Blog Post
Patient Experience

R1 RCMNovember 3, 2020

5 Takeaways from the SHSMD Connections Bytes Conference

SHSMD 2020 Connections Bytes conference for patient experience transformation

R1 was proud to sponsor the 2020 SHSMD Connections Bytes Virtual Conference on October 27-28. The agenda was packed with outstanding presentations by healthcare leaders who shared their insights and ideas on a wide range of topics. Everyone worked hard to make the virtual event both interactive and informative. 


Here are a few key takeaways:


  1. COVID-19 Accelerated Strategic Initiatives
    It’s no surprise that many organizations shared how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their strategic plans. A positive outcome for many organizations is that the pandemic served as a catalyst to accelerate key strategic initiatives, including rolling out telehealth more broadly and prioritizing digital patient experience projects and timelines.

  2. Patient Volume Has Not Recovered

    Health systems are still struggling to convince all consumers to come back for in-person care due to ongoing anxiety and safety concerns. While some of that volume has shifted to telehealth, it still falls far short of historic patient volume levels for most organizations, leaving persistent gaps in baseline historic volumes.

  3. Contactless, Self-Service Processes are a Priority

    Many organizations view digital patient engagement as key to bringing patient volume back. Hence, it’s a high priority to roll out more options for patient self-service scheduling – beyond screening mammograms to include MRIs, CTs and USs – coupled with mobile, contactless pre-registration and intake processes.

  4. Good Provider Experiences Lead to Good Patient Experiences

    There is an increasing focus on improving provider experiences around orders, referrals and self-scheduling. Giving referring providers easy-to-use tools to enter referrals and orders electronically increases the rate of conversion to scheduled appointments and helps ensure care plans stay on track. Moreover, making it easy for referring providers to do business with the health system also has a positive effect on patient satisfaction.

  5. Healthcare Leaders are Committed to Diversity and Equality

    Several healthcare leaders relayed their inspiring examples of more personalized, persona-based outreach to their communities, moving away from siloed, service-line approaches. Integral to this outreach is a commitment to Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives as well as a deeper understanding of the impact of Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) to increase meaningful consumer engagement against the backdrop of the current political and social environment.


Navigating the uncertain times ahead will continue to be challenging. As health systems prioritize digital front door strategies in response to the pandemic, they are finding that access to care is only part of it. What’s needed is a well-executed digital patient experience strategy that enables organizations to:

  • Engage consumers and patients with a broad range of mobile self-service tools, and
  • Simultaneously increase efficiency across the underlying patient access and revenue cycle processes for both the health system and its referring providers.


With both the external-facing and internal-facing perspectives in clear focus, healthcare organizations can map out a strategy to optimize across all the key touchpoints for both patients and providers. As the takeaways from the SHSMD event highlight, the way forward with digital front door initiatives varies by organization.



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Register for our upcoming webinar session , "Optimizing Digital Patient Experience - 10 Point Checklist for Success" featuring  Dr. Ronald Hirsch, MD. FACP,  CHCQM, VP of Physician Advisory Solutions at R1 and Joe Polaris, MBA, SVP of Product & Technology at R1.


Author Bio: Content written on behalf of R1 RCM.

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