Readmissions are not a good thing for anyone involved, as they are costly to both patients and hospitals. But research is showing that psychographic segmentation can help decrease readmissions by tailoring communication to individual patients. Psychographics dive beneath the surface to consumers’ values, attitudes, personalities and lifestyles and understanding their unique motivations. This increases the likelihood that patients will follow through on treatment, decreasing their chance of readmission.
In our whitepaper published by FierceMarkets, we discuss the proof that illustrates how psychographic segmentation can improve heart health. Here’s a quick look at what’s inside the whitepaper:Communication is Critical
The amount of readmissions a hospital has is not entirely controlled by the quality of care of healthcare providers. The patients themselves have an active, important role in their care. They must follow their given treatment plan, communicate with their caregivers when there is a problem and be engaged in their wellbeing.
This is why communication is critical to better outcomes. Warning signs can be caught and addressed early, education can be provided and confusion can be eliminated, allowing engagement to increase. However, not all patients benefit from the same methods of communication.
How to Increase Patient Engagement
Since not all patients communicate in the same way, it’s important for healthcare providers to understand the best ways to connect with different types of communicators. Unlike the consumer world, in healthcare, no one can be left behind. Everyone is part of the target audience. Psychographic segmentation is one way to understand the differences in communication styles.
Consumer industries have been using psychographic segmentation for decades, and it has recently joined the healthcare sphere. To determine which segment each patient is in, patients receive a 12-question survey, a method developed by Procter & Gamble, that places the patient in one of five categories:
Self Achievers: proactive, motivated by goals, will go to regular check-ups
Balance Seekers: open to opinions, choice is critical, will make the final decision
Priority Jugglers: busy, proactive for family’s health, reactive for themselves
Direction Takers: follow professional guidance if it fits in their routine
Willful Endurers: struggle with habit changes, only go to the doctor when necessary
Each of these categories has distinct personality traits, making a one-size-fits-all solution ineffective when it comes to healthcare. For example, Direction Takers will listen to their healthcare provider without asking many questions. Balance Seekers, on the other hand, want to know their options and make the final choice themselves, rather than be told what to do. Addressing these communication needs is a key way to improve readmission rates and quality of care.
Using the psychographic segmentation model, PatientBond has made adaptive technology a key part of its model. Communication methods, frequency and even the way messages are phrased are all based on research and then individual preference. Some patients might like emails while others prefer a phone call. Additionally, patients can show their understanding of content through surveys or response prompts in communication.
The technology’s intuitive dashboard shows clinical staff which patients could be a readmissions risk. This helps the staff focus their energy on the right patients to create the best outcome.
Does it Work?
The whitepaper outlines how a large hospital system implemented psychographic segmentation and adaptive technology for congestive heart failure patients. After the hospital had 315 discharges, their 30-day readmissions decreased by 90% - from 18.5% down to less than 2%.
Prevent Cardiovascular Events
So if we can reduce readmissions, can we also prevent why patients are admitted in the first place? Well, the current heart health guidelines take a one-size-fits-all approach, which we know is not the most effective way to reach patients. When psychographic segmentation and adaptive technology expand to all cardiovascular advice and guidelines, there will likely be a decrease in hospital admissions and an increase in cardiovascular health.
For more information on psychographic segmentation and how it reduces readmissions and prevents cardiovascular events, download our whitepaper here.