Our award-winning patient engagement platform is the most comprehensive platform in the industry and the only provider that seamlessly combines both voice and digital for optimal patient outcomes.

Listen to Matt Dickson and Chandni Mathur discuss why leading healthcare organizations trust us to deliver a frictionless patient experience. Topics include:

Our comprehensive patient engagement platform

Our seamless software integration

Our ability to deliver an unparalleled patient experience

Our strategic partners

“Stericycle Communication Solutions implements effective, data-driven, 'welcome mat' strategies for the optimal consumer experience, placing itself at the industry forefront.”

Azza Fazar, Best Practices Research Associate, Frost & Sullivan

frost and sullivan best practices awards

Our Speakers:

Chandni Mathur

Chandni Mathur

Senior Industry Analyst, Frost & Sullivan


Matt Dickson

Senior Vice President, Stericycle




Delivering a Frictionless Patient Experience Transcript

Matt Dickson: “Good afternoon, I'm Matt Dickson, Senior Vice President of Product Strategy and also the General Manager of Communication Solutions here at Stericycle. We are the division within the Stericycle that focuses on patient engagement. Joining me today for our exciting webinar about the frictionless patient experience is Chandni Mathur with Frost & Sullivan. She's going to share some thoughts with us today about how Frost & Sullivan views the patient engagement space, how they believe that's evolving, and also why Communication Solutions was awarded frost and Sullivan's 2021 North American patient engagement customer value Leadership Award. So thank you today. So much for joining me Chandni.”

Chandni Mathur: “Thanks, Matt. Thank you for introducing me as well. Happy to be a part of this discussion with Matt. We track patient engagement very closely and based on the stellar performance that Stericycle had, and the patient engagement space based, you know, this heart is absolutely right to award them with the Customer Value Leadership Award. Diving into the presentation today. So, yeah, a quick introduction about such, Matt given his introduction, I’ve introduced myself. Quickly around what patient engagement really is. There is no standard definition, but it is an evolving concept, and we will delve into what we really think of patient engagement. The key trends around patient engagement and where it is really headed. And in the end, we will summit everything up to understand where Stericycle really has an advantage and what their USP is. So, yeah, that's us. I'm a senior industry analyst with the Frost & Sullivan Digital Health Practice. I specifically look at patient engagement, telehealth, remote patient monitoring and the like and on the whole, virtual care and no better time to be a part of digital health than now.  We have seen the pandemic completely transform the way delivery care delivery has been happening and everything is now virtual. Meet patient engagement absolutely important. So yeah, kicking, kicking off with really understanding what patient engagement is. So Matt, what do you think? I mean, I was really thinking about, you know, now is the time for patient engagement to really take off and it is no longer good to have. It is really a must have. And I think all healthcare providers now are not just looking at it as a concept to sort of, OK, let's take a look. Let's talk about it. But now they have, you know, the satisfied budgets to have strong patient engagement tools. So that is where we are and it's a great place to be, even for Stericycle. What do you think?”

Matt Dickson: “Yeah, I absolutely agree. I think what's kind of shifting it to a must have is certainly, you know, consumers patients at the end of the day, our customers for many different areas in their life, right? So they're getting this great level of convenience when they order something off Amazon, right? They're getting this great level of convenience and many of the experience they have today, and they're expecting that same kind of convenience in the healthcare space as well. And I think the other thing that's really kind of transforming the industry and making this a must have experience is those non-traditional players that are entering this space. At Amazon Care is launching in 20 different, you know, their hybrid models, launching in 20 different cities this year and all the main ones you can think of. I happen to be sitting here in Chicago today, New York, L.A., CVS dipping their toes into the primary care space. So certainly you're going to see a new kind of wealth of competitors, really well-funded competitors that is, their bread and butter of their core experience is that convenience as well. So it's going to be imperative that health systems keep pace and really match them from an experience standpoint as well on digital patient or patient engagement in general is the core of matching them on that experience.”

