Tag Archives: patient engagement

How To Execute An Award-Winning Digital Front Door Strategy

Medium to large-sized healthcare organizations are rapidly pushing to develop and execute on their Digital Front Door strategy. Patients are expecting more and more from their healthcare providers, especially when it comes to online services. To ensure patients’ satisfaction, a Digital Front Door strategy. should include the following features:

digital front door softwarePrescription Refills

77%[¹] of patients want a prescription refill solution. Rx Refill Request Software allows patients to request medication refills online from anywhere and at any time from a device of their choice, without having to call their healthcare provider.

Health Maintenance Reminders

70%[¹] of patients want their healthcare provider to send automated patient appointment reminders. Patient appointment reminder software sends patients a follow-up reminder message regarding condition, routine health maintenance, or reactivation if they have not had an appointment over a certain period of time.

 Patient-Provider Secure Messaging

69%[¹] of patients are more likely to choose a healthcare provider that offers bidirectional patient messaging. A secure messaging feature allows patients and caregivers to send and receive electronic messages with their healthcare providers.

Appointment Scheduling

68%[¹] of patients are more likely to choose a healthcare provider that offers digital appointment self-scheduling. Medical appointment scheduling software allows the process to be handled online. Patients can schedule appointments at any time from a device of their choice without the intervention of staff members.

Remote Monitoring

53%[¹] of patients want their healthcare provider to implement remote patient monitoring software. Remote patient monitoring comprises tools that collect, combine, analyze, and report patient vital data from the comfort of the patient’s home.

Telemedicine

Telehealth, telemedicine, virtual visits, and related terms refer to exchanging medical information online through electronic communication, generally video. 49%[¹] of patients are more likely to choose a healthcare provider that offers telemedicine.

Medical Records / Encounter Notes

Several healthcare authorities (ONC, CMS & HIPAA) enforce the fact that healthcare organizations should provide patients electronic access to their health information. With a Digital Front Door strategy, medical records portals allow patients to view their encounter notes and health records from their providers and combine health information from multiple sources, including user-entered data, into a single, consolidated patient record.

Patient Payments

An online patient payment solution feature within a Digital Front Door software allows patients to pay bills online and view their account details, including itemized costs, not just the outstanding balance.

Patient Forms

Give patients the freedom to fill out forms remotely on their chosen device before their consultation, allowing for a safe and efficient intake process. Digital Front Door software pulls information from the source system to automatically populate enrollment, clinical history, consent, and insurance/billing forms. Data entered into the patient forms software is sent back to the EHR (Electronic Health Record) or PM (Practice Management) solution’s discrete data fields.

Lab Results

Provide patients with a means to access their test/lab results in a HIPAA compliant manner. Lab results are sent to the patient portal either from the lab itself or the healthcare source systems.

Patient Education

Provide patients with education relating to an upcoming care visit, a past care visit, and general and ongoing health. Send patient-specific patient education based on any variable you choose, such as medical condition, age, and type of upcoming or past appointment.

Live Chat

HIPAA compliant chat allows patients and providers to communicate about a patient’s condition, share lab results, and ask and answer questions in a HIPAA compliant manner.

Patient Intake / Check-In

A patient intake solution allows patients to complete the intake process remotely on their chosen device. Patients can complete new enrollment forms, clinical history, consent, and insurance/billing before their consultation.

Provider / Location Search

Provide patients with a means to search for healthcare providers or healthcare organizations through the Digital Front Door strategy. Search results can include contact information as well as operating times and wait times.

Mapping & Wayfinding

Geolocation tools provide patients with real-time guidance to help patients arrive at specific healthcare facilities or locations. Online information helps patients navigate large healthcare facilities in a timely manner.

Urgent Care Visit Assistance

This feature provides patients with information regarding urgent care services; information should include up to date wait times and urgent care locations.

Digital Front Door Strategy

Referral Requests

Allow patients to request a referral to a specialist. Medical records can be shared between providers within patient referral software.

Transportation Services

Providers can arrange patient transportation to or from facilities through the Digital Front Door.

Ecommerce

E-commerce is a Digital Front Door feature in which services or products can be displayed. These products and services can be purchased online with the use of a credit card. An example of such a service could be a telehealth visit bundle. Products could include remote monitoring and wellness devices.

