Posted By Mercury Healthcare on 01/14/2022

Patient Engagement in 2022: 3 Trends to Watch

Patient Engagement in 2022: 3 Trends to Watch

This past year was one that brought on continued change, fueled by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as hospitals and health systems reassessed how their organizations engaged with their patients and communities. A study from HIMSS showed that U.S. healthcare patients “want a personalized experience powered by new technologies,” with 47% of millennials preferring a telehealth visit over a traditional in-person office visit, and 77 percent of patients willing to share healthcare data if it will impact their health[1].

As consumers continue to demand a seamless experience, the way that healthcare providers interact and engage with their patients and members of the community will have to match these expectations. In the year ahead, we foresee three interconnected themes that will emerge to keep health systems and hospitals at the forefront of consumer-centric care.

1. Patient engagement, with a focus on not only acquisition, but retention, will redefine how organizations engage with patients and consumers.

Through initial research that Mercury Healthcare presented alongside CommonSpirit Health and Johns Hopkins Medicine, a direct correlation was found between patient retention and overall patient lifetime value - on average, for every one percent positive change in retaining a patient over five years, there's a four percent increase in the total lifetime value of the measured patient cohort.

Further, this study confirmed that early patient retention had an even greater impact on lifetime value. New patients with no visits in the subsequent two years after their first visit are only nine percent likely to utilize the health system in the third year.  In contrast, new patients with at least one visit in each of their first two years after their first visit show third-year encounter rates of 54 percent. That six-fold difference has a significant impact on lifetime value.

2. Successful health systems and hospitals will apply predictive analytics and insights to promote improved outcomes that extend beyond the clinical arena.

Healthcare providers have increasingly committed to less siloed views and better management of their data. The next step is to apply data and analytics to predict and engage consumers. Not only do engaged patients show reduced adverse clinical outcomes across a number of conditions, but the type of engagement matters. Healthcare providers that utilize analytics that not only predict clinical need, but layer with insights around personalized engagement, will achieve a multitude of improved outcomes for the patient and the organization. The goal - the right message, using the right channel, delivered at the right time.

In addition to improved patient outcomes and experience, these efforts will also accelerate population health efforts and potentially address disparities in health equity that were underscored during the pandemic. By leaning into comprehensive models and predictive analytics, healthcare providers will have a broader view of their communities, and improved personalization, allowing them to reach consumers and patients effectively when they need it most.

3. Hospitals and health systems will rethink how they “view” a patient by building a holistic, 360-degree patient profile.

Combined with the first two trends, the third trend that will shape 2022 is that hospitals and health systems will rethink how they “view” a patient by building a holistic, 360-degree patient profile. This 360-view of a patient gives healthcare providers the opportunity to know the individual as a consumer before they become a patient while understanding their behavior "between" clinical care journeys. From here, health systems and hospitals will be better able to reach a consumer before they know they need care, which will then translate into improved overall health outcomes. By looking at a holistic view of a patient, healthcare providers can start to address broader challenges within their health system, including population health outreach, reducing the financial demands on the system, and maximizing network optimization, all while also reaching consumers in new ways.

These three themes all point to a powerful, interconnected conclusion: patient engagement matters. In the coming year, there will be a brighter spotlight on the impact that data and insights have on improving positive outcomes for all stakeholders. We expect that these data-driven insights will enable organizations to anticipate needs and build enduring relationships between consumers and providers.

Learn more about Mercury Healthcare and how our solutions create seamless healthcare experiences that improve outcomes.

 [1] “New Data from HIMSS Shows Rapid Digital Health Adoption Necessitates Personalized Patient Technology.” HIMSS, HIMSS, 15 June 2021.

Jessica Friedeman
Chief Marketing Officer

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