Every single hospital or system, at its core, thrives to better involve patients in their care by improving patient engagement. In this article, Zach Silverzweig, Co-Founder at CipherHealth, explores and expands on how patient engagement fits into the larger scope of Health IT.
As a cancer survivor in college, Zach experienced first-hand the incredible gaps that exist in healthcare. Upon receiving his Master’s degree at Columbia University, Silverzweig began his career as a consultant before seeking an opportunity to create technologies that would be capable of positively impacting patient outcomes. Among his many hats, Silverzweig leads the product and development teams at CipherHealth. We caught up recently to talk about the product, healthcare IT, and our place within that ecosystem.
Q: Where do you see the future of Patient Engagement Solutions?
ZS: In some areas of technology, I’m a futurist. I believe in VR and AI and an amazing tech-driven world. But for healthcare, I’m a realist. For every article I read on wearable tech and patient apps, I recall my experiences and seeing firsthand the challenges of engaging various patient populations. For me, the future is not a specific piece of technology, but instead a truly integrated patient engagement platform capable of meeting patients where they are. We need to identify how the patient wants to communicate, engage [patients] through their preferred channel, and then provide the right touchpoints to improve their health outcomes.
Q: Why won’t EMRs also take on patient engagement?
ZS: They will and they do. Patient Engagement definitely has to include the patient’s web access to their medical record, to bill payment, and to access medical education. I think the challenge for current EMR companies is that they are all extremely good at their core competency in their core market, but virtually none have extraordinary breadth across the entire care continuum. A dedicated Patient Engagement solution can be designed to support the needs of all of these different types of organizations, which is what we are building at CipherHealth.
Q: What do you think is the most important thing providers should consider when looking for patient engagement solutions?
ZS: It can be tempting to select a vendor that will do one thing really well. I would try to avoid this trap unless you really have an amazing data warehouse and core middleware technology infrastructure already in place. What I believe providers should look for is a comprehensive solution that can engage patients at different points in their journey and provide different modalities of outreach really well. Ideally this a partner that has proven to be #1 in multiple product categories and provides an integrated platform that makes it easy for the right people to access the right information.
With the healthcare industry shifting from a volume to a value-driven industry, it is more important than ever for healthcare providers to find cost-effective strategies for achieving results. Read more to see how CipherHealth’s patient engagement solutions assist providers in reducing costs, improving outcomes, and enhancing patient and staff experiences.