Mayo Clinic's quick tips for driving patient engagement

Operations Manager Angie Puffer reveals tactics that have worked well for Mayo. 
By Tom Sullivan
04:39 PM

BOSTON — Angie Puffer, operations manager in the Mayo Clinic’s Office of Access Management, spoke at the Healthcare IT News Pop Health Forum 2016 and shared some of the lessons Mayo has learned in attracting those to the patient portal.

Puffer said that even though they’re garnered from work on that portal, they also apply to other patient engagement programs and tools. Here they are:

1. Tell a story to providers and staff. Puffer takes the mythbusters approach and backs up her assertions with data.  One myth, for instance, is that only the young and savvy use patient engagement tools. The truth: Among Mayo’s patient population the largest user segment of its portal are people between 50-64 years old and the second largest is 65- to 79-year-olds.

2. Connect patients to relevant information. First, Mayo analyzed login data of patients to see what they are accessing.  Then they asked doctors what they want to discuss with patients via the portal and other technology tools. That let to finding connection points to bring patients and doctors together.

3. Invest in subject matter experts. Puffer explained that Mayo seeks out people who want to be change agents and assigns two main roles: consultants and implementers. Those people are then designated to step up and become the main point of contact for a given topic.

“Our primary value is 'the needs of the patient come first,'" Puffer explained. "That culture piece is a big part of how Mayo Clinic does patient engagement."


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This article is part of our reporting on the Healthcare IT News Pop Health Forum 2016. Other stories in this package include The essence of population health? Design and user experiencePopulation health management views from the frontline, and Geisinger CEO David Feinberg calls for 'The Year of the Patient'.