In looking at the major trends for 2019, the Digital Health Coalition asked our advisors to weigh in on the question of “how is pharma managing data management?” HCB Health’s Analytics Specialist, Jennifer LoMonaco, offers this excellent summary of how to approach the various data segments properly in order to successfully impact patient engagement.

Using Data Integration To Improve Patient Engagement

By Jennifer LoMonaco


Understanding and knowing the customer’s needs, challenges, and satisfaction points are essential in gaining new business and building brand loyalty. The healthcare industry is no different as organizations work to better serve patients. Organizations have a wealth of data available to help inform and improve communication and engagement with patients, but sometimes the real challenge is in making sense of the data and connecting the online and offline pieces.

Some common pieces of data easily accessible by healthcare organizations include website analytics, social listening data, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, electronic health records (EHR), and National Provider Identifier (NPI) data.

Organizations typically have access to website analytics, providing insight into the content and tools of interest to patients and the online resources they initially seek and those they find valuable enough for a return website visit. Social listening provides a glimpse into patient thoughts and opinions as well as the influencers helping to shape the online conversation. Merging website analytics with social listening data can help an organization better understand the information patients are looking for as they cope with a new diagnosis or manage an ongoing illness.

Hospitals and physician offices have EHR data, and while there are HIPAA regulations to protect individual privacy, organizations can use the aggregate data from many patients to develop segmented groups. EHR data can be integrated with CRM systems, which contain various data points like demographics, interaction history, and clinical and behavioral information, and some organizations have a separate CRM system for physicians that provides insight into prescribing behavior and history.

While each of these pieces of data provides important information, leveraging their combination can offer valuable insight to help in the development and implementation of things like:

  • Educational programs targeted to specific groups of patients based on behavior, diagnosis, or demographic information
  • Website content development and CRM outreach focused on the patient journey to serve timely resources and materials at key moments
  • Social service support offered during key moments of diagnosis or treatment and personalized based on previous interaction with a goal to improve patient compliance and overall health and wellness
  • Healthcare provider resources to help physicians be more aware of prescribing history, facilitate provider-patient communication, identify potential at-risk patients, and more

While there is a vast array of available healthcare data, looking at it individually siloed offers limited insight and diminishes the potential value of its integration. Putting the pieces together allows the opportunity to develop meaningful insights and offer actionable next steps to improve patient engagement.

Related Resources from the Digital Health Coalition On Data Management
January 2019 Newsletter
An Interview with Roche’s Jim Lefevere

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