the key to help providers keep patients connected with care and wellness solutions throughout their healthcare journey."

The partnership will also enhance provider users’ efforts for patient outreach. Change Healthcare, Adobe, and Microsoft will each support revenue cycle management capabilities as well as patient relationship management (PRM) systems, both of which are essential to the patient recruitment and retention puzzle.

The deal will also aid provider organizations in their transitions to more consumer-centric healthcare. The medical industry is seeing an increasingly engaged patient who wants to interact with their providers the same ways consumers engage with other areas of the retail industry, said Adobe executive vice president of worldwide field operations Matt Thompson.

"Patients today expect the same seamless, personalized experiences with healthcare providers they already know from other consumer brands," Thompson explained. "By collaborating with Microsoft and Change Healthcare, a pioneer in healthcare IT, we'll be able to help transform the way healthcare organizations engage with patients across all channels, from follow-up care coordination and caregiver personalization to cost transparency."

The three companies embarked on this partnership because current patient engagement technology options were falling short of patient expectation, the three said in a statement. Even though many healthcare organizations are investing in patient engagement tools, they are not getting out of them what they put in.

An ORC International study noted that only about one-fifth of patients said technology improved the patient experience, while one-fifth said tools detracted from the experience. Some of the most popular patient engagement tools still only yield about 30 percent patient uptake, the companies cited.

Provider organizations have noted that many technologies are too convoluted to gain patient adoption. According to Saltzer Medical Group president John R. Kaiser, MD, OB/GYN, the tethered solution from Change Healthcare, Adobe, and Microsoft can start to alleviate that problem.

"As a multi-specialty clinic with urgent care, we are on the forefront of consumer trends in healthcare," Kaiser noted. "Our patients want the digital tools to simplify and improve their healthcare experience, so it is critical that we bring them the best experience—connecting and simplifying each step in their healthcare journey to improve their lives. Helping them better understand what they need to know and do, and making it easier, can only lead to great outcomes for our practice.”

In addition to driving patient activation in care, healthcare organizations have been facing an imperative to drive consumer-centric healthcare. This means not only engaging patients in the clinical aspects of care, but driving customer service in healthcare, as well.

By connecting important clinical and administrative technologies, Change Healthcare and its partners in Adobe and Microsoft may streamline patient engagement technology and enhance the overall patient experience.

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