For more information about Bridge Patient Portal’s offering, please read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below. For questions not answered here, feel free to contact us

Can I send a broadcast message to my patients?

Bridge supports patient broadcast messaging functions in the administration panel of the patient messaging software. Simply select which segment of patients requires a message by selecting from an extensive list of filters, then either export the list of patients to send the message in the email messaging software or send a message directly from Bridge. Bridge supports both patient SMS messaging software and email mass messaging.

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How can a patient portal help my organization/practice?

Bridge empowers patients with self-service tools to better manage their care, increasing patient engagement, and patient loyalty. The Bridge platform enables health organizations to replace their existing EHR portals or connect disparate EHR environments, reducing costs and increasing workflow efficiencies.

Bridge is a 2015 certified patient portal; therefore, healthcare organizations can use Bridge to attest to Medicare and Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Programs (Meaningful Use). Bridge also aids healthcare organizations in providing patients electronic access to their health information which is a requirement for MACRA/MIPS. Bridge can also aid healthcare organizations in ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule compliance. In order to be compliant, organizations must provide patients secure access to their electronic medical record data through an app of their choice.

Recommended: Patient Portals and MACRA / MIPS / Meaningful Use

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Does Bridge support a patient chatbot?

Currently, chatbots are not supported. Bridge plans to include a chatbot for its virtual visit module.

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Why is Bridge Patient Portal better than the others?

Bridge is different than anything else on the market in the following ways:

  • Provides a client-branded healthcare mobile app
  • Adopts the latest technologies, such as Angular, which allows for a single codebase for web, iOS, and Android.
  • Capacity to successfully interface with 15+ EHR/RCM solutions and counting.
  • Focuses on medium-to-large-sized healthcare businesses.
  • Advanced expertise in the healthcare regulatory landscape (i.e., HIPAA and ADA). 
  • Expert knowledge in healthcare interface technology (i.e., HL7, FHIR, CCD, Direct).
  • In-depth knowledge of the age of majority law, acceptable management of proxy accounts, conditional presentation of sensitive information, and the complexities associated with parent/guardian/caregiver access.
  • Boasts the highest functionality of any platform

Bridge is an enterprise patient portal and patient engagement solution for healthcare organizations. The platform is ideal for companies seeking to replace their existing EHR patient portal, connect disparate EHR environments, consolidate costly patient engagement tools, offer telemedicine services, and or publish a mobile app. Bridge truly engages patients with a superior, client-branded user experience that includes automated electronic communication and meaningful, multi-platform access to health, financial, and appointment information. Bridge’s all-in-one patient engagement solution is proven to enhance patient-physician collaboration, care outcomes, business profitability, and brand equity.

Bridge is an EHR-agnostic / vendor-neutral solution that can interface with multiple EHR and RCM systems simultaneously.

Recommended: Patient Portals and MACRA / MIPS / Meaningful Use

Recommended: Bridge Reports Record Growth for 2019

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Does Bridge support telemedicine capabilities?

Bridge currently integrates with Zoom® for virtual visits. Bridge is exploring other beneficial integrations. There are plans to develop a Bridge virtual care module in 2021.

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How does Bridge ensure HIPAA compliance and patient security while conducting telemedicine?

Patients are required to sign a telemedicine informed consent form before participating in a telemedicine consultation through the Bridge. In this way, patients accept the terms of conducting a medical visit via video chat, including potential benefits, constraints, and risks.

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What kind of features and functionality does Bridge offer? And is it customizable?

Bridge Essential includes the following features:

Bridge also provides several optional add-ons, including:

Bridge is a fully customizable patient portal solution. New modules can be added to the platform at any time. Bridge can determine whether a custom feature is feasible or not and the associated costs. In some cases, Bridge will not charge for customizations if it is believed it would be beneficial for all Bridge users.

All of Bridge’s installations are designed to meet the healthcare organization’s brand identity. Healthcare organizations can also choose to reserve requested portal customization for the organization’s use only. This is a common request in cases where the customization is part of a client’s “secret sauce.” If the client requires something that is not listed, the healthcare organization can request a new feature. There is a good chance the patient portal development team is already developing it or has it scheduled for development.

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Can custom features be added to Bridge’s web application and/or mobile app?

Yes, the Digital Front Door concept denotes a one-stop-shop for patients to access a variety of self-service tools and patient resources to better manage their care. Bridge further accomplishes this goal by allowing custom features to be added to the patient portal’s web and mobile app navigation, as well as supporting the customization of particular features.

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Can our patients use their mobile phones to access the portal?

Yes, Bridge’s web browser-based application is mobile-friendly by using responsive design, ensuring a user-friendly experience on all devices. Bridge also offers a  native mobile app that clients can brand to their organization allowing hospitals and health systems a way to build their brand further. The Bridge app is an extension of the patient portal and replicates the same functionality that is available in the portal.

  • Singular app for all online patient services
  • iOS and Android enabled
  • Select from a suite of pre-built features, or add custom features
  • Support for multiple interfaces, including EHR & RCM
  • Advanced patient authentication and security

 

Bridge can also ensure that the branded mobile app is both HIPAA and ADA compliant.

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Can I send mass messages to my patients?

Bridge supports patient mass messaging functions in the administration panel of the patient messaging software. Simply select the criteria of patients that you want to send a message to by selecting from an extensive list of filters, then either export the list of patients to send the message in your email messaging software or send a message directly from Bridge. Bridge supports both patient SMS messaging software and email mass messaging.

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What remote patient monitoring and wearable devices does Bridge support?

Bridge currently supports integration with FitBit. Bridge is also capable of integrating with any number of devices, as well as interface engines, such as Validic®. Self-reported patient data such as weight, blood pressure, blood glucose, etc., can be added by the patient in Bridge, or received automatically from an integrated device. This patient-entered data is categorized as such as to not mix with provider-entered data. Patient-entered data can then be reported to the EHR.

