By changing a system architecture that had stopped patients’ numbers from being filtered by cell carriers, the health system has been able to widen its outreach efforts.
Thousands of patients of Indianapolis-based Community Health Network were missing critical updates from the health system.
A sizable chunk of the organization’s one-way text messages to patients – Epic MyChart activation codes, multifactor authentication codes, video visit links, eCheck-in reminders, operating room status updates and more – were simply going undelivered. Patients were calling into the health system complaining they did not receive an appointment reminder, a link or other information they needed.
All told, 5.7% of the messages the health system sent that were tied to Epic and automated out of the EHR were not being delivered. And while 5.7% might not sound like a big figure at first, working at Community Health Network’s scale – sending out on average 435,000 messages a month – it shook out to about 25,000 messages that were disappearing every month.
“The downstream implications of those missed messages are both immediately apparent and a little harder to grasp,” noted Dr. Patrick McGill, chief analytics officer at Community Health Network. “On the one hand, missed appointment reminders can lead directly to a missed appointment. On the other hand, communication lapses always result in poor patient experience, leading to a degradation in patient loyalty over time.
“In the world of pre- and post-care patient engagement, nothing else matters if you can’t get in touch with the patient,” he continued. “You can’t provide exceptional service if your messages are never arriving.”