Burned Out, Short Staffed and Fed Up: How a Digital Patient Engagement Platform Can Give Staff a Break
Maintaining routine communication with patients is critical to ensure individuals remain in touch with care…
When considering the level of interplay with your EHR, you’ll find patient engagement solutions that are “integrated” with your EHR and others that are “embedded” in the EHR. While many patient engagement providers claim to be integrated, this can mean many things. What is the difference and why does it matter?
Within the patient engagement landscape, not all solutions are equal. The value of the patient engagement solution is often measured by three primary attributes:
While all these attributes are relevant to healthcare organizations selecting a new patient engagement solution, number two (2) on this list is often the least understood. If you want to maximize your patient engagement solution, it is critical to understand how the patient engagement solution interacts with your Electronic Health Record (EHR). Before jumping into the technical differences between integrated and embedded, let’s examine why leading healthcare organizations prefer an embedded solution over integrated options.
Healthcare entities benefit from embedded patient engagement solutions that provide frictionless, closed-loop workflows that write to and from the EHR which eliminates the need for manual information sharing. Here are three examples of the two-phase approach that leading patient engagement providers offer to 1) deliver patient notifications then 2) close the loop so, the staff doesn’t have to engage in manual follow-up:
Instead of asking patients if they want to reschedule then making the patient call the office or setting up a trigger for the office to call the patient, an embedded solution allows the patient to reschedule directly within the text message – without any interaction from staff. The patient’s response is written directly back to the EHR.
Instead of notifying a patient to call the office to set up a referral/recall appointment, the embedded solution connects them in real-time to the office’s call center. This can be configured to accommodate shift hours, staff breaks, throttling counts per 15-minute intervals. Both the patient and the healthcare organization’s staff can connect when it is convenient for them.
Instead of making staff log in to a separate customer application to retrieve results from notification outreaches, embedded solutions enable staff members to use their EHR’s existing reporting tools to configure and pull the notification results from the patient engagement platform. This consolidation of data ensures the EHR remains the single source of truth. Plus, you are eliminating the need to maintain duplicate databases. Now that you understand the positive impact of a patient engagement platform embedded in an EHR, here’ a quick lesson in how they technically differ.
When considering the level of interplay with your EHR, you’ll find options that are “integrated” with your EHR and others that are “embedded” in the EHR. While many patient engagement providers claim to be integrated, this can mean many things. What is the difference and why does it matter?
Let’s compare ways in which other common patient engagement processes are managed when integrated versus embedded with the EHR.
|PATIENT ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITY||INTEGRATED||EMBEDDED|
|Appointment Reminder/ Recalls/Referrals||Using an appt data file, notifications are made to patients. Patients are asked to confirm/cancel an appointment, or to indicate if they want to schedule a visit. The responses are provided to the staff for them to then reach out to patients if scheduling is required.||Through automated outreach via SMS, the patient can self-schedule or reschedule office visits. This is accomplished by using real-time API calls with the EHR to provide open time slots. Upon selection, the appointment is automatically booked with all details written to the EHR.|
|Broadcast/Live Chat||Your EHR patient data allows you to select criteria for sending one-way broadcast blasts to multiple patients. You can also send messages to engage individual in live chats and 1:1 bi-directional communication. Staffers then manually capture applicable responses within the EHR.||Using Smart on FHIR we can add our broadcast/live chat portal directly to your EHR so that you never have to work in another system for delivering these types of patient notifications. All responses are automatically captured.|
|Reporting||Your patient engagement provider delivers performance and engagement data to you via an export file that you then manually enter in your EHR.||Your patient engagement provider writes back to your EHR, delivering results and responses from patients using pre-configured codes you have designated.|
For healthcare entities, an embedded patient engagement platform is superior since it writes directly from, and back to, the EHR with zero dependency on manual information sharing to/from another application/platform/window. Intrado’s HouseCalls Pro automated patient engagement platform is a frictionless EHR embedded solution for users of Epic, NextGen and Athenahealth. Soon, HouseCalls Pro will be embedded in more EHRs. If you are considering a new patient engagement platform, let’s talk.