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Can I build my own forms?

Technically, yes. Bridge offers a form builder which allows clients to build their own forms. Form building does pose its own challenges though, as in most cases the form fields are expected to be interfaced to the associated EHR or PM system to specific discrete data fields. The routing to the discrete data fields must first be established before the form field can be added to the form. In most cases, Bridge’s form builder is used for modifying existing forms once the form field linkages have been made.

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What is the process for enabling/disabling a patient or proxy user login?

Enabling or disabling a patient or proxy user’s login is at the discretion of an organization’s portal admin. The process to disable or enable a login simply requires an admin to update the login accounts status from within the portal. If the client would like to enable or disable multiple user logins simultaneously, there is a function in the admin panel.

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How do parents manage multiple child accounts?

Parents can have an account for each of their individual children. Modeled after recognizable social media applications, parents can intuitively toggle between the profiles of their children. This feature clearly displays which child’s information the parent may be viewing, allowing the parent to manage his/her child’s appointments, prescription requests, and medical records with ease. Bridge also has a built-in age of majority software that automatically disconnects a child from a parent’s account when the child reaches the age of majority.

To learn more about Pediatric specific portal features, please see: 3 Portal Features Every Pediatric Clinic, and Parent Should Know.

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Is the provider portal available via a mobile device?

Yes. Bridge is available as a mobile healthcare app, with native support for Android and iOS. The app is an extension of the provider portal and replicates the same functionality that is available in the portal. 

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Can patient-generated data from a remote monitoring device flow back to the patient’s chart in the EHR?

Yes, the information can flow back as discrete data, PDF, or a combination of the two. 

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Can Bridge support health records being sent from multiple EHRs?

Yes. Bridge has a C-CDA parser tool on the backend that allows the system to pull in and sort data from disparate sources accurately.

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Are actions that take place in the provider portal reflected in the source EHR/PM/RCM system?

Yes. Bridge can interface with any Electronic Health Record (EHR), Revenue Cycle Management (RCM), or Practice Management (PM) software system, even more than one simultaneously. Information can be pulled from the provider portal into the source system and vice versa. 

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Can Bridge support multiple integrations at once?

Yes, Bridge can support several HL7 and API-based interfaces at once to EHR, PM, RCM, LIS, RIS, and other patient/clinical information systems.

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Can I host the application on my own server?

Yes. Bridge can be hosted on a healthcare organization’s server or on one of Bridge’s, depending on the healthcare organization’s preference. Other options for hosting include:

Client Server: This option allows a healthcare organization to host the Bridge software on their own server or on a dedicated joint-managed Bridge server. Bridge requires access to this server for product update services, and the server must meet the company’s technical requirements. Server technical maintenance incurs an additional cost.

Dedicated Bridge Server: A healthcare organization can be hosted on a dedicated server but does not have the resources to maintain one, Bridge can provide joint-managed dedicated hosting with Google Cloud Platform.

For additional information about self-hosted environments, please contact a Bridge representative.

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Is Bridge Certified? HIPAA, ONC, MACRA, MIPS?

ONC

Bridge meets 16 different 2015 Edition ONC Health IT Certification Criteria. This certification allows healthcare organizations to leverage Bridge in order to be Meaningful Use, MACRA/MIPS, and ONC Cures Act compliant.

Recommended reading: Patient Portals and MACRA / MIPS / Meaningful Use

HIPAA

Bridge is a HIPAA-compliant advanced IT solution and adheres to HIPAA regulations by taking the necessary steps to ensure products effectively protect sensitive patient information. Bridge has passed multiple rounds of third-party HIPAA audits. As a customer, companies will also sign a business associate agreement with Bridge for HIPAA compliance purposes. Bridge HIPAA compliant features include HIPAA compliant messaging, bill pay, appointment scheduling, appointment reminders, and more.

Bridge is committed to the security, compliance, and QA of each individual portal installation. Each portal is hosted on a secure Google cloud server with the appropriate firewalls. Bridge undergoes annual third-party HIPAA audits and various other security-related audits. Bridge also staffs a full-time compliance officer.

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Can Bridge restrict access to the health records for some users?

Bridge has a number of user roles that can be configured to have different access to health data. 

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Can a preferred pharmacy be offered to patients when refills are requested?

Yes, clients have the ability to list their pharmacies first in the dropdown list. Alternatively, the solution could auto-populate the patient’s preferred pharmacy as defined by the source system.

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How will I be charged?

Fees are charged on the first of the month for the upcoming month. If a patient or provider count is being used to calculate the monthly cost, this will be calculated based on the highest number of registered patients and/or providers in the previous month.

Learn how Bridge’s full patient engagement suite is priced here.

 

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What is Bridge’s tasking solution?

Bridge has an add-on tasking module for the management of common patient questions, issues, and tasks that require staff-approval/intervention. The tasking center is a module that lives on the admin side of the portal, available to certain staff users roles.

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Can patients request refills on all medication?

This is a configuration in the Bridge platform. More often than not, clients choose a configuration that only allows patients to request refills on active medication.

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Does Bridge have the ability to gather form data before a telemedicine/telehealth visit?

Bridge has a patient intake solution that allows patients to fill out forms required for a particular appointment type. Upon completing the necessary forms in the intake solution, the patient is taken directly to their telehealth video session. Before a telehealth visit, patients are typically required to sign a telehealth consent form.

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Is WhatsApp HIPAA compliant?

WhatsApp® is NOT a HIPAA compliant telemedicine software and should not be used to share ePHI or deliver online healthcare since doing so would violate HIPAA regulations.

 

Further recommended reading: Is WhatsApp® a HIPAA compliant telemedicine software?

