Healthcare Consumer Engagement Hubs: A Framework for Improving Consumer Health Journeys

December 18, 2018

// By Melanie Graham //

Melanie GrahamHealthcare marketing today is about much more than getting someone in the door for an appointment. Rising care costs, evolving technology, and new payment structures have changed the way consumers make healthcare decisions and altered how healthcare marketers approach patient loyalty.

Healthgrades’ recently published white paper “The Longitudinal Customer Journey” focuses on integration of electronic health record (EHR) systems and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms to better understand consumers’ health journeys.

The white paper pivots off a broader concept introduced by research and advisory company Gartner last February: “health consumer engagement hubs” (HCEHs). This framework visualizes a future in which all consumer systems are connected, accessible, and actionable. The paper asserts that there is no one tool on the market today that provides every system needed for a true HCEH, but progress is being made in integrating EHR and CRM systems.

Heide Schulte, vice president of enterprise platform engagement at Healthgrades

Heide Schulte, vice president of enterprise platform engagement at Healthgrades

Heide Schulte is vice president of enterprise platform engagement at Healthgrades. “What really sparked our interest in writing a response to Gartner’s research was the idea of connecting the EHR and CRM systems,” she says. “It was great to see a third party like Gartner wrap that whole picture around the value of the two systems being connected.”

Gundersen Health System works with Healthgrades CRM on patient engagement programs that leverage the CRM with Epic, its EHR provider. A case study of one such program, included in the white paper, was also featured in an article in eHealthcare Strategy & Trends. We spoke with Pamela Maas, chief business development and marketing officer at Gundersen, to get an update on this work, which has continued and expanded. “Our focus has really shifted to a lot of other elements of engaging the population in health and wellness,” she says.

In this article, we share highlights from the “The Longitudinal Consumer Journey,” with added color and commentary from Maas and Schulte.

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