Data Management Is Key to Successful Digital Patient Initiatives

April 24, 2023

// By Ron Shinkman //

ron-shinkman-headshotCompetent data management can be even more crucial than any specific consumer-oriented patient initiative.

When tasked with creating digital services to help patients find the right office or medical department at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Lisa Williams smacked right into a brick-and-mortar reality: Many buildings dotting the hospital’s sprawling, cliffside campus shared the same address as OHSU’s main hospital. That meant patients using Google Maps or relying on rideshare services could be dropped off far from the correct clinic door.


Lisa Williams, senior director of growth and loyalty at PeaceHealth

“What’s the worst thing to be doing when you don’t feel well? Being lost,” Williams said during a recent eHealthcare Strategy & Trends webinar, “Build the Data Management Foundation You Need for Successful Digital Healthcare Consumer Experiences.”

This was one of the many changes OHSU made to improve location data accuracy, working closely with the Portland Bureau of Transportation to get new and unique addresses for various buildings on its campus. The very day the new numbers were affixed to the buildings by crane, they were input into OHSU’s Google My Business profile, and then updated on Google Maps, Williams says.

Now as senior director of growth and loyalty for PeaceHealth, another large provider system in the Pacific Northwest, Williams is applying lessons from that experience to better craft digital services and platforms for patients. PeaceHealth is further challenged by its sprawling enterprise of 10 hospitals and 164 medical group offices in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. The system treats more than 560,000 unique patients annually and has 17,000 employees.

Williams discussed her experiences along with Rachelle Montaño, vice president of clinical strategy at Loyal, an Atlanta-based technology firm that helps health systems unify enterprise data and build stronger relationships with patients by understanding their intent. It works closely with PeaceHealth on creating patient-centered digital initiatives.

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