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How does Bridge handle patient intake?

Bridge has a device-neutral patient intake software that seamlessly integrates with EHR/PMS systems to expedite the patient check-in process. Patients complete a customized patient intake experience that the client has developed with Bridge.

Bridge features several pre-built intake forms that can be further customized to the healthcare organization’s exact needs. There is a small charge for creating a custom patient intake form. The work is billed hourly, and most forms don’t require more than a few hours. Other forms can also be created, including Health Risk Assessments (HRA), surveys, pre-op forms, and medical record release.

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Does Bridge offer SMS and email notifications?

Yes. Bridge has a robust admin panel that allows for the easy setup of SMS and email notifications. These can be used for a variety of features, including:

  • Appointment Confirmations
  • Appointment Reminders
  • Health Summaries
  • New Documents
  • Rx Refill Status Change
  • New Invoices
  • New Lab Results
  • New Message

To learn more about SMS and email notifications, please see: The Facts about HIPAA and Email/SMS Communication with Patients.

To learn more about sending appointment reminders securely, please see: How to Send Automated Patient Appointment Reminders Without Jeopardizing Patients’ Data Security.

 

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Does Bridge Offer IVR services for notifications or reminders?

Bridge offers IVR reminders and notifications, along with bidirectional patient messaging, SMS, Email, and Push-based notifications/reminders. The IVR-based calls also support user-inputted responses (i.e., “Press 1 to confirm, or 2 to cancel your upcoming appointment”)

 

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How are patients notified of a new invoice?

Bridge’s notification engine can alert patients of a new invoice via email, SMS/text, and via mobile push notification.

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Can Bridge check for insurance eligibility and provide service estimations?

Yes, 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.

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Can patient payments be posted back into the source Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) or Practice Management (PM) system?

Yes, assuming the RCM/PM system supports interfaces for receiving such information or supports the uploading of batch files for patient payments.

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Can Bridge limit patient functionality based on overdue balances?

Bridge has the ability to restrict patient functionality based on a number of factors. For instance, if the source were to change the patient status to fired or in collections, Bridge could block or limit access.

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How does Bridge handle patient consent management?

Bridge enables healthcare organizations to have a repository of forms and agreements for patients to sign “e-sign” in the application electronically. These forms/agreements can be triggered at various stages of the patient’s use of the portal, including:

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Does Bridge support the age of majority regulations?

Bridge is able to configure a client’s instance to support the age of majority regulations for their state(s). Parental access to a child’s account after age of majority has been triggered will be blocked, unless granted to the parent by the healthcare organization, or the child, after they have established their own logins.

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How does a refill request go back into the source EHR system?

A prescription refill request goes back into the source system via a message, typically sent to the inbox in the EHR. However, other workflows could also be supported, such as routing the refill request to a tasking queue in the EHR or in Bridge’s tasking module.

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Can a preferred pharmacy be configured to populate first in the dropdown?

Yes, client’s have the ability to list their pharmacies first in the dropdown list. Alternatively, the solution could auto populate the patients preferred pharmacy as defined by the source system.

 

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Can a patient be automatically reminded to complete a self-assessment?

Bridge’s notification engine can alert patients to complete a self-assessment via patient messaging software, which includes email, SMS/text, and push notifications. There would need to be a trigger that prompts the self-assessment such as an upcoming appointment of a certain appointment type, or a post-visit message

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Can patient-reported information/data flow back into the source EHR system?

Yes, the information can flow back as discrete data, PDF, or a combination of the two.

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Does Bridge support surveys/patient satisfaction surveys?

Yes, Bridge supports the ability to send patient satisfaction surveys as a pre-visit message, post-visit message, or in the forms section. The sending of surveys is configurable by appointment type.

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Can Bridge clients control what is included in the survey?

Yes, Bridge can create custom forms or messages, meaning clients can determine the survey’s content.

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Are the results from the survey exportable?

Yes, Bridge can export form data as a CSV file. Bridge also supports integration into Zoho Analytics®, creating any number of custom reports and data gathering required by the client.

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Does Bridge have its own HISP? Or do they rely on other HISPs?

Bridge does not have its own HISP for direct messaging. If direct messaging was required in a client instance, we would rely on third-party vendors to satisfy the requirement. 

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Can the patient request referrals in the patient portal?

Yes. The referral request can take place via the messaging module. Bridge would dedicate a message type for these inquiries.

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Can Bridge filter information coming from the EHR to the patient portal, such as sensitive lab results?

Bridge has the ability to filter/restrict data at the interface layer.

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Does Bridge have the ability to restrict certain lab data?

Yes, Bridge has the ability to add an interface layer to restrict certain data.

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What triggers the sending of lab results to Bridge?

This is a configuration on the Bridge side. The most common trigger for sending lab results is the physician’s approval/signature in the EHR.

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Does Bridge meet the MIPS requirement for supporting electronic referral loops by receiving, sending, and incorporating health information?

This is not currently supported in Bridge. To meet the requirements, Bridge integrates with third-party vendors.

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Where is the tasking center in Bridge?

The tasking center is a module that lives on the patient portal solution’s admin side, available to certain staff user roles.

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How are tasks created?

A task can be created for any number of patient interactions. Examples include:

  • The patient has completed a form that needs to be reviewed before flowing back into the source system as discrete data
  • A patient has a technical question regarding the portal that could be triaged in the portal and not the EHR.
  • RCM related issues, such as:
    • Bill pay failures
    • Payment plan failures
    • Failed to post back to EHR/RCM
  • Appointment requests
  • Patient self-registration errors
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Can multiple users work on a single task?

Yes, a task can be assigned to multiple users. There is an area for users to leave notes as well.

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Must healthcare organizations purchase the entire solution?

Bridge Essential includes the following modules:

Bridge also provides several optional modules, including:

Learn how Bridge’s full patient engagement suite is priced here.

