Reimagining patient engagement with OSF HealthCare

As patients increasingly seek personalized healthcare experiences and continuity of care, more healthcare organizations are embracing the consumer-first notion of healthcare delivery. For a whole host of business reasons — reclaimed revenue, increased efficiency and patient retention, and improved outcomes and health equity to name just a few — organizations are reimagining patient engagement, recognizing how imperative it is to their success.

OSF Healthcare, an integrated health system owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, in Peoria, Illinois, had a goal to engage patients on their own terms, when and where they wanted to engage in their care. OSF understood that revamping their approach to patient engagement would help scale care team efficiency and enable nurses to deliver the personalized care that patients are seeking.  

OSF partnered with Get Well in 2017 to implement our digital care management solution, GetWell Loop, starting with orthopedic, spine, and cardiology service lines. And when COVID-19 hit, they knew they had a tool in place that could help, so they implemented the COVID-19 Pandemic Healthcare Worker Loop. OSF then launched a discharge Loop in 2021, followed by a pregnancy/postpartum Loop and a pediatric RSV loop in 2022. 

After deploying digital tools, methods, and processes designed to make the healthcare journey easier for patients, OSF found it had successfully bridged the need for a convenient, continuous care experience with the need for relief for busy clinicians. Reimagining patient engagement in this way has resulted in some impressive outcomes:

  • 10% reduction in readmissions for high-risk general discharge patients
  • 87 NPS for parent satisfaction with RSV care
  • 8,000+ patients served during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 5x increase in depression screening and blood pressure monitoring
  • 1 nurse to every 400 patients coming through the general discharge Loop

Meeting patients where they are: How personalized, consumer-centered care improved postpartum outcomes and experiences at OSF

For postpartum patients, patient-centered experiences are more than preferential – they’re vital. The CDC reports that among pregnancy-related deaths, 53% took place within 7 days to 1 year postpartum. While providing consistent, patient-centric experiences can prove challenging in often-overwhelmed hospital systems, digital engagement technology can fill this need, allowing care teams to seamlessly check in specifically on the population of pregnant and postpartum patients who often experience gaps in their healthcare.

Through OSF’s OSF OnCall, they offer an always-available digital care platform, making healthcare more accessible to the communities they serve. In 2022, the organization sought to improve touch points between their staff and the systems’ pregnant and postpartum patients specifically, providing 24/7 access to their pregnancy and postpartum program. 

OSF rolled out OSF OnCall Connect, enrolling pregnant and postpartum patients in a series of tech-enabled messaging pushes with education and check-ins based on personalized needs and stages. It was rolled out initially to patients on Medicaid, and utilizes GetWell Loop to remotely engage with and monitor their patients. GetWell Loop helps them meet patients where they are, providing timely reminders and check-ins, and alerting care teams to any concerning patient-reported results. 

Importantly, GetWell Loop is embedded into OSF’s Epic experience, allowing clinicians to manage and message multiple patients at one time, and providing access to round-the-clock resources for patients seeking support. 

“What our moms like the most is that they have a chat feature. So they can literally send us like a text message, and we can text them back and make their fears go away, which is awesome,” said Kara Roat, Digital Patient Care Manager for OSF OnCall on a January podcast episode of Health Accelerated

Part of making OSF OnCall Connect successful in improving outcomes for this population was its focus on social determinants of health. As the program focused on patients using Medicaid, the technology helped those who would otherwise have lacked the resources required to receive adequate care and health interventions. For pregnant patients without reliable transportation, for example, OSF OnCall Connect provides a way for them to find resources related to their individualized needs, reach out to their care team, and be remotely monitored accordingly. 

Tech-enabled, patient-led care outcomes

In the time since the program began, more than 1,300 mothers have been enrolled, empowering patients to take charge of their health through a self-navigated, remotely-monitored solution. 

Kate Johnson, an RN and Supervisor of the Pregnancy and Postpartum Support Program at OSF OnCall, hears from her patients and colleagues alike that the GetWell Loop-enabled program reassures patients and saves lives. “Our patients love this app, because they can access the information when they want to, which is especially huge for our demographic. We have young women, they’re busy, they have other children, they have jobs. And it’s so nice that they can just pull our app up anytime they want in what’s convenient for them,” she said.

Another facet of the program providers appreciate is the ability to manage more than one patient’s care at a time. Rather than making phone call telehealth appointments, spending 15-30 minutes of traditional appointment time on one patient at a time, clinicians can assist multiple people at once through virtual messaging features, and triage needs as necessary. “We can help so many more people. The nurses have a really good pulse on how that patient’s doing. And we can tailor their education and the care that we give them based on how they answer those checking questions. It’s been a really good fit for us,” Johnson shared.

Personalized, provider-approved patient education 

Utilizing a digital-first, personalized approach to care is key in making interventions where necessary, and improving the patient experience by giving them the tools they need to find and take advantage of provider-approved resources. By leveraging tech, OSF OnCall has given patients what they want and need and provided clinicians with the ability to offer comprehensive, truly fulfilling care. With such successful implementation of GetWell Loop across the organization, Roat and the OSF team are excited about how the program can scale and expand.

To hear more about this program from Kara and a team of experts on tech-enabled, patient-centered care solutions, access our on-demand webinar to discover how OSF transformed patient engagement using our digital technology. The webinar features OSF’s Brandi Clark, Vice President, Digital Care, along with Kara, plus Get Well’s Michael O’Neil, Founder and CEO, and Megan Mancini, VP, Strategic Partnerships.