How Do We Fix Healthcare's Inefficient Patient Engagement Model?

Effective patient engagement is a shared obsession for Dr. Steve Feyrer-Melk and Matt Essex...

This episode is inspired the development of The Nudgecast, by going behind the scenes at Nudge as we discuss solutions to improve patient engagement, and deliver more efficient healthcare and a better patient experience.

This week, Nudge President Phil Beene is joined by Dr Steve Feyrer-Melk, Director of Lifestyle Medicine for Optimal Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center and Chief Science Officer at Nudge, and Matt Essex, Founder of ActiveRX AZ and VitalityHealth, and Strategic Advisor and acting CFO at Nudge. 

We dig into what engagement in traditional healthcare looks like today, the blurred lines between outreach and patient engagement, and what problems that creates for doctors and patients. What's the solution? Asynchronous communication - using modern technology to interact with patients the way they've grown used to communicating themselves.

[1:48] How engagement typically happens in healthcare why it creates a bad patient experience and prevents patients from getting the efficient and effective healthcare they deserve -

[3:41] If the world has changed the way it communicates, why hasn't healthcare done the same? -

[7:00] Asynchronous communication versus synchronous communication, and differences in the types of asynchronous communication -

[13:09] Results gathered and the methodology of Dr. Steve's internal validation experiment -

[16:23] The difference between a "nudge" and a "touchpoint" in communicating with your patients -

[21:12] Actively seeking out your patients' mindshare through nudges and asynchronous communication -

[26:22] The lack of recall most doctors and patients have after extended synchronous sessions, and how that burden puts doctors in prescriptive mode -

[30:45] A high-level overview of health engagement science, and how it leads to more efficient healthcare and effective engagement -

Learn more about how to 'nudge' for efficient and effective healthcare engagement from Dr. Steve's internal validation experiment:


The cost of no-shows to the healthcare system annually

Research on the average time spent scheduling patient meetings

Nuggets of Wisdom

"We need to adopt these new digital health and mobile health tools and resources to be able to communicate with people the way they want to be communicated to, otherwise we're not going to have a chance." - Matt Essex

"What's best for them in this busy stressed out life that our patients have, is that if we can provide them with some asynchronous guidance that is more specific and personally matched, we save a lot of time because we're not wasting it on unmatched advice and we're doing it on their terms which is asynchronous using SMS and those types of systems." - Dr. Steve

"About $150 billion a year is wasted just on no-shows in healthcare" - Phil Beene, quoting a study from Luma Health

"The average time to schedule a session is about 32 minutes per meeting." - Phil Beene, quoting a study from Doodle, a scheduling service

"If you don't have the information, if you don't really understand what's going on with the person in front of you, there's very little you can do to support them, or to provide proper guidance to them." - Dr. Steve

"You cannot take responsibility for someone else's health." - Dr. Steve

"If we don't know how to engage with [patients], i.e. relate with them, then how are we going to make a difference?" - Dr. Steve

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