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Does Bridge offer video e-consultations for telehealth as part of its patient portal solution?

Bridge offers a telehealth solution that leverages Zoom® for Healthcare. The virtual visits solution easily connects with healthcare organization’s existing digital tools and connects disparate touchpoints along the patient journey—providing patients with a seamless experience and improving patient satisfaction. 

How It Works:

  1. Patients can request a video e-consultation by selecting the provider, date, and type of appointment. 
  2. Zoom creates a unique video visit room code for that appointment.
  3. An email confirmation plus notification reminders are triggered at preset intervals before the appointment.
  4. The patient receives a secure notification with a link to the portal that allows them to securely join the Zoom meeting.
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Does Bridge offer medical web design services?

Yes. In partnership with Medical Web Experts (www.medicalwebexperts.com), Bridge offers a wide range of healthcare website design and healthcare marketing services, ensuring maximum engagement across the patient population. Their services are complementary to those offered by Bridge, helping Bridge customers build microservices-based on Bridge’s API technology.

 

Medical Web Experts have over fifteen years of experience in medical web design and app development for the healthcare industry, working with some of healthcare’s largest health systems.

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Does Bridge support integrations with remote patient monitoring devices?

Yes, Bridge can ingest patient-generated data from remote monitoring devices. The data flows into Bridge’s “Wellness Tracker” module. Patients can track vitals such as weight, height, blood pressure, blood glucose, temperature, and more.

Recommended: Research Finds Significant Patient Portal Benefits For Remote Patient Monitoring

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What devices does Bridge supports?

Bridge currently supports integration with FitBit. Bridge is also capable of integrating with any number of devices, as well as interface engines, such as Validic®.

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What products does Bridge currently interface with?

Bridge currently interfaces with:

  • AdvancedMD
  • Allscripts
  • athenahealth (Incl. athenaOne and the Centricity product line, formerly known as Virence / GE Centricity incl. Centricity Business, Centricity EMR, and Centricity Practice Solution (CPS))
  • Aurora
  • Brightree
  • EMR-Link
  • gMed
  • Greenway
  • Infomedika
  • McKesson
  • MedWorxs
  • Mirth Connect
  • NextGen
  • PhoenixOrtho
  • PrognoCIS
  • Strateq Health
  • Wellsky
  • Wellsoft
  • X-Link
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Does Bridge support recall messaging?

Bridge has the ability to automate recall messaging based on data from past or upcoming appointments. Depending on the past appointment type, a logic is placed into our recall engine that lets Bridge know when to send the future message/messages. Triggers can also be received directly from the EHR and then custom messages sent to the patient from Bridge.

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What is Bridge?

Bridge is a patient engagement solution that provides patients with online entry points to essential tools, enabling patients to manage a variety of aspects of their health records and enables them to seek care. Patient portals help stimulate and improve better physician-patient relationships and give patients more control regarding their overall healthcare experience. Bridge provides an opportunity for health organizations to increase patient engagement, promote loyalty, better manage costs, and increase workflow efficiencies.

Bridge is more than just a patient portal; it is, in fact, a comprehensive patient engagement solution.

Through the use of patient engagement software, Bridge clients can deploy client-branded web applications as well as mobile apps, available for iOS and Android.

Bridge is setting a new standard for digital patient engagement software companies by offering a single, mobile-ready solution for secure SMS/email/push notifications, self-scheduling, medical record access, patient-provider messaging, bill pay, patient check-in, and more.

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How do I track the time I have spent in providing Chronic Care Management services?

The Chronic Care Management solution has a built-in timer. Every time a care coach accesses a patient chart, reviews the patient health records, updates or modifies the patient’s care plan, or communicates with the patient via phone or email the time spent in each activity is automatically recorded. At the end of the month, healthcare organizations can run a billing report for each provider that details the amount of time spent on Chronic Care Management services.

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Does Bridge offer automated patient notifications?

Yes. Bridge has a robust admin panel that allows for the easy setup of notifications. Bridge offers IVR reminders and notifications, along with bidirectional patient messaging, SMS, Email, and push-based notifications/reminders.

Reminders can be used for a variety of features, including:

  • Appointment Confirmations
  • Patient Recall Messaging Software
  • Appointment Reminders
  • Health Summaries
  • New Documents
  • Rx Refill Status Change
  • New Invoices
  • New Lab Results
  • New Message

To learn more about SMS and Email notifications, please see: The Facts about HIPAA and Email/SMS Communication with Patients.

To learn more about sending appointment reminders securely, please see: How to Send Automated Patient Appointment Reminders Without Jeopardizing Patients’ Data Security.

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How are provider user licenses counted for pricing?

For products and services priced based on the number of providers, the following method of calculation will be made. A provider is considered to be any high-level provider providing care to a patient. This includes M.D., D.O., D.C., D.P.M., N.P., C.N.M., C.M., DDS, or DMD. For the titles of Psy.D, Ph.D., L.Ac., PT & OT, Bridge will count each title at a ¼ provider value. A large portion of Bridge’s pricing is based on the number of providers that are going to be using Bridge. Bridge generally does not provide a discount for part-time providers, though exceptions can be made in certain cases. Supporting staff and other administrative staff are not required to purchase a license, as long as there is one active provider license. Bridge reserves the right to assign a provider and/or patient count licensing scheme as Bridge sees fit for the particular client environment/implementation.

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Can patients pay multiple invoices at once?

Yes, patients have the ability to select multiple invoices (via a checkbox) and pay for all the selected invoices in one transaction.

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Does Bridge have a preferred merchant/payment gateway?

Bridge has a few preferred payment gateways, but clients have the ability to choose the merchant/gateway of their choice. Bridge can aid in the vendor selection process if needed. Bridge has partnerships with merchants to support the use of contactless payment terminals for collecting in-office payments.

