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Goals and metrics for digital health assessment tools

Digital tools that assess patient health can significantly improve healthcare services. If you are considering adding these solutions to your organization, you have likely considered all of their possible benefits. But have you also considered your objectives?

In this article, we will look at the importance of choosing the right goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) for your health assessment tool, such as symptom checkers, health bots, and others.

Observing healthcare KPIs will make it easier for you to track your project's goals and progress. Illustration by Aga Więckowska.
Observing healthcare KPIs will make it easier for you to track your project's goals and progress. Illustration by Aga Więckowska.

Working with innovative healthcare technologies is exciting as it's an opportunity to explore something entirely new. They enable companies to surpass many of their competitors and deliver important health outcomes to patients around the world. As we collaborate with our partners, we are often amazed by the enthusiasm for our solutions and the ambitious plans that lie in store for these innovative health technologies.

For all of our partners, we want to get to the root of the issue; we want to understand why they plan to use this solution.

Answers that bring healthcare goals and metrics closer

It’s easy to say, "let's use this product." But we need to delve into the reasons behind this decision. What is the problem you want to solve? Is there a particular aspect of your business that you want to improve? What is the change that you want to drive?

Answering these questions, or even writing them down, will give you a better view of your project's scope. It will push you to make decisions or ask the right questions. Who are your end-users? How is your solutions’ ecosystem constructed? How will new solutions influence patient journeys? What are the best KPI metrics for your digital healthcare project?

We know that this can get overwhelming. That’s why we’ve prepared a checklist, which will help you on this journey.

Digital Health Goals and KPIs

List of questions prepared by Infermedica's Customer Success Team

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Although the beginning of each new project can seem daunting, it is worth putting energy into finding these answers to get a better handle on the process.

Setting goals for a digital health project

When setting up goals, there are no strict rules that you need to follow. We like to work with SMART goals, but it is ultimately your decision. We want to make sure that you and everyone involved understand the purpose of the change and the motivation behind it.

The number of objectives will vary depending on the project—we believe that 3 to 5 is a good number. But don’t panic if you come up with too many or too few. Try to focus on quality rather than quantity. Think of what your business actually needs and imagine the desired outcome.

Goals set up at the beginning of the project will guide you throughout the whole process and help make the right decisions. They will bring your team:

A clear vision

Having your goals established will give you a clear vision of how you can achieve them. They will be your map to success.

Saying, for example, “We need to increase the number of completed interviews,” outlines the direction you’re moving toward but doesn’t result in planning appropriate actions to reach your goal. Instead, you should say, “We want to implement a symptom checker as an optional module within our healthcare platform to increase the number of appointments booked online by 2,000 within 90 days of going live.” These concrete ideas will allow you to distribute your resources, plan marketing strategies, and take any other necessary steps.

Better communication

With precise goals, you will be able to better communicate with your team, stakeholders, and partners. They will also help your marketing and sales teams pick up the project during and after its implementation and properly present it to your end-users.

Using the example above, your team can easily plan the next steps:

  • Evaluate the various symptom checkers on the market and choose one.
  • Determine the team to implement it.
  • Introduce KPI metrics and measuring tools, like Google Analytics, to check the number of finished interviews, and also those that were dropped out of or failed to convert.
  • Promote the new tool among your users.
  • Verify and optimize its performance.

This will also help determine an accurate time frame. For example, the initially assumed 3 months could need to be changed to account for bank holidays, weekends, and vacations.

Effective tool assessment

Measuring how well you meet your goals is also vital. Metrics to measure outcomes will further validate and improve your tool’s performance in the long run. Comparing before and after results is a good way to demonstrate your tool’s usefulness in the continuation of the project.

Implementing a symptom checker is only the first step. Ultimately, it is a way to improve your business by improving user engagement, sales volume, user satisfaction, and retention. Symptom-checking tools that are well configured and connected with existing patient journey steps can be the way forward for your business. Below, we discuss some tips on how to measure digital health project goals.

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Examples of goals and KPI metrics for digital health projects

Improving patient routing

This goal seeks to optimize the healthcare route recommended to a patient, based on their presenting problem. It is often chosen by healthcare providers or insurance companies, to help avoid unnecessary visits, either with physicians whose specialty doesn't fit the problem or in cases when self-care would be sufficient. This goal also promotes better management of services and cost optimization.

Tools like Infermedica’s Symptom Checker can be used here to triage patients and suggest an appropriate specialty. Outcomes that can be measured include:

  • Triage accuracy
  • Conversion rate
  • Overall patient satisfaction (user rating, user feedback)
  • Number of visits
  • Type of visits (in-person, video consultation, etc.)

Increasing new users

This is also known as lead generation. An organization providing health-related services can attract new users with a free-of-charge version of the symptom-checking tool, which seamlessly connects with their offer.

