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The Importance of Clinical Engagement in Access Initiatives: A Provider’s Perspective

Digital | Patient Experience | Patient Access | Change Management | Online Scheduling


It is becoming increasingly clear: patients want better access to care and more convenient options. Even though healthcare has traditionally been far behind digital advancements, especially compared to the retail and service industries, health systems are waking up. However, while the majority of their efforts have been focused on the consumer and meeting their expectations, for organizations to truly differentiate their digital front door, they must listen to the voice of their providers and engage them in the process.

The Challenge: Clinical Engagement

For many organizations, this step is one of the most challenging. Additionally, the state of provider engagement is far from optimal at most health systems. This is due to a variety of reasons, including increasing demands on providers to perform more non-clinical tasks, pressure to see more patients in less time, and complicated schedule management that sometimes results in inaccurate patient-provider matching. Simultaneously, the alarming rise in provider burn-out has left many disenfranchised. Despite these challenges, it’s in an organization’s best interest–and ultimately their patients’–to create opportunities for providers to be actively involved in their patient access and digital strategies.

Partner with Providers, From the Start

In a new report, we surveyed 200 providers to uncover their thoughts on clinical engagement in health systems’ digital access programs. What did it reveal? Providers want to be more involved in these initiatives, but 94% said they see room for improvement with their health system’s communication around patient access initiatives.1 To gain alignment early on, start by inviting providers in leadership roles to be members of your digital access and data governance committees. These leaders will serve as a valuable resource, not only providing input on your strategic vision but also helping communicate and share it with the broader provider base.

How to Get Provider Buy-In

As health systems invest in their find-a-providers to drive patient acquisition, it’s important to remember who knows the provider data best: the providers themselves. While the creation and overall administration of a provider profile typically falls into the jurisdiction of marketing and IT professionals, organizations need to engage providers. In fact, 91% of providers want to be more involved in creating their profiles.

So how can you get providers more involved?

  • Give providers a voice: Ensure alignment by sitting down with each department and giving providers the opportunity to voice their concerns, like their reservations about online scheduling.
  • Socialize your strategy with a roadshow: Share your vision for digital access, explaining why it’s important for the health system to increase their presence online and sharing where providers fit in.
  • Create a designated support system: Create a data governance committee, led by clinical leadership, to help educate providers on ongoing profile maintenance and serve as an avenue for feedback on your strategy.


With so many health system leaders prioritizing programs to improve digital access and experience, early provider engagement has never been more important. Collaborating with providers strategically and operationally–and in our experience, engaging them as true partners–is a key component of successfully implementing and scaling these programs.

To learn additional strategies for partnering with providers, join our webinar, Putting Providers at the Forefront of Digital Access, on August 20th.

1 Kyruus, Inc. Provider Perspectives on Digital Access, 2019.
2 Kyruus, Inc. Provider Perspectives on Digital Access, 2019.