Chandni Mathur: “So absolutely. And you know, it's a lot about patient activation as well. And eventually resulting in better healthcare outcomes. And we've seen, you know, patient engagement and engagement has been around for about five years or so really as a discussion as something to really get to the table and talk about. We've seen great benefits of having patient engagement incorporated into health systems, and I think that is where we are to sort of promote that positive patient behavior and not just help in improving outcomes, but also helping the physician, the caregiver see benefit out of, you know, having the patient more engaged. So, so absolutely, I agree with you. So there is this wave in which the patients demand these solutions as well. So based on that, you know, we did some analysis of the total, the overall global patient engagement market as a part of our research activities and everything together. This market is expected to grow at more than 20% to be exact, 20.3% in the next two to three years. And that is phenomenal growth for any kind of healthcare IT market. And what is really fueled it, in my opinion, has been the last two years of the pandemic. The silver lining that came from the pandemic was the fact that suddenly virtual care became the only method of care delivery. Suddenly, the patient was not in the four walls of the hospital or the primary care center and attracting that patient and making sure he is completely in tune with the delivery mechanism. That’s what became really important, and that is where patient engagement will sort of really, really grow and grow in terms of deployment, as well as the revenue that they've seen. Totally about, we see the total market to stand at about $30 billion US in 2025. So yeah, it's a good time to be in this market. It's a thriving market. And yeah, I mean, there are so many combinations that are so many innovations and that there's so much of a gap that is still existent in the system right now that vendors in the space have tremendous opportunities out there.”

Matt Dickson: “You made a good point with the pandemic, really shifting the way people want to consume healthcare and also those expectations. One of the things we noticed we do an annual patient engagement survey. And one of the things we noticed that 64% of respondents to our survey said they still prefer virtual waiting room to a physical one, right? So that was really something that was adopted during the pandemic. The ability to instead of being in a waiting room to wait in your car or wait at some other location until it's actually your time to be seen and be notified at the time to come in. Certainly something that was unheard of prior to the pandemic quickly adopted during the pandemic. But yet that preference remains till today, and we're certainly we're working through the Omicron surge, which is supporting some of that. But my guess is it's never changing back, right? People are still going to want to opt into that experience even years from now, hopefully when COVID is behind us.”

Chandni Mathur:  “Yeah, no, you're right. I mean, I wouldn't want to go back to hospital to get an appointment, but I know it can be done as easily as me booking, you know, ordering a book on Amazon. So, you know, that's the kind of convenience that patients have already got a taste of, and I don't think there's any going back from where we are today.”

Matt Dickson: “Yeah, absolutely.”

Chandni Mathur: “Yeah Yeah. So, yeah, that leads us to a good point about what do consumers value the most? And this is, again, out of a lot of research that we did, you know, around this topic and four core areas convenience, which you've already spoken about engagement and that to continuous and sustainable personalization. So I do not want a one size fits all and at the end, privacy, because eventually my identity is, is there. The patient does not want to disclose all of its into all of its information. They're aware of their rights. And I think that is these are the four core pillars that any patient engagement solution should sort of definitely stick to for launching. It is not just about the patient over here. Even the healthcare providers are looking for aspects in which you are ensuring better user experience. Convenient scheduling options do not confuse the patient that already is sitting outside the premises of the hospital, and you're looking at a variety of patients, not just the ones who are, you know, who find it easy to use their smartphone, but also those who do not have access. There are still patients out there who want to use their phones to book an appointment, but there are errors in getting all of that information and making sure that information is passed on correctly, leading to a lot of unnecessary failures in the system. So, so there is a lot of importance given to convenience. Engagement, patient education continues to be absolutely important. And I think, you know, going back, patient engagement really started off as a mechanism for educating patients about their condition, about their medication, about how they need to adhere to it. We cannot move out of that completely. It is still about making sure that the patient understands what he's being treated for, getting his complete buy in and eventually support shared decision making, which is the eventual aim of any health system who is trying to cut down costs. Make sure the healthcare outcomes are optimal. The staff is not going out and the quality overall remains so. So that is the second key aspect of it here. Personalization? Absolutely. We are in the world of consumerism. Patients want to make sure they are being treated with the right, you know, the way they really deserve to be treated. A customized communication approach is absolutely essential. We cannot have, like I said, a one size fits all approach to dealing with any patient. Again, all of this eventually leads to a better healthcare outcome, and I think that is what the point of all of our patient engagement tools is as well. And of course, privacy data leaks are real. We've seen several of them. There are platforms which are created which sort of promise not, you know, data leaks, but they have happened. And I think that is where cloud-based systems come into the picture. The, you know, the overall cloud market has also seen a surge in the last two years. And you know, all of these things coming together, solid infrastructure, a good proposition, you know, assuring that the patients are in line along with the care providers, that sort of creates that good mix and a good solution for any provider to take up.:

