athenahealth Launches Gamify Solution to Help Healthcare Organizations Boost Revenue Cycle Performance

Sharp HealthCare gains 18% increase in hold bills productivity and 3.3 days of output per user per month, reducing operating costs

WATERTOWN, Mass., Sept. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- athenahealth, Inc., a leading provider of network-enabled software and services for medical groups and health systems nationwide, today announced the introduction of athenahealth Gamify, a staff engagement and revenue cycle management (RCM) optimization tool that delivers a “gamified” approach to managing revenue cycle workflows. Among Gamify's early users, Sharp HealthCare, San Diego’s largest integrated health system, helped athenahealth design the tool and recently concluded a successful rollout of the solution, which has resulted in significant productivity and revenue gains, as well as increased staff engagement, improved visibility into employee throughput, and reduced operating costs.

Compounded by the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare organizations constantly look to enhance efficiencies within their processes to achieve better productivity and revenue outcomes. Common challenges to optimizing RCM and staff performance include employees straying from best-practice workflows, lack of real-time insight into employee throughput, and a shortage of new ways to motivate, engage and reward staff.

To address these challenges and improve operational results, athenahealth and Sharp HealthCare partnered to apply gamification to RCM workflows and developed Gamify. Within 6 months of going live with the solution, the organization realized a 31% increase in credit balance productivity, a 21% increase in customer service productivity, and an 18% increase in hold bills productivity. In the latter category, Sharp gained 863.1 days in throughput, which equates to an increase in output of 3.3 days per existing staff per month. Additionally, the hospital network saw a 10% reduction in task lag and now has a staff turnover rate of less than 5%. The health system now has complete real-time visibility into employee and team performance, an area in which managers struggled to obtain real-time feedback previously.

“By making individual and team performance available in real-time, our staff find their work captivating and have fun competing for higher output, all while maintaining a high quality of task management. Even team members who initially resisted the idea have become some of Sharp HealthCare’s most engaged and best performers,” said Gerilynn Sevenikar, vice president of revenue cycle, Sharp HealthCare. “By motivating employees to adhere to best-practice workflows, we have created a rewarding culture in which employees feel valued, and we have been able to significantly enhance efficiency, productivity and retention, avoiding employee replacement costs and increasing revenue, among other benefits.”

Gamify is a cloud-based application that incorporates elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, and rules of play) to increase staff engagement and improve revenue cycle performance. The new solution uses badges, rewards, real-time reporting, and personalized avatars for the billing staff, and leverages proven gaming insights to provide positive reinforcement, spur competition, and improve adherence to best-practice workflows. Sophisticated analytics provide revenue cycle leadership with access to actionable insights into overall performance and help users stay competitive by giving team members awareness of real-time feedback that reinforces best practices.

“Revenue cycle leaders have never been under more pressure than right now to create a high-performance environment and drive improved outcomes,” said Paul Brient, chief product officer, athenahealth. “We created Gamify to offer Sharp and other customers an interactive environment where game-play motivates individuals through positive reinforcement and competition, which drives enhanced staff engagement and ownership and ultimately higher productivity and revenue cycle performance.”

For more information on athenahealth Gamify, please visit our website:

To learn more about Sharp HealthCare’s results from implementing Gamify, please view our case study:

About athenahealth, Inc.
athenahealth partners with medical organizations across the country to drive clinical and financial results. Our vision is to create a thriving ecosystem that delivers accessible, high-quality, and sustainable healthcare for all, and we are pursuing this through our medical record, revenue cycle, patient engagement, and care coordination service offerings. Our expert teams build modern technology on an open, connected ecosystem, yielding insights that make a difference for our customers and their patients. For more information, please visit

About Sharp HealthCare
Sharp HealthCare, San Diego's most comprehensive health care delivery system, is recognized for clinical excellence in cardiac, cancer, multi-organ transplantation, orthopedics, rehabilitation, behavioral health, women's health, home health and hospice services. Sharp HealthCare has been widely acclaimed for its commitment to transform the health care experience for patients, physicians and staff through an organization-wide performance improvement initiative called The Sharp Experience. The Sharp HealthCare system includes four acute-care hospitals, three specialty hospitals, three affiliated medical groups, a health plan, and numerous outpatient facilities and programs. To learn more about Sharp, visit Sharp Health News.

Jean Borgman