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Does Bridge support payment plans?

Bridge supports payment plans. Nevertheless, a lot depends on the payment gateway that the client is using for payments.

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How is a paid invoice in Bridge reflected in a client’s EHR/RCM/PMS?

Once a patient has paid an invoice, Bridge will update the source system’s invoice status.

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What functionality does the provider have in the provider portal?

Provider functionality is dependent on the client’s configuration choices. That being said, providers would typically be able to use the following features:

  • Patient/User Search (includes the ability to view patient health records/documents)
  • Messaging Module
  • Scheduling Module
  • Prescription Refills
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Can providers and patients use Skype® for telemedicine?

Skype® is currently not HIPAA compliant. While Skype’s ® encryption methods are secure, one of the most compelling reasons against the use of Skype® for healthcare provider-patient communication is that Skype® will not enter into a Business Associate Agreement (BAA), which is required under the HIPAA Omnibus Rule. Organizations that use the software to communicate with patients over the Internet should be aware of the risks involved and consider using other video conferencing platforms instead.

Read: Is Skype® HIPAA Compliant?

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Is Zoom HIPAA compliant?

Zoom is willing to sign a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA), which is an important element for HIPAA compliance, but it lacks end-to-end encryption which is the most important step towards achieving HIPAA compliance. At the time of writing, there are multiple security issues preventing HIPAA-compliance. 

Read: Is Zoom a HIPAA Compliant Telehealth Software?

 

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Is there a Bridge app?

Yes, Bridge offers a patient portal app. The app is an extension of the patient portal and replicates the same functionality that is available in the portal. Unlike a typical patient portal mobile app, Bridge’s app is client-branded, allowing hospitals and health systems a way to build their brand further. Patients would download the app in either the iOS or Android app stores. Bridge is also available as a patient engagement mobile app, with native support for Android and iOS. To learn more about Bridge’s mobile app solution, please visit the Digital Front Door page.

 

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Can the patient portal application be customized?

Yes. Bridge is a fully customizable patient portal solution. If a customized feature is required, Bridge assesses whether it is feasible and if there is an associated cost. In some cases, Bridge will not charge for customizations if Bridge feels that it would be beneficial for all Bridge users.

Custom patient portal features:

  • Changes to intake form templates
  • EHR/PM software interfaces
  • Custom Patient Appointment Self Scheduling Workflows
  • Filtering/hiding sensitive health summary and lab data
  • Payment Gateway Integrations for Patient Bill Pay
  • Custom homepage widgets
  • API-driven microservices for client websites
  • In-portal advertising
  • Custom one-stop new patient registration and appointment scheduling forms

All of Bridge’s installations are designed to conform to the healthcare organization’s brand identity. Healthcare organizations can also choose to reserve requested portal customization for the organization’s use only. This is a common request in cases where the customization is part of a client’s “secret sauce.”

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Can I request a new feature for my portal?

Yes. Please feel free to ask us about any feature that you would like to have installed. There is a good chance the patient portal development team is already developing it or has it scheduled for development.

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Can I interface Bridge to my Electronic Health Record (EHR), Revenue Cycle Management (RCM), or Practice Management (PM) software?

Yes. Bridge is an EHR agnostic patient portal and can be interfaced with any Electronic Health Record (EHR), Revenue Cycle Management (RCM), or Practice Management (PM) software system, even more than one simultaneously.

Bridge works with the most prevalent healthcare interface industry standards, including Health Level Seven (HL7), Continuity of Care Document (CCD), and Fast Health Information Resource (FHIR) via Bridge’s robust API. We can also build custom, non-standard interfaces designed for advanced integration between multiple systems where external compatibility support is not required.

Bridge patient portal currently interfaces with:

No matter what your interface needs may be, Bridge can help you develop the perfect solution. In many cases, Bridge has already developed interfaces for your software system(s). Contact a Bridge representative to see if Bridge has an interface designed for your EHR or PM system.

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How can I initially populate the portal with my EHR/PM software data?

Bridge helps transfer data from the existing portal, EHR, or PM software. Before importing data, patients need to have portal accounts. The easiest way to create a large number of accounts is by using a CSV file or an interface to the EHR/PM system. Once accounts are created, Bridge can import Continuity of Care Documents (CCDs) from the EHR or PM software using a common directory on the local server. Bridge can also pull information about appointments, documents, invoices, and more from the source system. Bridge’s system can also automatically create providers. Bridge’s expert team will guide healthcare organizations through the entire migration and go-live process.

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Do my patients have the same login and password once the portal is migrated?

No. Bridge can’t bring over the patients’ old passwords, but does make it easy for patients to self-register and set a new password for their automatically created/migrated account.

After the portal is migrated, patients would receive a welcome email and upon clicking the URL link in the welcome email, they would be invited to complete an expedited registration process by verifying their identity with a unique identifier.

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Is Bridge a 2015 ONC certified patient portal?

Yes. Bridge is a 2015 certified patient portal. SLI Compliance certified Bridge for 2015 Edition Module EHR / Ambulatory * ONC Health IT Certification. This certification designates that healthcare providers/organizations can use the ONC patient portal for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) pathway of the MACRA Quality Payment Program.

Bridge also aids healthcare organizations in becoming 21st Century Cures Act/ Final Rule compliant by supplying secure patient access to their electronic medical record data through a mobile app of their choice and increasing data availability to support insights about care quality and costs.

Bridge certified on the highest number of criteria (16 modular EHR criteria) of any EHR-independent 3rd party patient portal solution.

Bridge v2.0, certification date: Jul 3, 2018, certification ID number: 15.05.05.1947.BRID.01.00.0.180703

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Can I use the patient portal for MACRA/MIPS attestation?