Matt Dickson: “Yeah let me double click on a few of those because I think you hit on some key points. I think the first part or point you hit on is you have to understand the goal of engagement. The goal of engagement can't be just to engage. It has to be to create patient activation. And the way we view activation is helping or getting that patient to take the next most appropriate step in their healthcare journey, right? You got to move beyond engagement to activation, and all the things you talk about are important parts of that, particularly personalization. Today, largely, we see kind of one size fits all approaches. You know, I look at, again, our patient engagement survey. Really, what this pandemic has done, I think, is fragmented preferences to a large degree. So when we ask people, what are the things that get you to respond or to take an action? The respondents we talked to is 33% said that an email is the most likely course of action. We've heard forever email is dead. Clearly, that's not the case, but mostly I'm that 29% saying a phone call, right? So you can't just take a one size while I'm always going to email well, that's the largest percentage of your population, but there's still a huge percentage that aren't going to feel activated by that approach. So figuring out what is that channel of activation, what's the content that activates patients and really personalizing, I think you make a great point there is that customization is really important as you think about your engagement strategy.”

Chandni Mathur: “Yeah, Yeah. No, I agree of, you know. You know, those statistics are really compelling. And I think that is what has providers eventually look for that? Oh, what is, you know, what does the customer speak? What are what are they even responding to any of these things? How are they responding? We need to go definitely to levels deeper before we create any of these solutions and take them to the market, because that will decide the eventual business model and the eventual outcomes of having this in the market as well. So, so yeah, it makes a lot of sense, actually. Yeah, but you know, these are, you know, also looking at the reasons for the slower uptake. A lot of these solutions and this is, again, based on a survey which was done by NEJM and they pointed out that the top five reasons if you look over here are they're not covered by insurance, always. And that requires vendors to take this up with the insurance providers and get them included. And again, based on a lot of evidence that these solutions are actually beneficial for it could be reduced readmission rates or improved quality outcomes improve parameters in certain disease conditions. So that kind of discussion needs to be done with the insurance companies. Integration, integration, integration the biggest issue ever, and I think that needs to be definitely, definitely top priority within the entire healthcare IT ecosystem, right, Matt? It's so critical to address this problem.”

Matt Dickson: “Yeah, I mean, absolutely the key is that the EMR has to be the single source of truth without appropriate integration, it makes it difficult to achieve that. So it certainly makes it much better from an administrative standpoint, from a clinical standpoint, if these tools can pull the appropriate information from the EMR, get that to the patient in a meaningful way, get them to take action and help the clinician delivering the care. Understand what's been done. And then also the outcomes being Fed back into the EMR from these tools. I completely agree. It's getting better. That's the good news. Yeah, we still aren't exactly where I think we need to be. But again, that is a core point of all these solutions is integration is key if you really want to have not only a seamless experience for the patient, but to your point earlier, we've got to make it better for the caregivers as well and create a smooth experience for them too.”