Insurance Eligibility & Service Estimates

A Digital Front Door strategy allows for automated verification of insurance coverage without staff assistance. Bridge works with a real-time EDI service for insurance eligibility and service estimations. This is typically checked during the patient intake/web-check-in process and can include price estimates overtime for extended treatment courses.

Virtual Waiting Room

A virtual waiting room provides patients with the means to virtually complete the intake process from their device without the need to step foot into the practice. A virtual waiting room includes appointment reminders, patient education, self-check-in, and online intake forms.

More than half[¹] of patients would rather choose a practitioner that provides digital capabilities encompassed within a Digital Front Door. Failure to provide such a solution can result in a loss of patients, therefore, revenue. It’s vital to keep up with the latest developments and demands, otherwise, healthcare organizations could be risking their future. Developing a comprehensive Digital Front Door strategy is no small feat. That is why many healthcare organizations partner with industry-leading personalized patient engagement providers such as Bridge Patient Portal. Contact us to discuss your innovative Digital Front Door software.

  1. Accenture 2019 Digital Health Consumer Survey. [online] accenture.com. Available at:https://www.accenture.com/_acnmedia/pdf-94/accenture-2019-digital-health-consumer-survey.pdf [Accessed 4 Dec. 2020].
Community Manager at Bridge Patient Portal. Kirsty is an experienced marketer with a demonstrated history of working in the medical and software industry. She is skilled in digital marketing, including SEO copywriting. Kirsty marries her passion for healthcare with her experience in digital marketing.

Consolidate Your Software For Patient Engagement To Avoid Security & Compliance Risks

Healthcare organizations strive to provide the best patient engagement experience possible. In order to do this, many organizations result in implementing piecemealed solutions to provide all the features patients demand today.

In-demand features include:

This patient engagement strategy may end up costing healthcare organizations and patients in the long run, as siloed patient engagement programs increase security and HIPAA compliance risks. Implementing a singular, consolidated patient engagement solution that includes in-demand features can mitigate security and compliance risks in multiple ways.

1. Respect Patient Communication Preferences

There are multiple ways a healthcare organization can communicate with their patient population. Any tools used to communicate with patients must respect a patient’s communication preferences.

Methods of communication can include the following:

  • IVR (Interactive Voice Response-based calls also support user-input responses like “Press 1 to confirm, or 2 to cancel your upcoming appointment.”)
  • SMS
  • Email
  • Push notifications
  • Bidirectional patient text messaging (via a patient portal or mobile app)

To support the quality of care for patients, healthcare organizations should have correct patient engagement data such as contact details in addition to updated communication preferences. Providers can then more effectively reach patients and relay important information about their care, including appointment reminders, lab results, medical bills, and educational materials. Patients are more inclined to update their communication preferences and contact details on only one patient engagement platform, rather than performing the same task across multiple patient engagement systems used by the same healthcare organization.

Updated information within the healthcare organization should be shared with all patient engagement programs, including the organization’s source systems, such as Electronic Health Record (EHR), Revenue Cycle Management (RCM), and Practice Management (PM) systems. When using more than one software for patient engagement, healthcare organizations should ensure these systems can effectively communicate with each other so that any data updated within one system is shared with all other systems. If this integration is not in place, patient engagement data must be manually updated within all systems. Failure to honor a patient’s communication preferences may result in a HIPAA violation.

Recommended: How to Send Automated Medical Appointment Reminders Without Jeopardizing Patients’ Data Security

2. Ensure HIPAA Compliance

To be HIPAA compliant, healthcare organizations must conduct regular risk analyses, covering all software for patient engagement that interacts with electronic protected health information (ePHI). Risk analyses identify potential risks to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of ePHI. Any risks and vulnerabilities identified must be mitigated to a reasonable and acceptable level to avoid penalties. It’s easy to ensure that one consolidated patient engagement solution is HIPAA compliant (versus a mixture of fragmented tools) and that the patient engagement solution provider will sign a business associate agreement. HIPAA also requires encryption at rest and in transit for all stored and transmitted ePHI between your connected patient engagement programs

software for patient engagement

3. Prevent Security Breaches

When a healthcare organization has multiple patient engagement programs connected to their source system (EHR, PM, RCM, LIS, RIS, etc.), they increase the risk of a security breach. This is due to the higher number of access points that have been opened for these systems. There is an increased risk of data becoming corrupt/damaged within the patient database as more software/systems are permitted to view and edit patient data. Managing one piece of software is more straightforward than ensuring multiple solutions are operating safely and securely. Furthermore, it’s easier to conduct a cybersecurity gap analysis within a centralized software solution.

