The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) launched the Triple Aim approach as a strategy for better population health while reducing health care costs. The approach is based on three goals:

  1. Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction)
  2. Improving the health of populations
  3. Reducing per capita cost of health care

Through the Triple Aim’s interdependent focus areas, health system performance is optimized. However, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement acknowledges that most health care settings don’t have the capacity for accountability in all of the Triple Aim’s goals. Bearing in mind the effects on both improving population health and reducing cost, practices can still begin implementing the Triple Aim by looking more closely at how to improve the patient experience.

One of the most significant ways of improving the patient experience is through better patient-provider communication. Even with limited financial and human resources, small practices can achieve stronger communication through incorporating communication tools.

Communication tools include:

  • Patient portals
  • Mobile apps
  • Telemedicine
  • Patient Care Cards
  • Email or Snail Mail
  • SMS/Text Messaging
  • Phone Calls/Automated Phone Calls

Through these tools, providers can communicate with their patients more frequently, meaningfully, and efficiently.

Ultimately, an improved patient-provider relationship results in an improved patient experience—along with better population health outcomes and reduced costs from missed appointments.

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