Chandni Mathur: “Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that's true. And you know, we are also entering an age of platforms, right? Platformization of everything. And that is where this becomes even more important interoperability and the fact that systems talk to each other is so important eventually to create that platform, which act as a conduit of information and make sure all of that is actually going into better clinical decision making, for example. But yeah, and that leads me to the next. The fourth point on this, and that is about the unclear benefit. All of these things tie-in really well with each other. And because the providers currently, you know, are unclear about the eventual benefit to them. It is important also for further inventors in this space to sit down with the providers to understand what their real issues are. It could just be, two, but if as a provider and as a vendor in this space, if solving those two, then you hit the ball out of the court. So it's really about that. And definitely complexity of use. I've heard this time and again from not just, you know, patients about, you know, this app doesn't book and I'm talking about patients who are probably outside who are not very tech savvy and there is tremendous complexity in the use of these services. And because there is no interoperability at times, you know, it does not feed into the other systems, which again causes a lot of confusion.”

Matt Dickson: “Yeah I was just going to say, if I get hit on that for a moment, that complexity I use again, our survey pointed out. 37% of our respondents said they were only somewhat satisfied with their online scheduling experience and the number one leading dissatisfied was it just took them too long to make an appointment online. Something that should seem so simple should be very simple. People are struggling with it's taking too long to do. And to your point, that certainly is slowing some of that adoption and uptake because it's taking something that's supposed to create convenience and instead of creating frustration.”

Chandni Mathur: “Yeah, yeah, Yeah. No, that's absolutely true. Um, and these are things which might seem, you know, complexity of use that is something a lot of times vendors ignore because they like, you know, look at the benefit we're giving, and it is just one more step. But well, that one more step, like you said, takes forever to get completed on that. And that is when the patient loses interest, that's a very critical point. So, so ensuring patient stickiness is so critical in this entire. Yeah so moving on quickly on what are the key trends and this is about, you know, I mean, we put together this slide to just sort of talk about how the consumer is shifting from, you know, the focus being only when the patient is at the clinic at that the point of care and that of shifting across the care continuum from pre to post care to not just having a recovering patient in the picture, but a monitored patient all empowered by patient engagement tools.”

Matt Dickson: “Yeah, we see a ton of focus today on the patient acquisition part, and that's what you've noted here, right? That's where the high focus is today. We certainly, I think, can do better and certainly I wonder how health systems think about how they measure their ROI around spend. What are the tools you're using to your point to take somebody from a recovering patient to a healthy individual? What are the ways you can engage with them, inform them, help them make better decisions as they're on that road to recovery to the ultimate end goal, right, is returning them back to a healthy state.”

Chandni Mathur: “Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And that's true, and you know, that takes me to the next point, and that is around the overall convergence of technology and heads get together to achieve the quadruple aim and specifically referring to the US markets over here, because that is really where hospitals are also looking at and we're talking about, you know, better healthcare outcomes, reduced staff burnout. So making sure that they are also being able to be as efficient as possible. We're looking at the quality of care and the whole improving. So, you know, these are a couple of things. And this has been happening over the years. But today there are that convergence, that decade of convergence currently where all the kinds of different healthcare tools are getting together along with different technology tools, which are it could be IBM or, you know, sensors, you know, the usage of the cloud, which is huge today, artificial intelligence, interoperability, all together, coming together and post 2025, we do sort of foresee technology being the great power, which is sort of controlling healthcare and being and is an active partner to support the overall delivery of quarter of the quarter billion in health systems across.”

Matt Dickson: “Yeah, I completely agree. I think what this really shows or demonstrates is we have a tsunami of data coming in now. We've never had before. You can share your Apple Watch data with your healthcare provider today to your point, though. How do you wrangle that? How do you turn that data into something understandable and actionable? And then how do you engage the patient, communicate with them in a way that gets them to take the next step right? And these are things where my concern, you know, as a whole for this patient engagement spaces that right now this data has just as much likelihood to overwhelm not only the patient, but to your point, the provider potentially leading to more physician burnout, but also, you know, it also could be game changing, right with the right tools on top of it to make it actionable. And that's where you talk about the big data, the analytics, the artificial intelligence, what's going to serve you look through and sift through all this data to get to the key points that need to be communicated and create activation and need to be acted on.”