Improve operational efficiencies, prioritize security and HIPAA compliance, and bolster patient satisfaction by consolidating your patient engagement solutions into a feature-rich, client-branded web application or mobile app. Bridge helps healthcare organizations streamline their business processes and enhance patient engagement with an all-in-one solution capable of retiring “one-off” tools.

Pablo, our Chief Information Security Officer, architected and manages Bridge’s HIPAA-compliant hosting infrastructure. He is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Solutions Architect and is about to receive a Masters degree from the University of Buenos Aires in Computer and Information Systems Security and Information Assurance. He has a passion for all things related to cybersecurity and cloud hosting.

CCPA, Does It Apply To Your Healthcare Business?

If you’re considering building a CCPA patient portal you must ask yourself: Is my patient engagement company CCPA compliant? If not, your business may be at risk. Discover exactly what CCPA is and if it applies to your healthcare business. 

What is CCPA compliance?

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a state statute intended to enhance privacy rights and consumer protection for residents of California. The bill was passed into law on June 28, 2018, and went into effect on January 1, 2020.

The Act provides California residents with the right to:

  • Request a business disclose the categories and specific pieces of personal information that it collects about the consumer, and the categories from which that information is collected
  • Know the business purposes for collecting or selling the consumer’s personal information
  • Know the categories of 3rd parties with which the information is shared 
  • Request the deletion of personal information
  • Opt-out of the sale of personal information by a business and not be discriminated against for exercising this right (i.e. by charging different prices or providing different quality of goods or services)
  • Protect the sale of minor’s personal information and opt-in to having that information sold

What is considered personal information?

CCPA defines personal information as information that identifies, relates to, describes, is reasonably capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or household such as:

  • Name or alias
  • Postal address or physical address
  • Unique personal identifier 
  • Online identifier
  • Internet protocol address 
  • Email address
  • Account name 
  • Social security number 
  • Driver’s license number
  • Passport number
  • Physical characteristics or description 
  • Telephone number
  • State identification card number 
  • Insurance policy number
  • Education and employment history
  • Financial information including bank account number, credit card number or debit card number
  • Medical information 
  • Health insurance information

What data types could be subject to CCPA?

  • Personal information not regulated by HIPAA
  • Personal information which is processed by a non-healthcare division of a HIPAA-hybrid entity, or connected non-profit
  • Certain employee data
  • Personal information collected through conferences, fundraisers, marketing events, or similar activities
  • Personal information used for research

Does the CCPA apply to your healthcare business & CCPA Patient Portal app?

The CCPA applies to any business, including any for-profit entity that collects consumers’ data, which does business in California, and satisfies at least one of the following thresholds:

  • Has annual gross revenue exceeding $25 million
  • Buys or sells the personal information of 50,000 or more consumers or households
  • Earns more than half of its annual revenue from selling consumers’ personal information

Organizations are required to “implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices” in protecting consumer data.

Even if your organization doesn’t have locations in California, if you conduct business or market your offerings in California and meet the criteria above, CCPA applies to you.

Discover how to become CCPA compliant and learn about the consequences for failure to adhere. Let us help you create your next CCPA patient portal. Contact us here

Founder and CEO of Bridge Patient Portal, and business owner of 19 years with extensive experience in Healthcare IT. John is a Judge for the 2020 eHealthcare Leadership Awards and has appeared on multiple podcasts, including the Outcomes Rocket Podcast and the Hospital Finance Podcast.

Bridge Patient Portal Reports Record Growth for 2019

DALLAS, Jan. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Bridge Patient Portal® today announced record growth for 2019 with a 68% increase in its client base–predominantly in organizations with 50 or more providers–and an 85% increase in the number of individual patients hosted in Bridge Patient Portal across the existing and new client base. Bridge Patient Portal is an enterprise patient engagement software for healthcare organizations seeking to offer enhanced patient portal functionality and to consolidate “one-off” patient engagement solutions with a single PC and mobile-ready solution.

