Closing gaps in care

How patient texting is helping quality managers communicate with patients

By:

Laura Beier

Published:

November 30, 2022

Quality managers have some of the most challenging jobs in healthcare—not only are they tasked with finding and prioritizing quality measures, but also filling those gaps for hundreds of patients.

Digital messaging can help bridge the gap between quality managers and patients, by providing a frictionless channel for each party to communicate. Instead of leaving voicemails that may not get received, or losing emails in an inbox, questions can quickly be answered and patients can get the care they didn’t know they were missing.

A day in the life of a quality manager

Within primary care groups, the role of a quality manager is to act as the bridge between an insurance company, and the actual practice, oftentimes part of an accountable care organization (ACO).

Normally, an insurance company pays a certain amount per patient in a practice’s population, measured by areas of care. Each insurance company may have a different amount of areas of care—called quality measures—and it’s up to the quality managers to narrow down these measures across the insurance companies the organization has contracts with.

Say there’s been an uptick in colon cancer in males aged 50 to 65 years old in Minnesota. Insurance companies would then provide incentives to ACOs for each colonoscopy performed, to prevent colon cancer in this population. 

Quality managers can then go through the organization’s patient population, and see who all fits in this demographic. Do they have a colonoscopy lined up? If not, that’s a gap in care; they then need to reach out to patients to get one scheduled.

Texting to bridge the gap

It sounds simpler than it is—find the gaps in care, and close them by scheduling preventative procedures for patients. But oftentimes quality managers cannot get ahold of patients in time, and the gaps remain. 

Maybe a voicemail inbox is full, or not set up. A quality manager might spend hours on each patient, trying to get in contact with them to close this gap. Talk about wasted time! Not only is the patient missing out on care, but since practices are measured on how many care gaps they close and how well they serve their patients, their incentives are harder to achieve.

That’s where patient texting comes in. This familiar and frictionless channel that nearly everyone has access to—in fact, approximately 97% of American adults text at least weekly—is an effective way to communicate frequently with patients and inform them of gaps in their care. 

Using digital messaging not only helps quality managers bridge existing gaps in healthcare but also overall benefits patients as they increasingly receive the care they need. Learn more about patient texting or schedule a conversation with the Kipsu team today.

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