Chandni Mathur: “Absolutely, absolutely. I think that that's absolutely critical. Now moving on to where this cycle really has an advantage and, you know, looking at what companies can really offer to use the use, the kind of forces that are creating this environment today. And you know, on the left side, talk about the fact that healthcare is not just at the four walls of the hospital, but outside to be helping it get anywhere, anytime, you know, the need for a sustainable digital fund. Those strategies and I use the word sustainable very carefully because there are a lot of solutions in the market who are giving a quick fix to a lot of problems creating additional front door. But do I look at sustainability over there? Not really. And I really discuss why. And also eventually we've seen accelerated. Usage and deployment of virtual care services. And that was the silver lining of the pandemic, which I spoke about earlier as well. And what is really required, what is the call to action in all of this? Is A) we need fully integrated systems. B), we need to make sure that they use the patient, and the users are able to use the systems that you are developing. The user experience being absolutely critical. And the third one is around partnerships that you have in place in the industry to sort of steer you through the different kind of challenges that you might foresee in the future. So planning a lot of planning while deciding who you should be partnering with. And, you know, I think Stericycle definitely is that in all of these parameters with the kind of solutions that they have right now. Matt’s planning to take us through some of the solutions that. And typically I'm focusing on three things integration user experience. And eventually, like I said over here, the partnerships that you have in place. So why don't you take us through some of these partnerships where we think you were absolutely excellent with respect to the competition?”

Matt Dickson: “Yeah so certainly the integration as you spoke to, we view the EHR as a single source of truth. We want to make sure we're feeding that information and getting it from and flowing it back through the EHR to the point where we've developed some proprietary technology that allows us to access some additional data in instances where maybe the API infrastructure for a particular EHR isn't as robust as needed. And really the thing that for us, I think is important as well as we touch the patient through the entirety of their lifecycle, right? So we touch them. And again, you hit on a good point there, too, about partnerships. We know we can't solve for every problem. So we went out, identified people that we feel are really strong partners that help us solve for other problems in that patient life cycle. And really, today it all starts with health systems need to have a really good digital presence, particularly around reviews, right? You talk about how consumer experiences are being shaped in healthcare from other ways that we go and get information. We're all being trained to look at online reviews prior to making our decision. So yeah, that's really through a great partnership. We'll talk through in a minute here with Yext that helps us with that. But again, we're helping them get scheduled right time, right provider, right menu of care. We're helping to remind them of their appointment to show up prepared or helping ensure that they are compliant with referrals, whether that's to a specialist or to a diagnostic. We're helping them with post discharge to ensure that they understood their discharge instructions and really making sure that we're kind of the Canary in the coal mine to ensure we're calling out instances where maybe the patient's degrading over time, instead of getting better to get them into an in-person appointment outside of an ED setting to ensure that that's not something that is obviously a suboptimal patient experience, but also an experience that erodes the profitability of health systems and really that continuous and constant engagement through our marketing services campaigns. These are things that help people ensure they're engaged in the long-term health reminders for flu shot season, for example. Yeah, reminders for its breast cancer Awareness Month. Let's make sure you've gotten your mammogram with those, really, and that's the power of that platform that consolidates solution. We're not only sending that information to them, but we're giving them clear calls to action that are convenient and that allows us to really achieve an activation rate that outpaces our competitors. It's that combination of tools, technology, integrated solution, and people as well. And that, I think is really what makes us unique in this space.”

Chandni Mathur: “Absolutely 100% agree with you. And it is again going back to when you were talking about the entire care continuum. I think Stericycle’s solution is fitting so well as the company who's in that realm are ready to be contributing to the entire continuum and making sure the post-discharge services reference. All of these things come together. So seamlessly that we are just it makes a lot of sense for the provider as well. And this one a market first. I love this feature about the solution, and that is around how you can schedule using your voice as well. It is not just on an app, it helps that section of the population, which is not. Which is not tech savvy, reduces tough one out because it is happening automatically at the back end. There are no errors in the system. It is completely error free and scheduling forms the most important part of that digital front door strategy. And I think Stericycle makes a great mark over here.”