According to Adam Cherrington, Research Director over Patient Engagement for KLAS Research, “We recently interviewed providers and asked about their top priorities for future initiatives and investment within patient engagement. Patient experience surfaced as one of the top areas of engagement that providers are considering for the future. Because experience can potentially hit core goals of the quadruple aim of improving healthcare, we expect this to be a key area in healthcare for 2020 and beyond.”

Bridge’s growth in 2019 has been driven by this increasing demand among medium- to large-sized healthcare organizations seeking to improve the patient experience. Bridge improves the patient experience by providing patients with a “single pane of glass” to access a comprehensive set of fully-integrated self-service features. Healthcare organizations are also attracted to Bridge because it can significantly reduce the costs associated with managing multiple “one-off” or “piecemealed” patient engagement solutions.

Bridge Patient Portal CEO John Deutsch attributes the company’s dramatic growth to a favorable marketplace and the successful implementation of a few key initiatives.

  • Bridge spent the last two years heavily focused on R&D, and the software now includes all the main features that healthcare organizations have historically had to piecemeal together.
  • Bridge completed an interface into Centricity™ Practice Solution. Now, healthcare organizations using Centricity Practice Solution can easily interface with Bridge’s software. Bridge also supports some of healthcare’s most popular EHRs, including Greenway, NextGen and athenahealth.
  • Bridge focused on meeting the modern patients’ needs and user experience expectations in developing new functionality for its upcoming version 3.0. This included the development of a patient intake/check-in solution, IVR-based (Interactive Voice Recognition) notifications and a new mobile-ready user interface.

“Most of 2019 was focused on development, not growth, so these numbers are very encouraging, and we are expecting even greater growth in 2020 since all of our main development objectives are now completed,” said Deutsch. “Bridge is at a point where we can scale quickly. We are very well positioned as we embark on this upcoming major growth phase.”

In 2020, Bridge Patient Portal’s main focus will be on continued growth. Bridge will be upgrading existing clients to version 3.0, which is expected to launch in Q1. In addition, Bridge will be attracting new clients interested in leveraging the complete functionality offered by Bridge, especially Bridge’s new iOS and Android-based mobile app, and its new patient intake solution for patient web check-in.

About Bridge Patient Portal
Bridge Patient Portal is an enterprise patient portal and engagement solution that empowers patients with self-service tools to better manage their care. The Bridge Patient Portal platform is ideal for health organizations seeking to replace their existing EHR portals or connect to disparate EHR environments with a single, EHR-agnostic patient portal platform. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Bridge Patient Portal has installations in more than 60 physician practices, hospitals and health systems nationwide. For more information, visit https://www.bridgepatientportal.com/ or call 866-838-9455.

Media Contact: Laura Luthi
Cell: 503-341-7785
[email protected]

Originally published on PR Newswire: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bridge-patient-portal-reports-record-growth-for-2019-300993606.html

Founder and CEO of Bridge Patient Portal, and business owner of 19 years with extensive experience in Healthcare IT. John is a Judge for the 2020 eHealthcare Leadership Awards and has appeared on multiple podcasts, including the Outcomes Rocket Podcast and the Hospital Finance Podcast.

Bridge Patient Portal Brings a Fully-Customizable Patient Self-Scheduling Solution to Health Organizations

Bridge Patient Portal self-scheduling software and ASMS logos

Advanced Sleep Medicine Services adopts Bridge self-scheduling software, improving office efficiency and patient experience

Calling to schedule an appointment, only to be put on hold, can be one of the most frustrating experiences for a patient–and at the same time, one of the more labor-intensive cost centers for health organizations. Bridge Patient Portal today announced the release of its fully-integrated and customizable patient self scheduling software solution, which gives patients more autonomy and freedom in patient appointment scheduling while increasing efficiencies for health organizations. Health organizations no longer need to buy separate and expensive software solutions in order to offer self-scheduling capabilities.

Bridge Patient Portal is the first to offer advanced self-scheduling functionality in a patient portal platform, creating a true, all-in-one patient engagement solution. The self-scheduling user interface works on multiple platforms and is an add-on to the patient portal solution. This means patients now have a single point of entry for all activities, including a patient appointment scheduler, health record access, online bill pay, secure messaging, prescription refill requests and more.

