In a wide variety of industries, using cloud-based technologies has become commonplace. And while many physicians and medical professionals may be reluctant to adopt new software or business practices like cloud-based patient portals due in no small part to security concerns, the benefits invariably outweigh the risks. Cloud-based patient engagement platforms offer a number of key services to patients and medical professionals alike: patient portals for secure viewing and editing of medical data, e-prescribing, lab results management, post-visit surveys and appointment scheduling.
Here are three ways such cloud-based patient engagement platforms can support unified patient insights and enable multiple digital health innovations.
What Does Cloud-Based Mean?
Cloud-based software is software that is stored on an external server and accessed through a web browser. Cloud-based software helps hospitals increase staff efficiency, provides more opportunities for internal collaboration, improves access to patient data, saves on costs of upfront investments on hardware and software and enables access to important information — all with the click of a button.
Cloud-based health IT solutions have been evolving at a rapid pace. Many healthcare organizations (HCOs) have started to realize the importance of leveraging cloud-based platforms and adopting electronic health records (EHRs) to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing healthcare landscape.
1. Cloud-Based Software is More Efficient
Cloud-based software helps hospitals increase staff efficiency, provides more opportunities for internal collaboration, improves access to patient data, saves on costs of upfront investments on hardware and software and enables access to important information — all with the click of a button.
A common misconception is that cloud-based platforms are not secure. However, there are several advantages for HCOs and physicians that use cloud-based platforms such as:
Cloud-based software is a product that is developed to run on remote servers and accessed by users through the Internet. In addition to reducing capital expenditures and IT management costs, organizations can also have more flexibility in scaling up or down the use of the technology based on changing business needs, which can also help save money on software licensing fees.
When it comes to data integrity, reliability and security are critical. For that reason, it is vital to select a patient engagement platform that has been thoroughly tested and proven itself in the real world.
If you want to build your own infrastructure and manage it yourself, you will need to invest in an expensive data center with backup power systems, redundant connections, etc. This may be fine for some organizations, but many health care organizations will be better off using a managed service. With the right managed services provider, you can have confidence in your data’s security and integrity because the infrastructure is maintained by a team of experts who have experience handling large amounts of sensitive information. They also have access to tools that allow them to monitor their systems at all times and quickly respond when problems arise.
Another consideration when evaluating managed services providers is whether they offer managed security as part of their package. The increase in networked devices, coupled with the need to share information between departments and facilities, has created a perfect storm for cybercriminals and malicious hackers. HIPAA requires healthcare facilities to implement appropriate security protocols to protect patients’ private health information (PHI). HIPAA states that all covered entities must maintain reasonable and appropriate administrative, physical and technical safeguards for protecting e-PHI.
The ramifications of a data breach can be catastrophic in the healthcare industry, causing significant financial loss, reputational damage and long-term health problems for patients. A good managed services provider like Notivate Health offers both physical and virtual layers of protection.
In the event of a disaster, cloud-based software is the only way to ensure that your enterprise can continue to operate. A natural disaster or fire could destroy your hardware and data center, but having a cloud-based contact center with built-in disaster recovery services is the best way to ensure that your organization can continue to operate in the face of an emergency.
With cloud-based patient engagement software, your mission-critical application and data are mirrored across multiple data centers in separate geographic regions, providing redundancy in case of a regional outage due to power or network connectivity issues. In addition, routing rules allow you to quickly reroute calls from one region to another in the event of a disaster. This ensures that your team is not left hanging for hours on end, waiting for their systems to come back online.
Automated updates and upgrades
One of the main benefits of cloud-based software is that it delivers the most current software version to all users with no effort required on their part. Updates and upgrades are automatically rolled out, so everyone has access to new features at the same time and always uses the latest version of the application. This is a significant advantage with applications that have frequent updates and enhancements such as Epic, Cerner and other electronic health records (EHR) systems.
2. Patient-Centered Digital Engagement Improve Outcomes
Hospitals and healthcare organizations are increasingly using web-based portals to engage patients. This was especially apparent early in the COVID-19 pandemic. McKinsey reports that in April 2020, the prevalence of telehealth for office visits and outpatient care was 78 times higher than in February 2020, just 2 months prior.
And according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, due to the accessibility of electronic health portals via mobile devices, patient portal use has increased, particularly among traditionally underserved populations.
When you start seeing 78% or more of your patient engagement traffic coming from smartphones and other mobile devices, you need to make sure that your patient engagement platform is optimized for these devices to make it easy for your patients to keep in touch with you. Engaging with your patients in the way they prefer builds relationships and can lead to increased credibility and trust between your staff and your patient community, which is critical to improving patient outcomes.
3. Cloud-based Personalized Care Plans are Expected
Every day, more and more healthcare providers use cloud-based patient engagement solutions like Notivate Health to create patient care plans for each patient. These wellness outreach care plans give patients specific instructions on how to take care of themselves after they leave the hospital, including what medications they need to take, which foods they should eat or avoid and when they should come back for follow-up appointments. Cloud-based patient portals provide enhanced personalization and flexibility to patients who can access their health information and communicate with providers on smartphones or tablets.
Using a cloud-based system also enables providers to offer more robust patient engagement services such as scheduling appointments and reminders, viewing test results and delivering follow-up patient satisfaction surveys similar to CAHPS surveys,
Cloud-based patient engagement platforms offer benefits that go beyond just scheduling. From seamlessly integrating into your existing EHR, to delivering impactful, personalized communications on the device your patients prefer, cloud-based software is reliable and efficient. And when it comes to scheduling and communication tools, an outsourced team might be your best choice because they can create a system that’s right for you and have the experience of knowing what’s worked. Cloud-based platforms like that from Notivate Health offer several advantages over traditional options—and if properly vetted and implemented, will improve communication among patients, their caregivers, and providers. Give us a call today to talk about how Notivate’s secure and HIPAA compliant platform can improve the outcomes at your hospital or healthcare organization.