Providence St. Joseph Health is a large health system that operates 51 hospitals and more than 35 non-acute facilities across seven Western states.
With more than 20,000 clinicians, Providence St. Joseph needed a way to gain visibility into the network and create a more consistent patient access experience – especially amid continued M&A activity.
“At Providence St. Joseph Health, we had more than 15 different databases and directories where provider practice information was managed,” explained Karen Appelbaum, executive director, enterprise access operations and technology. “This resulted in varying and incomplete data about our providers on our websites and for our contact centers, in addition to producing operational inefficiencies.”
As a result, patients were challenged to use the Find A Doctor tool previously on the website to find the right doctors for their needs and preferences.
“Often, prospective patients would find a doctor online they wanted to see, only to call for an appointment and find out that the doctor they chose was not accepting new patients or not appropriate for their needs,” Appelbaum said.
“Additionally, our outsourced Patient Access contact center was similarly limited in assisting patients, and only 28% of the patients who called were able to book appointments with us. This was a sub-par patient experience for both online and phone scheduling.”
Providence St. Joseph Health turned to IT vendor Kyruus for the solution to its problems.
“The KyruusOne provider data management platform provided a central repository for managing all provider data in one place, eliminating multiple databases and redundant data entry,” Appelbaum said. “This platform became the data source for all Providence websites and contact centers. The solution also has self-service analytics to help identify providers with incomplete and/or outdated profiles and manage their profiles to completion.”
Further, as staff focused on creating a new, in-house Patient Access center, called the Patient Engagement Center, they deployed Kyruus ProviderMatch for Access Centers, also built on the KyruusOne platform, to enhance patient-provider matching and allow for consistent provider data across Providence access points.
There are some other IT vendors that cater to this provider data management area, including Availity, Definitive Healthcare, IQVIA and LexisNexis.
MEETING THE CHALLENGE
The new platform receives a daily feed from Providence’s credentialing/medical office databases with the roster of all active providers on medical staff and the data elements managed by credentialing, such as board certifications and education.
Within the platform, practice managers or providers themselves can edit specific information such as clinical keywords for procedures/conditions of focus, if they are accepting new patients or not, a professional statement, and photo.
That data now automatically feeds all Providence Find A Doctor tools on the websites, and also is used by the Patient Engagement Center for patients who call for help finding a provider.
“We have a designated leader who regularly reviews the ProviderMatch analytics, and shares data with practice managers and providers to ensure all profiles are complete, especially for new providers during onboarding,” Appelbaum explained. “Further, the analytics show us the top search inquiries from consumers through both the website and Patient Engagement Center, and how those searches – demand – compare to our provider inventory – supply.”
Staff have shared this information with business development and operations for consideration, especially where there are gaps in consumer requests, she added.
At the start of implementation of the new platform, only 21% of all 20,000 providers across Providence had a complete profile, meaning the profile contained the provider’s specialty, clinical keywords, locations, accepting new patients indicator, professional statement, and photo. One year later, 91% of providers had complete profiles.
“With improved profiles, we are better-positioned to help patients find the right providers for their needs and preferences, whether searching online or calling into the Patient Engagement Center,” Appelbaum stated.
After insourcing and creating the Patient Engagement Center with an emphasis on offering a concierge level of service, the access center now fields more than 500,000 calls per year and has improved appointment conversion rates to 70%, a 150% increase. Robust provider information consolidated into one database is a key component of achieving this result, Appelbaum said.
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
“In order to have a successful access strategy spanning multiple channels, including digital search engine optimization, online scheduling and call centers, it is critical to have one robust provider directory,” Appelbaum advised. “Different online versus call center databases will always result in data variation and incompleteness.”
Providence found that the providers across its organization were enthused about this work so that the right patients could find and book appointments with them, and Providence could simplify the process for them and their practice managers by only having to work with one database, she concluded.