Many self-scheduling offerings are designed for simple, routine office visits, and don’t work well for complex, multi-specialty health organizations. Furthermore, as health organizations grow and accumulate multiple practice management and electronic medical record systems, it becomes even more challenging to get self-scheduling systems to communicate with these multiple systems simultaneously–something Bridge does natively. These basic self-scheduling products are not equipped to handle complex scenarios, such as addressing clinical questions, handling multiple locations, or supporting insurance and physician clearances often required for certain visits.

Bridge Patient Portal supports the complexities of decision trees and intricate self-scheduling scenarios through custom self-scheduling forms. The forms can be placed inside of Bridge Patient Portal, in its mobile application (Android and iOS), in the Universe mHealth App Platform or made publicly available without a login on the client’s website.

Bridge Patient Portal’s self-scheduling software was just adopted by Advanced Sleep Medicine Services, a sleep medicine clinic with more than twenty locations across Southern California. Advanced Sleep Medicine Services found scheduling patients for their appointments to be labor-intensive, and needed a patient self-scheduling solution that could handle the complicated scheduling situations that are associated with sleep studies.

“It has been a pleasure working with Bridge Patient Portal,” says Kermit Newman, Founder of Advanced Sleep Medicine Services. “They have helped us take a very complex scheduling process and simplify it, for the convenience and efficiency of both our patients and our scheduling staff.”

“With patients demanding online self-service tools and margins evaporating in healthcare, our self-scheduling software solves one of the bigger front-office inefficiencies,” says John Deutsch, Bridge Patient Portal Founder, and CEO. “Totally custom or more rigid options exist. However, our solution is a fraction of the cost of these custom solutions, and provides greater scalability than rigid pre-built solutions. The combination of the degree of complexity our software supports, being part of a single patient engagement solution, and its multi-platform availability is unprecedented.”

The need for larger multi-location or multi-specialty healthcare organizations to have a customizable solution is paramount. Bridge Patient Portal supports complex scheduling rules including:
– Providers working in multiple locations.
– Providers only handling certain appointment and insurance types.
– Changing workflows and questions based on insurance and appointment type.
– Different appointment time lengths.
– Self-scheduling eligibility questionnaire.

Patients are accustomed to the efficiency of online scheduling in other industries and expect that same capability from their healthcare providers. Bridge Patient Portal’s patient scheduling software easily guides patients through proper screening and the selection of convenient appointment times. With Bridge’s self-scheduling software, patients can:
– Find next available appointments across multiple locations and/or providers.
– Schedule appointments in real time.
– Complete registration and intake forms at the time of scheduling.
– Receive reminders for appointments and follow-up care via email/SMS.
– Manage and view all past and future appointments.
– Schedule appointments on behalf of their dependents (or patients, if they are a caregiver) from their mobile device.
– Cancel and reschedule appointments.

To learn more about Bridge Patient Portal or schedule a demo, visit www.bridgepatientportal.com or call (866) 838-9455.

About Bridge Patient Portal
Bridge Patient Portal is an enterprise patient portal and engagement solution that empowers patients with self-service tools to better manage their care. The Bridge Patient Portal platform is ideal for health organizations seeking to replace their existing EHR portals or connect to disparate EHR environments with a single, EHR-agnostic patient portal platform. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Bridge Patient Portal has installations in more than 60 physician practices, hospitals and health systems nationwide.

Originally posted on 24/7 Press Release: https://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release/467714/bridge-patient-portal-brings-fully-customizable-self-scheduling-solution-to-health-organizations

Blake joined Bridge Patient Portal in 2016 after transferring from our parent company Medical Web Experts. Since then, he’s acted as Bridge’s Business Development Manager. Blake is passionate about driving collaboration with clients, partners, and internal teams to achieve performance goals and successful relationships.

How a Single Patient Engagement Solution Improves Patient Communication – Part II

Symbols And Signs Of Global Netoworking

How disparate and piecemealed patient engagement solutions inhibit effective patient communication.

