Better Patient Engagement a Hot Topic at HIMSS22

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The Sphere team has returned to our offices (virtual and otherwise) after a successful and productive trip to the HIMSS22 Global Health Conference & Exhibition.

It was great to reconnect with our partners, customers, and other stakeholders in Orlando, and the Sphere team left the conference full of energy and enthusiasm for what the future holds for healthcare technology’s potential to help providers achieve the quadruple aim of improved population health, lower costs, an enhanced patient experience, and greater provider satisfaction.

For Sphere, a major focus at HIMSS22 included showcasing our digital-forward TrustCommerce end-to-end patient payments platform and highlighting new digital wallet support within its Epic MyChart integration. In addition, Sphere demonstrated new Advanced eBilling and collections capabilities within its Health iPASS platform.

Before HIMSS22 gets too far into our rearview mirrors, we wanted to take this opportunity to share some of our team’s reflections and observations about major takeaways from the event:

The need for better patient engagement: American consumers have grown increasingly comfortable with using online tools to manage activities as disparate as dinner reservations, banking and hairstyling appointments, and it’s hardly surprising that they’d expect their healthcare providers to deliver a similar level of ease and convenience. That explains why many of the providers we connected with at HIMSS emphasized the need to digitally engage with patients early and often throughout their medical journeys.

It is more critical than ever that providers find new methods of engaging patients in the payment process, such as increasing price transparency, offering omnichannel payment options personalized to individual patient preferences, and sending the right payment-related message to each patient at the right time. Digital tools such as self-scheduling, online check-in, and post-visit payment plan options are essential to boosting patient engagement.

A way to improve collections amidst the labor crunch: Due to the pandemic-related labor shortage, some providers have been forced to spend more on employee recruitment and retainment, sweeten benefits packages, and increase signing bonuses. Faced with rising labor costs, providers must seek new ways to leverage technology to boost the efficiency of existing staff while also maximizing collection rates to increase revenues.

Digital tools, including patient-self-scheduling capabilities for appointments, automated appointment reminders, online pre-service check-in, and post-visit payment plan options, offer providers numerous benefits, such as improved collections, greater operational efficiencies, and integration with third-party software applications, including electronic health records systems.

A continuing focus on health equity: Given the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on America’s most vulnerable populations and communities, a significant point of emphasis at HIMSS22 revolved around how the healthcare industry can achieve greater equity for the patients it serves. Without question, technology has a role to play in reducing health inequities by increasing access to care for patient populations that have traditionally struggled to afford high-quality care on a consistent basis. By offering pre-visit cost estimates and post-care payment plans, providers can expand access for financially insecure patients.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to engage with us at a memorable and enjoyable HIMSS22. See you next year in Chicago!

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