Yes. Bridge can help participants attest for Provide Patients Electronic Access to Their Health Information, a measure of the Promoting Interoperability performance category, which makes up 25% of the MIPS final score.

Bridge is a 2015 certified patient portal; therefore, healthcare organizations can use Bridge to promote interoperability for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). With Bridge’s use, patients are provided timely access to view, download, and transmit their health information.

For more information, please consult the updated resource that explains the current MACRA/MIPS/Meaningful Use regulations.

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Can I try the product before I buy it?

The best way to become familiar with Bridge and experience its benefits is through an interactive demonstration with a Bridge specialist. This demo is customized to the client’s needs and showcases the product’s robust features and capabilities.

In some cases, Bridge can provide a demo login to a test environment for a client to interact with the product further.

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How is pricing calculated?

Bridge is a patient portal supplier, and pricing is based on a combination of the number of providers and active patients to ensure that clients are not overbilled for under-utilized systems. 

Learn how Bridge’s full patient engagement suite is priced here

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Does Bridge support proxy managed accounts for dependents?

Yes, Bridge supports proxy patient portal access. Parents can manage an account for their children, provided that their children are under the age of 18 or the age of majority in their state. Modeled after recognizable social media applications, parents can intuitively toggle between the profiles of their children. This feature clearly displays which child’s information the parent may be viewing, allowing the parent to manage his/her child’s appointments, prescription requests, and online medical records with ease. Bridge also has a built-in age of majority software that automatically disconnects a child for a parent’s account when the child reaches the age of majority. Parents can send messages on behalf of their child, and restrictions for sensitive information are supported.

To learn more about Pediatric specific portal features, please see:  3 Portal Features Every Pediatric Clinic, and Parent Should Know

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What messaging features does Bridge offer?

Bridge has a robust admin panel that allows for the easy set up of IVR reminders and notifications, along with bidirectional patient messaging, SMS, Email, and Push-based notifications/reminders. The IVR-based calls also support user-inputted responses (i.e., “Press 1 to confirm, or 2 to cancel your upcoming appointment”). Patients can use a direct messaging protocol granted the provider has a direct message address.

Bridge supports patient mass messaging functions in the administration panel. Simply select the criteria of patients that you want to send a message to by selecting from an extensive list of filters, then either export the list of patients to send the message in your email messaging software or send a message directly from Bridge. Bridge supports both SMS and email mass messaging.

 

Messaging can be used to communicate:

 

*Reminder, it is a HIPAA violation to include names or PHI in an email or SMS text. That being said, depending on the content of the email/SMS, who the email/SMS is being sent to, or mechanisms put in place to ensure the integrity of Protected Health Information (PHI), email/SMS can comply with HIPAA in certain circumstances. The patient also can sign an opt-in agreement (where they accept the risks of PHI in messages) with a health organization and receive PHI via email/SMS. The opt-in agreement is a common practice among Bridge clients.

To learn more about SMS and Email notifications please see: The Facts about HIPAA and Email/SMS Communication with Patients

To learn more about sending appointment reminders securely please see: How to Send Automated Patient Appointment Reminders Without Jeopardizing Patients’ Data Security

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Does Bridge offer video e-consultations for telemedicine as part of its patient portal solution?

Bridge currently offers an email-based e-consultation solution with an integrated billing for the e-consultations. 

Bridge is committed to fully developing its telemedicine solution in 2020. Telemedicine has been many years in the making. The Bridge team has carefully watched the telemedicine market for trends, innovations, and standout vendors. We will be working closely with our clients in the coming months to evaluate the best course of action for our telemedicine solution and explore partnerships with industry-leading vendors.

In the meantime, there are many features in Bridge to help our clients facilitate telemedicine encounters and online communication with their patients via 3rd party systems.

  • Secure Patient-Provider Messaging – Bridge supports secure messaging between patients and providers or delegated to a provider’s team. Interface permitting, messages can be received and replied to in the provider’s EHR. Many questions can be answered in this way, and for providers using patient-provider messaging already, this is the most commonly used feature in the portal. It is educating patients that this is a reliable way to communicate with the provider for non-emergent questions, especially defining the protocol for when a message should be sent to a provider. This protocol can be shared with the patient in the messaging feature, using the “Alert Message” feature.
  • Telemedicine Appointment Scheduling – Bridge offers appointment requests and telemedicine appointment software. Depending on the telemedicine program, different options are available to help patients schedule a telemedicine appointment. In the first place, a telemedicine appointment type can be created, which would then allow better organization of provider schedules. If self-scheduling is already in use, a protocol that manages the times and providers that a telemedicine appointment can be scheduled can be created in Bridge.
  • Facilitating Video Conferencing – Once an appointment is scheduled, a message can be sent to the patient with a link to the video conference. It’s essential that whichever video conferencing solution is used, that it meets HIPAA requirements.
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Does Bridge offer patient appointment scheduling software?

Within Bridge’s appointment scheduling feature, there are two ways a patient can make an appointment. A patient can either request an appointment using the portal or schedule their own appointment. A client can choose between these two methods based on the appointment types they offer.

Bridge’s HIPAA-compliant medical appointment scheduling software is a rules-based, enterprise-wide scheduling solution that uses dynamic logic to ensure a patient can work their way through the proper clinical screening and select from conflict-free times within the patient scheduler. The patient scheduling software was built to handle complex scheduling decision trees comfortably and is adaptable to any provider group—forming to the unique schedules of each of their providers.

Bridge helps healthcare organizations automate the appointment scheduling process by letting patients self-schedule appointments at their own convenience. The self-scheduling platform is simple for patients to use and lets them select their doctor and preferred visit time from a list of available appointment slots. Bridge’s HIPAA compliant appointment scheduling solution allows healthcare organizations to implement an automated workflow that asks the questions the practice needs to be answered before confirming an appointment, including prompting patients to fill out the necessary forms.

