Good patient engagement systems are critical for the smooth functioning of the healthcare industry. Healthcare providers end up losing a lot of revenue because of weak patient engagement. Not only does the industry take a hit financially, the healthcare providers and staff are also overburdened with the responsibility of ensuring patients do not miss appointments, attend preventive screenings, get medications on time, and so on. At Intrado, we looked at patient engagement systems and their hurdles and talked to many end-users and health systems about these issues. We have come up with the following key requirements for effective BOTS and patient access to deliver modern, operationally efficient, and effective patient engagement systems.
A closed-loop workflow is a differentiator between any patient communication system and a good patient engagement system. Most health care providers try to communicate with patients via one-way text messages. But one-way communication is not the most efficient way to communicate with patients. It leaves a lot of gaps in the engagement and can lead to multiple issues. A good patient engagement system is one that not only notifies patients of appointments and other information but also completes the full activity and workflow between staff and patients.
Customizable Messages and Workflows with Self-Service
While messaging is important, it should also be adaptable to every department’s needs and requirements. Customizing messages and workflows is ideal for achieving successful patient engagement. Each department, or type of appointment, should ideally have different messaging and workflows depending on their needs. If the workflows can be made self-service to the operational staff, it will make any change efficient and agile. The staff will then not have to depend on anything to make changes to the workflow to suit their requirements and can use them with ease.
EHR (EPIC) is Single Source of Truth and the one Interface for Staff
EHRs are like the central nervous system of any software and patient data in the health system. Staff and physicians are immersed in EPIC. So, it is important to ensure that EPIC remains the single source of truth for any information and that there is no data duplication. Any kind of disconnect here can lead to copying data into another system, further adding inconsistencies, inefficiencies, and risks to HIPAA compliance.
If information is collected from different sources, then the staff will also have to handle multiple platforms. If your staff must log in to another system and remember passwords, it can again create friction in adoption and inefficiency in operations. HIPAA also requires any interactions that happen with patients to be recorded with an audit trail. Healthcare providers can store this information through automation or BOT system and create their own reports. But this will require their staff to familiarize themselves with another system that will further increase their workload. Instead, using the powerful reporting within EPIC will ensure everything happens in one place and take off some of the burden from your staff.
Platform to Automate Multiple Activities/Workflows
Healthcare systems can adopt some software solutions for appointment reminders and appointment scheduling. Ideally, the solution that you adopt should provide a platform to address multiple use cases and workflows, not just appointment reminders. It should also take into consideration any use case that may not be relevant immediately but may come into the picture in the future.
In conclusion, we believe, if the automation system for patient access in a healthcare system meets these above-mentioned four requirements, it will lead to frictionless adoption of patient engagement systems by both staff and patients.