Read Part I of this two-part article series: The Advantages of Having a Single Patient Engagement Solution

In the healthcare industry, successful organizations need to always be mindful of their consumer. Effective communication is one major factor that attributes to consistent patient retention and heightened patient engagement among healthcare companies. Healthcare organizations need to operate with simple, transparent, and important messaging in order to attain effective communication with their patients. This can easily be achieved by switching to a single patient engagement solution.

In the current market, many healthcare organizations are still operating using a multiple patient engagement solution. They will often purchase various patient engagement software systems (e.g. patient bill pay software, patient scheduling software, appointment reminders, patient portal, etc.) as opposed to buying one single solution. These multiple engagement solutions can severely impact the communication between a healthcare organization and their patients negatively.

Respecting Patient Communication Preferences

When an organization uses multiple patient engagement systems at the same time, it is nearly impossible to respect a patient’s communication preferences. There is no synchronization of preferences between an organization’s multiple patient engagement solutions and source systems (ie. practice management software, revenue cycle management software, electronic medical record software). A patient will opt-in or opt-out of receiving messages from one system, and another system will not be able to respect that patient’s request. Not only can this be an annoyance and violation of trust for the consumer, but it also poses the risk of serious legal ramifications for an organization. With a single, all-in-one solution, an organization possesses the ability to honor a patient’s preference when opting in or out of receiving specific messaging. 

Better Patient Communication

Disparate systems from different vendors generally don’t have the ability to communicate with each other so a patient’s communication preferences can’t be respected. For example, a patient might prefer email notifications over SMS, or if they change their email, the account would have to be updated in all systems manually (assuming the systems are not interfaced). With a piecemealed patient engagement solution, patients can end up receiving messages at inopportune times, or they receive too many unimportant or duplicate messages. This can irritate patients, causing them to opt-out of receiving any messaging at all. Practices will attempt to correct their patients’ frustrations by limiting their messaging, thus self-regulating themselves and not utilizing patient messaging to its full potential. A single solution solves this problem by ensuring coordinated, direct, and effective messaging to patients.

Go to Bridge to learn more about the ease and advantages of implementing a single patient engagement solution today.

Founder and CEO of Bridge Patient Portal, and business owner of 19 years with extensive experience in Healthcare IT. John is a Judge for the 2020 eHealthcare Leadership Awards and has appeared on multiple podcasts, including the Outcomes Rocket Podcast and the Hospital Finance Podcast.

The Advantages of Having a Single Patient Engagement Solution – Part I

Man selecting button from holographic digital screen

Why early adopting healthcare organizations are replacing their disparate and piecemealed patient engagement solutions for a second-generation single solution.

In the ongoing efforts to increase quality patient engagement, many healthcare organizations have come to acquire multiple patient engagement solutions. In an attempt to satisfy patient needs without overly disrupting their IT “status quo”, healthcare organizations will often buy multiple software solutions (e.g. patient scheduling, event management, patient education, medical records access, patient portal, appointment reminders, etc.) as opposed to purchasing a single patient engagement solution. This inevitably turns into a piecemealed patient engagement solution that creates a mine of issues to be uncovered in the future, both for the organization and the consumer alike.

Not only does this have a negative impact on the customer in terms of patient communication and messaging, but it also brings forth many problems for the healthcare organization itself. These multiple patient engagement solutions can cause issues internally with an organization’s source system as it attempts to interface with this multitude of software systems. Furthermore, from a financial standpoint, these piecemealed patient engagement solutions can be very costly for organizations as well. 

An Easily Interfaced System

With a piecemealed patient engagement solution, you are granting more access than is needed for each individual system. Each system (patient bill pay software, appointment reminders, patient education, etc.) needs to be interfaced with the EMR, PM, or other source systems. There is a greater potential for error, simply because of the larger number of interfaces, an organization must manage. A single solution allows for one simple interface to an organization’s source systems.

Cutting Costs

Healthcare organizations see significant financial benefit from switching to a single patient engagement solution. A piecemealed patient engagement solution has much greater costs associated with it, than with its singular counterpart. A single solution is of course more expensive, but the cost of maintaining multiple systems from multiple vendors and the unrealized ROI resulting from having solutions that are not fully utilized, makes a clear argument for a single solution.

Read Part II of this two part article series: How a Single Patient Engagement Solution Improves Patient Communication

Go to Bridge to learn more about the ease and advantages of implementing a single patient engagement solution today.

