Slotkin, Wendling to provide a keynote on balancing technology with the personal touch

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

SAN DIEGO, CA – As consumers turn more and more to smart phones, tablets and mobile apps to find doctors or seek answers on whatever ails them, Geisinger Health System is also using these same devices to drive patient engagement.

Geisinger now uses iPads, text messaging appointment reminders, patient portals and mobile apps for surgeries as a way to improve care by better connecting with patients. And the Geisinger in Motion (GiM) Team is now planning a “bring your own device strategy” to take patient engagement to the next level.

GiM Director Chanin Wendling and Medical Director Jonathan Slotkin, M.D. (both at right), a spinal neurosurgeon, will share the health system’s patient engagement strategies and more on Monday, Oct. 12, at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) Media Patient Engagement Summit in San Diego.

Wendling confirms that patient data is being used to develop Geisinger’s patient engagement IT strategy moving forward.

“Really the core of that strategy will be about patient preferences and individualized approaches,” Wendling said. “Unlike retail, the health care field has traditionally been focused on a one-size-fits-all model. Patients all respond differently and have different values, so we want to develop some models that will really allow us to capture those patients’ preferences and approaches.”

Wendling emphasizes that a key to Geisinger’s IT strategy is the continued partnership with the clinical team. That’s where Dr. Slotkin comes in. The GiM medical director originally teamed up with Wendling to boost patient engagement levels among spinal surgery patients, and has now officially joined the GiM team to enable patient engagement across the enterprise.

“Digital patient engagement and mobile technology will play increasingly important roles in the advancement of the value care agenda in health care,” Dr. Slotkin said. “The value equation means providing superior outcomes with improved cost efficiency. Geisinger is now applying the same reproducible rigor traditionally reserved for quality improvement work to the important area of patient experience. Digital and mobile technology will be crucial as we aim to ‘hardwire’ excellent patient experience. ”

While creating greater digital patient engagement, Wendling says they’re conscious not to lose the integrity of the personal patient-care provider relationship.

“It’s not that technology will replace the doctor-patient connection. Rather, we’re demonstrating how they will complement each other,” Wendling said. “We’re not advocating one way or the other but a combination of both. We just have to balance the personal touch with the digital experience.”

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