St. Johns Medical Group enhances the patient experience with intelligent automation
Discover how St. Johns Medical Group enhances the patient experience with intelligent automation. Learn how they’re improving staff capacity, and more.
“This will bring us back to the human-to-human connection that primary care used to have decades ago.”
Rosemary Bonilla, VP of Physician Practice & Ambulatory Care at St. Johns Medical Group (SJMG) a subsidiary of Episcopal Health Services Inc., (EHS) believes that healthcare automation has the potential to restore the personalized, human-to-human connection that primary care once enjoyed.
“It's important to communicate the purpose and reason for adopting new technology like Notable,” said Bonilla. “We are here to serve our community with quality, compassionate, and safe healthcare, and this technology will help us do that more efficiently. It's about bringing it back to our purpose and mission, which is to serve our patients to the best of our ability.”
Enhancing the patient experience through personalization
In today's fast-paced world, it is vital to meet patients' needs and preferences in order to deliver the best possible patient experience. St. Johns Medical Group understands this and has made significant strides in enhancing the patient experience by leveraging Notable to infuse personalization into the patient pre-visit registration process.
“We asked Notable to help us create a digital survey tool for patient feedback at the end of every visit, which means we’re getting feedback more often than when we used paper surveys alone,” said Bonilla. “Since doing so, we’re at 94% patient satisfaction from patients who complete the Notable registration process.”
SJMG strives to meet patients where they are, so providing a digital option key for patients to be able to engage - at home or on-the-go - and in the language of their choice.
Lack of language access can adversely impact the health of those with limited English proficiency by creating gaps in access and quality of care received. Using Notable, SJMG can automate patient intake and personalize communications based on social determinants of health (SDoH) such as language and literacy, and communicate with patients in their preferred language.
In addition to being able to complete registration forms in the language of their choice, the Notable experience is intuitive and easy to use. For example, patients do not need to download a new app or create a log-in to complete registration through Notable, and information shared from previous visits is automatically populated for patients to review and confirm.
Since deploying Notable, SJMG reports that 7% of intake forms are completed digitally in Spanish, and is looking to expand to French and Creole to better serve the 20% of patients that speak those languages. Previously, this level of personalization required teams of professionals - including care coordinators, medical assistants, and nurses - and multiple hours of work to deeply examine a patient’s clinical history, assess SDoH, and manually contact the patient. Today, Notable powers this level of proactive, personalized care without any increase in staff.
“EHR optimization isn’t enough, and as a safety net institution serving the underserved and the uninsured, we can’t afford to spend millions on an EHR,” said Bonilla. “Healthcare automation is necessary to get us where we need to be with patient engagement. Part of that is helping to bridge the language barrier gap that stands in the way of delivering high-quality care in every patient interaction.”
By evaluating completion rates and survey responses in conjunction with operational data from their EHR, SJMG is able to consistently pinpoint areas for enhancement and make informed decisions on optimizing automations to ensure maximum engagement.
Improving staff capacity and patient experience with automation
The healthcare sector faces numerous challenges, including clinical labor shortages, rising expenses, and increased burnout among staff. Bonilla emphasizes the importance of digital technology in achieving the quadruple aim: reducing costs, increasing patient satisfaction, improving the patient experience, and alleviating staff burden.
“We're trying to help providers by reducing their administrative burden. But regulatory and compliance requirements are increasing and we really can’t add any more people to do that work. Instead, we need to become more operationally efficient; we need a tool to help us automate workflows so we can help our team members’ work at the top of their license, and we’ve found that with intelligent automation.”
Like most other hospitals and health systems, EHS faces labor shortages, rising expenses, and staff and provider burnout. The pandemic was a key driver that forced many organizations to reevaluate their existing processes and workflows for engaging patients and creating staff capacity to serve them.
For Bonilla, the answer was clear: “If the EHR isn’t producing the results we need, then we need to add a digital tool that does. Technology needs to support a quadruple aim: reduce costs, increase patient satisfaction, improve quality, and reduce staff burden so they can get back to purpose — which is to focus on developing relationships with patients and providing compassionate care.”
Embracing technology for a better patient experience and a brighter future
Bonilla believes that healthcare should be at the forefront of adopting new technology, despite its historically slow pace in doing so. She sees the potential in automation to create a more welcoming and efficient front-desk experience, allowing staff to build stronger relationships with patients.
“We have the technology, so we might as well use it,” she said. “Think of the front-desk experience with healthcare automation. Now the team member is free to smile at you, to ask how your day is going, and build that relationship instead of being bogged down by administrative tasks.”
St. Johns Medical Group’s partnership with Notable demonstrates the power of healthcare automation to enhance the patient experience and increase staff efficiency in delivering safe, compassionate healthcare. By embracing innovative technology, the medical group is not only addressing industry-wide challenges but also re-establishing the human-to-human connection that is at the heart of compassionate patient care.
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