This goal can be measured by the:

  • Number of new users
  • Conversion rate at the end of the interview
  • Number of visits that result in appointment booking

Growing traffic

This is a crucial metric for all sorts of organizations. You can attract new users or improve the engagement of existing ones, which l positively affects the tool’s customer lifetime value.

Symptom checkers are digital tools that can be connected with popular analytic tools. Use them to observe changes in:

  • General traffic
  • Unique visitors
  • Average time spent on page
  • Conversions

Improving user experience

Better patient experience and a higher level of satisfaction usually translate to more time spent on the platform and a higher probability of converting. Happy users will return to your services and invite others.

Analyze the user experience with metrics like:

  • Overall patient satisfaction (user rating, user feedback)
  • Utilization rate
  • Dropout rate
  • Time spent on the platform
  • Dedicated user experience tests that will tell you where you can make improvements

Personalizing your offer to the user’s behavior

Symptom checkers examine user profiles to learn more about their needs. The basic analytic tools provided with the symptom checker display patient demographics (age, gender), as well as the most common symptoms and conditions.

This data can be used to propose dedicated offers for patients with specific conditions, for example e.g., irritable bowel syndrome or migraine. You can learn more about the collected data in this report.

Decreasing physician burnout

If your goal is to support medical staff in their daily work and help them focus more on the patients, you can adapt a symptom checker as a tool to collect initial patient data and share the differential diagnosis with a physician. This is done by integrating this tool with your Electronic Health Record (EHR) system.

Measure the effectiveness of this tool with:

  • Physician satisfaction levels
  • Time spent on paperwork
  • Overall patient satisfaction
  • Quality of data in EHR

Optimizing the triage process

Hospitals, clinics, and even telemedicine platforms want to triage their patients as quickly as possible and direct them to the right services. They’re looking for solutions that provide the best care without increasing costs.

You can measure the effectiveness of the symptom checker in aiding the triage process with:

  • Symptom checker-generated triage level vs. the nurse’s decision
  • Symptom checker-generated initial diagnosis vs. the doctor’s diagnosis
  • Time spent on the initial diagnosis performed by the symptom checker vs. the healthcare worker

Ensuring the right patients see a specialist

Businesses like telemedicine platforms want to increase the number of visits with the right specialist while also decreasing the number of unnecessary visits. Implementing one of these solutions can effectively connect patients with doctors based on their initial diagnosis. Many of our clients opt for additional integration to allow them to book an appointment with a physician at the end of the interview.

You can check the effectiveness of this goal by measuring:

  • Physician satisfaction
  • Triage accuracy
  • Number of appointments booked at the end of the interview
  • Utilization rate
  • Adoption rate
  • Triage statistics
  • Specialist recommender statistics
  • Differences in the intended vs. actual user action

Strengthening the company’s position in the market

With the fast growth of technology, many businesses decide to implement solutions based on artificial intelligence to become leaders in their field. This innovative approach strengthens a company's position in the market and sets an example for other businesses.

Comparing the results from before and after implementing the solution is helpful. You can focus on metrics like:

  • Search engine positioning
  • Stock market price
  • Business rankings

Empowering patients to take better care

Different companies set different goals and objectives, and therefore require different KPI’s. But the common mission of health-connected businesses is to empower people worldwide to take better care of themselves and make healthcare more accessible. These companies listen to people, create easy-to-use solutions, and adjust them to their users’ needs.

Track the success of this goal by measuring:

  • Number of page visits
  • Number of finished interviews
  • Overall patient satisfaction
All about body maps in symptom checkers
See how to work with body avatars - a useful element of symptom checkers that help users to identify and properly mark their symptoms.

Performance and quality of the symptom-checking tool

Along with observing general KPIs related to your healthcare business, analyze the performance of your symptom-checking tool. In the case of Infermedica’s Symptom Checker, you can use accompanying analytical tools to check traffic, relations between symptoms and conditions, and user groups and their behavior.

Engage with your medical experts to validate the tool clinically, or use Infermedica's ongoing feedback loop program. This program asks your physicians to share feedback on the interviews and uses this information to tailor our solutions to your needs.

Last but not least, we recommend asking end-users their opinion of the symptom checker by launching a survey at the end of the medical interview.

Are your healthcare goals and KPIs properly set?

Observing these selected healthcare KPIs will make it easier for you to track your project's goals and progress. Setting up goals can be tricky, and it is worth consulting those with experience in similar projects. If you choose to use Infermedica’s technologies, we will be more than happy to support you with the analysis and matching of proper goals and KPIs to your healthcare project.

Get in touch with the Infermedica team.

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Digital Health Goals and KPIs

List of questions prepared by Infermedica's Customer Success Team

Get PDF illustration