Choose between two setup configurations that determine what happens once a patient appointment request is received:

  • Automated. Appointment requests are automatically scheduled once the patient clicks “submit a request.”
  • Semi-automated. A designated person (or group of users) in the organization to receive appointment request notifications as soon as they are submitted. Users can review the appointment requests when it is convenient and change the status from “pending” to “scheduled” to confirm. A notification will then be sent to the patient.
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Can Bridge’s patient self scheduling software support dynamic logic?

Bridge’s rule-based patient scheduler ensures that a patient can work their way through the proper clinical screening and select from conflict-free times within the patient scheduler. Patient self-scheduling software was built to handle complex scheduling decision trees and is adaptable to any provider group—forming the unique schedules of each of their providers.

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How does Bridge handle patient intake

Bridge has a device-neutral patient intake software that seamlessly integrates with EHR/PMS systems to expedite the patient check-in process. Patients interact with a  customized patient intake experience that the client has developed with Bridge.

Bridge features several pre-built intake forms that can be further customized to your exact needs. There is a small charge for creating a custom patient intake form. The work is billed hourly, and most forms don’t require more than a few hours. Other forms can also be created, including Health Risk Assessments (HRA), surveys, pre-op forms, and medical record release.

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Can I have custom patient intake forms?

Yes. Bridge features several pre-built intake forms that can be further customized to your exact needs. There is a small charge for creating a custom patient intake form. The work is billed hourly, and most forms don’t require more than a few hours. Other forms can also be created, including Health Risk Assessments (HRA), surveys, pre-op forms, and medical record release.

For more information on intake forms, please see: Why Does Your Medical Practice Need Electronic Patient Intake Forms?

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Can I use Bridge’s patient engagement software to send personalized patient education?

Yes. Clients can utilize three different methods for sending personalized patient education material.

  • Direct message: Send patients education via direct message (attachments, URL’s, text)
  • Mass messaging: Utilize the marketing module to target patients with a specific condition and send the target patient population the education material in one click.
  • Care plans: Automated triggering of patient education as the patient adheres to the assigned care plan.
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Does Bridge have software for CPT 99490?

Yes, through Bridge’s chronic care management software, care coordinators perform all the necessary tasks associated with billing for CPT code 99490.

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Can I customize chronic care management forms?

Yes, there is a form builder in the chronic care management software that enables administrators to develop custom forms to be used in their CCM program.

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How does Bridge handle chronic care management?

Bridge contains a form builder in the chronic care management solution that enables administrators to develop custom forms to be used in their CCM program.

Healthcare organizations can track the time spent providing chronic care management services. The chronic care management solution has a built-in timer. Every time a care coach accesses a patient chart, reviews the patient health records, updates or modifies the patient’s care plan, or communicates with the patient via phone or email, the time spent in each activity is automatically recorded. At the end of the month, healthcare organizations can run a billing report for each provider that details the amount of time spent on the chronic care management service.

Bridge CCM is a chronic care management software solution that helps healthcare providers track medical treatments and health conditions between office visits. It was developed as a tool to increase reimbursements through CPT code 99490, Medicare’s new chronic care management code.

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Can a patient use the direct messaging protocol?

Yes, as well as bidirectional patient messaging granted, the provider has a direct message address.

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Is your patient portal mobile friendly?

Yes, Bridge’s web browser-based application is mobile-friendly by using responsive design. This ensures a user-friendly experience on all devices.

Bridge also offers a client-branded healthcare mobile app solution with extensive functionality for interfaces, patient medical records, appointment scheduling, messaging, bill pay, and more.

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Is Bridge a HIPAA compliant patient portal?

Yes. Bridge has gone through multiple rounds of third-party HIPAA audits and is ONC 2015 Edition certified. With the ONC 2015 certification, Bridge’s portal meets or exceeds all security requirements pertaining to patient portal software, as outlined in the standards for MACRA/MIPS and HIPAA. Protecting the privacy of patients’ personal health information is a top priority for Bridge. Bridge clients also sign a business associate agreement with Bridge for HIPAA compliance purposes. HIPAA compliant features include:

 

 

To learn more about security, please see: 8 Security Features You Need in an EHR or Patient Portal.

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How does Bridge ensure HIPAA compliance in each portal?

Bridge is a patient engagement solutions provider that is committed to the security, compliance, and QA of each individual portal installation. Each portal is hosted on a secure Google cloud server with the appropriate firewalls. Bridge undergoes annual third-party HIPAA audits and various other security-related audits, Bridge also staffs a full-time compliance officer.
Offer patients a HIPAA compliant patient portal with Bridge.

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What are HIPAA-compliant advanced IT solutions?

Healthcare providers in the US must comply with HIPAA regulations, which were designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients’ medical records and other health information supplied to health plans, doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare entities. These regulations extend to all types of healthcare technologies that doctors might use to store and manage patient information. Although there is no definitive HIPAA certification for any organization, IT companies can be HIPAA-compliant. This means that they adhere to HIPAA regulations and take the necessary steps to ensure their products effectively protect sensitive patient information.

Bridge has a long history in helping healthcare organizations meet and understand HIPAA guidelines as they are developers of a HIPAA compliant patient portal.

To learn more about HIPAA and healthcare applications, please see:

HIPAA and Healthcare Applications, Part 1 of 3: What You Need to Know About User Authentication

HIPAA and Healthcare Applications, Part 2 of 3: What You Need to Know About Auditing

HIPAA and Healthcare Applications, Part 3 of 3: What You Need to Know About Data Transfer

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Who is responsible for patient portal hosting?

The hosting of the patient portal can be the healthcare organization’s responsibility, or can be handled by Bridge, depending on the healthcare organization’s preference.