Founder and CEO of Bridge Patient Portal, and business owner of 19 years with extensive experience in Healthcare IT. John is a Judge for the 2020 eHealthcare Leadership Awards and has appeared on multiple podcasts, including the Outcomes Rocket Podcast and the Hospital Finance Podcast.

What is Patient Engagement?

Since the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the electronic health record (EHR) incentive program, Meaningful Use (MU), in 2011, the term patient engagement has become nearly ubiquitous in US healthcare policy discussions. It is now the driving concept behind CMS’s proposed financial reimbursement paradigm shift that focuses on a move from fee for service care to value based care.

Despite the emphasis that has been placed on the term “patient engagement” and its widespread use among health IT vendors in their marketing campaigns, many healthcare providers still have a vague concept of what patient engagement is and many doubt if it’s genuinely beneficial. (more…)

Blake joined Bridge Patient Portal in 2016 after transferring from our parent company Medical Web Experts. Since then, he’s acted as Bridge’s Business Development Manager. Blake is passionate about driving collaboration with clients, partners, and internal teams to achieve performance goals and successful relationships.

Utilizing HIPAA Compliant Patient Surveys to Optimize Patient Engagement and Increase Effectiveness of Post Visit Communication

Updated on November 24, 2020.

Having a post-visit communication plan can significantly improve patient outcomes by reducing the number of emergency visits, decreasing the hospital readmission rate, and improving chronic disease management.

“Patients who effectively used a portal were 2-4% less likely to be hospitalized. Those who engaged with the portal were 3.2% less likely to visit the emergency room. The average length of stay after being hospitalized decreased by 11%. Re-admission rates were about 2% lower among users of patient portals compared to those who did not make use of a patient portal.” — MIS Quarterly[¹]

Utilizing HIPAA compliant patient surveys is an excellent way for providers to gather post-visit information. This enables them to monitor patient well-being, verify medication adherence, and review care plan compliance, all of which improve patient satisfaction and helps patients maintain good health. Despite the importance of follow-up communication, few healthcare organizations have a robust post-visit communication plan in place.

A recent survey of 50 health professionals and healthcare administrators conducted by Bridge Patient Portal, demonstrated that only 30% of organizations have an adequate post-visit communication plan.

HIPAA Compliant Patient Surveys

A survey of 50 health professionals and healthcare administrators conducted by Bridge Patient Portal regarding HIPAA compliant patient surveys.

The survey also examined the areas of post-visit communication that pose the most significant challenges for healthcare organizations.

Post-visit patient communication challenges

Post-visit communication and patient engagement goals

For survey respondents whose organizations do have a patient engagement strategy, when asked which goals they were trying to accomplish, the majority (59%) said continuity of care for better health.

HIPAA compliant patient surveys

A survey of 50 health professionals and healthcare administrators conducted by Bridge Patient Portal regarding HIPAA compliant patient surveys.

Barriers to implementing HIPAA compliant patient surveys

The Bridge Patient Portal survey indicated that there are multiple barriers to addressing post-visit patient communication challenges. According to the study, the two largest obstacles for healthcare organizations are “internal problems with managing existing technology” and “lack of knowledge to produce a satisfactory solution.” Moderate barriers include lack of internal staff resources, lack of budget, and lack of interest by management.


Conclusion

The results show that post-visit patient communication is a significant problem for many healthcare organizations, and the barriers to adoption cannot always be resolved internally. For this reason, it is increasingly essential for organizations to work with third parties, including patient engagement strategists, consultants, and vendors that offer patient survey software to develop comprehensive plans to improve post-visit communication and, as a result, patient health outcomes.

Many healthcare organizations struggle with piecemealed Electronic Health Record (EHR), Revenue Cycle Management (RCM), or Practice Management (PM) solutions. When implementing a post-visit solution, integrating seamlessly with existing technology can have countless benefits. Bridge is an EHR agnostic patient portal and can be interfaced with any EHR/RCM/PM software system, even more than one simultaneously.

Bridge is a health-tech company that offers a superior patient portal solution for healthcare organizations and their patients. With Bridge Patient Portal’s robust, HIPAA compliant patient surveys, you will have a trusted partner to build your organization’s post-visit communication plan.

