Forrester-HIMSS Experiential Benchmark Study 2020: Engineering the Digital Doctor-Patient Relationship

Forrester-HIMSS Experiential Benchmark Study 2020: Engineering the Digital Doctor-Patient Relationship


Inspired by Daniel H. Pink’s book, Drive, Dr. Dales Sanders, Chief Technology Officer, Health Catalyst, presciently shared in a presentation, Raising the Digital Trajectory of Healthcare:

Our current “data-driven” strategy in healthcare is sucking the life out of physicians’ sense of Mastery, Autonomy, and Purpose.

We know that physician burnout existed before coronavirus pandemic. In fact, in 2019, 40% of physicians surveyed by Medscape reported that they felt burned out, and 24% admitted that they had suicidal ideation. We also know that it’s about to get much worse with COVID-19.

This brings the recent groundbreaking Forrester-HIMSS Experiential Benchmark Study 2020, Engineering the Digital Doctor-Patient Relationship, to the forefront. The research sheds light on approaches to culture, data, technology, and strategies some organizations are leaning on to measure and manage provider burnout. Arguably, this will be a top priority once the dust from the COVID-19 pandemic finally settles.

The patient and provider experience is deteriorating against a changing landscape. Increasing competition and high costs of care threaten the success of traditional healthcare providers. To assess the current state, Forrester and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) surveyed 174 US healthcare professionals on their digital health adoption and strategies.

Key Takeaways

  • Patient-Focused Healthcare Organizations (HCOs) Invest in The Right Building Blocks: HCOs that prioritize outcomes and the patient experience lead in digital adoption and customer obsessed strategies. Align culture to improving experiences and outcomes.
  • Healthcare Leaders Can’t Afford to Ignore Burnout Within Their Organizations: Despite a long-standing lack of attention, HCOs are developing best practices to improve the provider experience. Focus on how digital can augment clinical workflow and productivity.
  • Tomorrow’s Winners Will Put the Digital Doctor-Patient Relationship First: Patients compete for their provider’s attention, while providers focus on checking boxes, creating a poor experience on both sides. Craft a strategy to optimize the holistic experience to succeed.

Further, the research finds that provider experience continues to be the forgotten leg of the quadruple aim.

  • Providers do not have the information they need to see a full picture of the patient.
  • Providers are frustrated with their EHRs, but high value optimization strategies are under-utilized.
  • Organizations are pursuing burnout reduction strategies before burnout measurement strategies.

In contrast, ‘patient-focused’ organizations are best aligned to deliver on all quadrants of the quadruple aim. These organizations are most likely to:

  • Have a formal strategy for measuring patient experience.
  • Offer comprehensive virtual services covering primary and specialty care, as well as digital services targeting chronic conditions.
  • Most likely to have a strategy in place to: reduce EHR dissatisfaction, measure physician burnout, and reduce burnout.

In the report, the Forrester researchers offered 5 steps to creating a stronger doctor-patient relationship:

  1. Align your culture to improving outcomes and delivering a great experience.
  2. Prioritize technologies that collect real-time data from customers
  3. Build a bulletproof business case for burnout reduction strategies with two KPIs.
  4. Net quick wins and executive buy-in by focusing early efforts on high-value strategies.
  5. Continue the dialogue by joining the Forrester-HIMSS experiential research cohort.

Download the full report and corresponding webinar.

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