Additional options other than Bridge hosting include:

  • Client self-hosted: This option allows healthcare organizations to host the Bridge software on their server or on a dedicated joint-managed Bridge server. Bridge requires access to this server for product update services, and the server must meet the company’s technical requirements. Server technical maintenance has an additional cost.
  • Dedicated Bridge Server: Organizations wanting to be hosted on a dedicated server but lacking the resources to maintain one, Bridge can provide joint-managed dedicated hosting with Google Cloud.

Read: Patient portal Hosting for Security, Compliance, and Development.

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What type of training is included?

Training hours are included in all purchases of Bridge solution. Bridge’s training sessions are typically carried out online via Zoom.

Many of Bridge’s clients opt for a “train the trainer” approach rather than having every member of their organization meet with a trainer from Bridge. Bridge will train an individual or a select group of people at the healthcare organization to use the portal. They can then, in turn, teach the rest of the healthcare staff.

In addition to online training, Bridge can provide clients with a product manual and how-to videos that explain some of the different functions and capabilities of the patient portal. Bridge will work with the healthcare organization to develop these training materials and an overall training plan.

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What type of support is included?

Bridge will provide ongoing support to all clients. Support includes telephone or email assistance in remedying situations and problems with the operation and performance of the patient portal software. This support is available during Bridge’s regular business hours, from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays.

Unless otherwise specified, Bridge will be responsible for providing Level 2 support only. Level 2 support is defined as support relating to the software or server, where advanced technical, development, and server administration knowledge is required. This includes, but is not limited to, troubleshooting software bugs, server administration, and database administration. Level 1 support, defined as the support provided directly to patients (i.e., login issues, missing information from a medical record, etc.), is generally the responsibility of the client. However, arrangements can be made in circumstances where the client requires Bridge to handle these support responsibilities.

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Does Bridge offer a white-label patient portal?

Yes. Bridge offers a white-labeled version of our patient portal for organizations looking to displace their native EHR patient portal. The ONC 2015 certified patient portal is built using Angular and is available as a web application and mobile app (iOS and Android).

For our EHR partner resellers, we offer competitive wholesale pricing, as well as access to our fully documented API. HL7 interfaces are also supported by Bridge.

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How is Bridge different from other patient engagement solution vendors?

Bridge is uniquely positioned to deliver to healthcare organizations an exceptional patient engagement platform thanks to its complete rewrite of the software between versions 2 and 3.

What sets Bridge apart from other competitors:

  • Utilization of the latest technologies, such as Angular and Node.js, which allows for a single codebase for web and mobile, and the publishing of iOS and Android apps.
  • Ability to navigate interface challenges with EHR/RCM vendors, having successfully interfaced with 15+ EHR/RCM solutions.
  • Experience completing many complex projects. Bridge enters a project with confidence and is comfortable setting budget limits, preventing budget overrun.
  • Focus on the ever-growing needs of medium-to-large-sized healthcare businesses.
  • Advanced expertise in the healthcare regulatory landscape (i.e., HIPAA, ADA, CCPA). For example, Bridge has undergone a United Healthcare new vendor audit.
  • Expertise in healthcare interface technology (i.e., HL7, FHIR, CCD, direct database).
  • Extensive experience in providing patient portals and apps, with in-depth knowledge of the age of majority law, acceptable management of proxy accounts, conditional presentation of sensitive information, and the complexities associated with parent/guardian/caregiver access.

As the healthcare industry grows in complexity, it’s crucial to have a partner to optimize communication and interoperability between systems. Through high R&D spending (50% of expenses), Bridge has been able to thrive in the ever-changing, disorganized healthcare market. Meanwhile, vendors are struggling to keep up with customer needs and have significantly higher operating costs, high customer acquisition costs, and obsolete software platforms.

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Do you offer medical web design services?

Yes. In partnership with our strategic partner Medical Web Experts (www.medicalwebexperts.com), Bridge offers a wide range of healthcare website design and healthcare marketing services, ensuring maximum engagement across your patient population.

Medical Web Experts have over ten years of experience in medical web design and app development for the healthcare industry, working with some of healthcare’s largest health systems.

 

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Who has access to the application source code?

Bridge controls the source code and does not allow clients to have access to it. However, if requested and at an additional cost, a client can be a beneficiary of the source code through Bridge’s source code escrow program. This protects the code in the event of an unforeseen disaster or modification that would render Bridge incapable of continuing to support and maintain the patient portal software application.

 

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What’s Bridge’s cancellation policy?

Though this is contract-specific, Bridge typically requires a 12-month commitment. Implementations that do not require any significant level of integration customization may see different, often shorter, term lengths.

 

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Is it a HIPAA violation to include names or PHI in an email or SMS text?

The short answer is yes. That being said, depending on the content of the email/SMS, who the email/SMS is being sent to, or mechanisms put in place to ensure the integrity of Protected Health Information (PHI), email/SMS can HIPAA compliant messaging in certain circumstances. The patient also can sign an opt-in agreement (where they accept the risks of PHI in messages) with a health organization and receive PHI via email/SMS. The opt-in agreement is a common practice among Bridge clients.

For more information, please see: The Facts about HIPAA and Email/SMS Communication with Patients

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Is Skype® HIPAA compliant?

Skype® is currently not HIPAA compliant. While Skype’s ® encryption methods are secure, one of the most compelling reasons against the use of Skype® for healthcare provider-patient communication is that Skype® will not enter into a Business Associate Agreement (BAA), which is required under the HIPAA Omnibus Rule. Organizations that use the software to communicate with patients over the Internet should be aware of the risks involved and consider using other video conferencing platforms instead.

Read: Is Skype® HIPAA Compliant?

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Want to Learn More?

Contact Bridge online or call us at (800) 467-2321
to learn more or schedule a free demo.

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