Matt Dickson: “And again, to your point, it's not only people who aren't technically savvy. You made this point earlier. Not everybody has equal access to technology. So having that live voice component, whether its preference based or need based for them to reach out and do that scheduling. And the other thing it offers as well, not every appointment is a good fit for online scheduling. There's a lot of specialty type appointments that require a level of sophistication that isn't easily represented in an online scheduling environment to ensure that not only is the person seeking appropriate care, but again at the end of the day, ensuring that health system is going to receive appropriate reimbursement. You don't want someone's scheduling an online appointment because they have heartburn with a cardiologist, for example, so help me make sure they arrive to the right place, right time right provider. I think having both of them at your disposal ensures that.”

Chandni Mathur: “So absolutely agreed with you. And this is, you know, the third big area of a Stericycle is the market, and that is around the kind of partnerships they have.  Yext, Symplr, HEALTHAWARE has developed three strong companies out there and great partnerships. You know, in the picture right there to make sure said it stands out of the competition. These are tools which enable smoother transition, smoother engagement, and quicker activation of the patient as well. So some great partnerships out there.”

Matt Dickson: “Yeah, very excited. Again, they help us solve for problems that you can't solve for everything and key components that platform-based approach to solving these problems quickly.”

Chandni Mathur: “Exactly absolutely. And that's key, right platforms. We're in an era of platforms. We need to get things together to make sure they work. And with the kind of interoperability standards you have in place already, I think this should have been, as you know, a good fit for a Stericycle as well. And, yeah, a couple of great stats out there for, Stericycle. You know, the kind of situations you have in the market. And again, talking about how there's a reduction in the readmission rate and these are the stats that providers really want to see, right? They want to see that, hey, where am I really going to get the benefit from this? And how is this cycle differentiating itself from the competition? And these are so these are compelling statistics. So some great work out there with the kind of stats you have.”

Matt Dickson: “Yep thank you.”

Chandni Mathur: “And, you know, this is and bases all of the, you know, the discussion that we had with Matt earlier as well. You know, this is a process that we have in place. It's called the best practices program that we have at Frost & Sullivan. But we have a team of about 2000 analysts who track different types of markets regularly. And patient engagement is one area which I track me, and my team track very closely. We did. We had companies out there with different solutions. And based on a lot of and we had discussions with Stericycle, it's a detailed process which takes some time. But based on that, we definitely thought Stericycle Communications Solutions was the absolutely correct recipe for the Customer Value Leadership Award. So congratulations to the team at Stericycle, Matt and all everybody who's contributing to the successful story right there.”

Matt Dickson: “Well, yeah, absolutely. We are certainly honored and couldn't be more thrilled or excited to receive the award. And to your point, certainly it's not me alone that accomplished this. Our partner network is a part of winning awards like this, and all the people that work for me do that hard work every day. Any time you talk about value leadership at the end of the day, much of that value is created by the people that do that hard workday in and day out. And we certainly have those people and very appreciative of those appreciative of your time and being even considered, let alone selected for the award.”

Chandni Mathur: “No, it was very well-deserved. We were honored to even discuss resolutions and the kind of, you know, we use the phrase the welcome mat strategies is again, very carefully because you are a very important part. Stericycle is a very important part of that new ecosystem. Ready to translate strategies play a huge role and I congratulate you for that. And I wish you and the team the best of luck to take this to many, many successful levels in the future.”

Matt Dickson: “All right. Well, thank you so much for your time today. Thank you for joining us. Great thoughts. Really great discussion. We truly appreciate it.”

Chandni Mathur: “Thank you. It's my pleasure. It was great speaking to you, Matt.”

Matt Dickson: “All right.”