By Terri Casterton, Director of Product and Strategy and Healthcare, Bottle rocket.
If healthcare digital expansion simmered before the pandemic, COVID-19 sparked the need for transformation. Engagement tactics that were in place before 2020, such as telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, and home care, were at the forefront of the agenda when providers were forced to close their doors.
COVID-19 has exposed a complicated flaw in the industry: a maze of digital barriers preventing a seamless online patient experience. After the pandemic, patient habits still tend towards a preference for digital access: in July 2021, a McKinsey report found that the use of telemedicine in the US has stabilized at a level 38 times higher than before COVID-19.
As everyday healthcare decisions fall on the shoulders of an increasingly digital savvy population, providers must ensure a simple user experience – moving away from patient portals to more robust engagement platforms. At the forefront of any manager’s considerations should be how patients can provide a smooth inclusion pathway and what digital tools are required to ensure the seamless delivery of this experience.
Electronic Health Record (EHR) patient portals have long been an entry point for basic transactions like viewing test results and refilling medication, but this is no longer enough. Healthcare innovators recognize the need to move to more dynamic systems. Fortunately, recently, EHR providers have been more willing to partner with third-party app- and cloud-based developers and create integrated solutions to deliver a more unified health experience.
It is clear that deploying a patient-centric strategy after the pandemic is the way forward for healthcare providers. But what are the main advantages that set your company apart from the competition?
Get hyper-personal in the experience you deliver
EHRs can serve a company, from the laboratory to the intensive care unit, across multiple facilities and regions. In a world of shrinking healthcare margins, this scale can drive much-needed standardization and efficiency. But the needs and circumstances of a real population are never limited or linear, which effectively diminishes the potential of a unified approach.
The value continues to shift from the fee for the service to the fee for the outcome, and because of this, a heavy focus on specific segments will uncover new ways to nurture engagement (and outcomes) on a highly specialized nursing journey.
Boost your game through intelligent analytics
In fact, the analysis of the EHR patient portal creates an accurate picture of how many patients are signing up and what activities they do after signing up. However, a larger dataset is required to go from understanding the function to actionable insights.
Third-party and custom built analytics can uncover unmet needs and, in turn, drive the development of specific features and business tactics. Increasing levels of intelligence from smarter analytics enables healthcare systems to identify supply gaps in markets and inform about changes in user experience to guide patients to the services they need.
Keep pace with your strategy, not the pace of vendor releases
Third-party cloud-based solutions are often more agile than EHR implementations when it comes to updates. These usually rely on biannual updates to provide the latest functionality on custom hardware (and after addressing a backlog of other requirements).
In addition, with more flexibility in how features are published, healthcare systems can more easily experiment with engagement approaches, waste less time, and innovate more.
The simpler the better
As more healthcare systems explore third-party solutions, the need to create a cohesive user experience becomes even more important. Disjointed or confusing workflows, in which patients log into multiple systems and receive redundant, contradicting communication, are a recipe for miserable patient engagement. An integrated, protected platform that informs a patient’s decisions about health-related learning and purchasing decisions works for everyone.
This type of transformation is key to keeping up with a rapidly evolving industry, so time is of the essence. What are you waiting for?
Thank You For Reading!