  1. Bao, C. (2020). Patient-provider Engagement And Its Impact On Health Outcomes: A Longitudinal Study Of Patient Portal Use. [online] Available at: https://utexas.app.box.com/s/yf2pvxg37lr7w2921q4lit0byrh694t5 [Accessed 24 Nov. 2020].
Blake joined Bridge Patient Portal in 2016 after transferring from our parent company Medical Web Experts. Since then, he’s acted as Bridge’s Business Development Manager. Blake is passionate about driving collaboration with clients, partners, and internal teams to achieve performance goals and successful relationships.

4 Patient Engagement Tools Used To Increase Patient Portal Usage

Patient engagement is a necessary element for the achievement of a better quality of care and it is a critical component of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) initiative to focus on the quality of care.  CMS programs like the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, MACRA, are fundamentally changing the reimbursement matrix for healthcare in the United States by shifting the focus from fee for service to reimbursement for quality.  Thus, determining the right patient engagement solution has become increasingly important for healthcare organizations.

A patient portal can increase a health organization’s ability to keep patients engaged and healthy. Furthermore, it facilitates the obtainment of MACRA goals. In order to succeed, however, physicians and staff must know how to properly leverage the portal to improve communication and boost engagement.

Here are four ways  to promote patient engagement technology, like patient portals,  to maintain an engaged patient population and improve patient outcomes

1. Raise Awareness about the Patient Engagement Technology

Does your organization have a strategy for promoting patient engagement technology? Simply implementing a patient portal  is not enough. Patients need to know that the technology is available to them and how they can benefit from using it.

img-patientform

To provide an initial introduction to the patient portal, you can have staff assist patients with portal registration at check-in or check-out and provide step-by-step instructions for entering demographic and insurance information required for that day’s visit. Making tablets or kiosks available at check-in is a great way for patients to begin this process. You can send patients home with a handout about the portal in order to reinforce the message. Hanging posters promoting the portal in the waiting room and exam rooms is also a very cost-effective way to raise awareness about the patient engagement technology that you are promoting.

If your organization has a website, you will want to promote the portal by placing a link to the page in a prominent place with a strong call to action. Sending an email blast to your entire patient database is another great way to raise awareness.

2. Assign a Care Coordinator

If your healthcare organization uses patient care coordinators to promote health awareness and help patients reach their care goals, you know how integral these individuals are to successful patient engagement technology implementation.  Care Coordinators work with the physician and patient to develop a care plan, they communicate the provider’s plan to the patient, and they continually assess the patient’s needs. They also play a vital role in adoption of patient engagement technology by by promoting patient portal features that open lines of communication and streamline care plan management.

3. Strengthen the Physician’s Role

physicianPhysicians have one of the most important roles in promoting a patient engagement solution, like a patient portal.. A recent survey by the New England Journal of Medicine Insights Council, found that physician buy-in is essential to the adoption of patient engagement technology.  Patients are much more likely to use a new technology if their physician wants them to use it. It is important to note that the physician’s role does not end after suggesting a new patient engagement technology, many patients will require reinforcement of the idea.  For example, once patients are using a patient portal, their physician should mention the portal at each visit and specifically refer to a feature in which the patient might find value.

4. Highlight Useful Features

Your patient portal can do a lot of things, but chances are that most of your patients do not care about all of the portal’s features. Instead of overwhelming patients with information, tell them about the features that they are most likely to use. This includes things that make it easier for patients to manage their health and to perform otherwise time-consuming tasks online – for example, features that give them the ability to:

  • Send and receive secure messages from their physician
  • Access lab results without having to wait for a callback from the physician’s office
  • Schedule appointments without having to call the office
  • Request medication refills online

As patients get more comfortable using the new patient engagement technology, your organization may choose to start an email newsletter or awareness campaign to market new features. This process can be simplified if you have a patient engagement platform that provides email notifications using templates customized for your hospital or practice.

What it all boils down to is how the patient feels after each portal experience. If the first experience with the patient portal is a pleasant one, the more likely the patient is to continue using it.

Blake joined Bridge Patient Portal in 2016 after transferring from our parent company Medical Web Experts. Since then, he’s acted as Bridge’s Business Development Manager. Blake is passionate about driving collaboration with clients, partners, and internal teams to achieve performance goals and successful relationships.