There are multiple benefits associated with leveraging a single, consolidated patient engagement solution. Below we will discuss why it’s best to ditch the one-off patient engagement tools that have become the norm in healthcare for a single patient engagement solution that drives patient satisfaction.
When we talk about consolidating patient engagement solutions, it’s simple to see that implementing one software solution will be less expensive than using multiple solutions. Let’s dive deeper into the real cost-saving benefits of consolidating patient engagement systems.
In order to provide a comprehensive patient engagement solution that contains all the features patients require, healthcare organizations often leverage multiple solutions. Many patient engagement systems provide just one or two features, such as bill pay, a patient portal, self-scheduling, appointment reminders, surveys, telehealth/telemedicine, and care-gap/recall vendors. It’s easier, however, to implement one solution that provides many required features.
Software Costs – There are also other costs associated with leveraging multiple solutions, including higher charges in both upfront and monthly fees. An increase in the amount of software used within a company increases ongoing operational costs associated with support, maintenance, licensing, hosting, marketing, etc., which is required to use these solutions effectively.
SMS/Email Messaging Costs – When multiple systems are responsible for managing SMS and email messages to patients, it’s easy to send duplicate messages or, worse yet, send messages to phone numbers and email addresses that have opted out of electronic communication. Messages sent to phone numbers and email addresses that no longer exist are typically still charged. In particular, SMS message costs quickly add up at between one and two cents per SMS message. A single, coordinated system responsible for sending SMS and email messages reduces the risk of incorrect and opted-out phone numbers and email addresses.
Patient engagement solutions require skilled staff members to manage and maintain them. The more solutions a healthcare organization uses, the more skilled staff labor they need.
Manage Integrations – Considerable effort goes into building integrations between separate patient engagement systems. Integrations between these systems also need to be maintained to ensure that data/information flows securely and freely between them. One consolidated system requires no integration management, besides integrating into the source systems (i.e., RCM/PM/EHR/LIS/etc.).
Vendor Relationships – It’s much easier to maintain a relationship with one patient engagement solution vendor than to maintain a relationship with multiple vendors. Vendor relationship management requires more effort spent communicating and managing compliance and security audits. Cybersecurity is a growing concern in healthcare IT, and it’s not unthinkable that in just a few years, we could see double the costs related to securing public-facing applications, such as apps for patient engagement.
Patients are seeking rich self-service features/tools from a single application, accessible via a single login. When using multiple patient engagement solutions, healthcare organizations run the risk of subjecting their patients to features that take them out of the application they were using into a separate application, or open a browser window to connect to a different system and remember multiple logins.
One Solution, Multiple Features – Having a single system gives healthcare organizations the foundation to fully engage their patient population. A healthcare organization can engage with a patient by sending appointment reminders, patient-provider communication, intake forms, care gap reminders, post-visit surveys, and much more from one consolidated patient engagement solution. One patient engagement solution also simplifies the patient’s experience with a healthcare organization. Patients need only visit one web/mobile app and remember only one login to engage with the healthcare organization.
HIPAA Compliant Messaging – It’s simpler to have one patient engagement system responsible for sending messages to patients, ensuring consistency, security, and HIPAA compliance. Furthermore, it is easier to ensure that all PHI messages can be sent via a single login-protected system that respects a patient’s communication preferences.
Changing Demands – To keep up with patients’ needs, healthcare organizations often result in purchasing more and more solutions. A single solution makes it easier for future enhancements or add ons. Some solutions anticipate patients’ needs and provide features before healthcare organizations have become aware. The rise of telemedicine is a perfect example of evolving patient needs. In previous years as late as 2019, telemedicine wasn’t on the radar of many healthcare organizations. Now, many patients see it as a must-have feature. This has resulted in multiple companies scrambling to find a solution and potentially layering these new solutions on a poor foundation of piecemealed patient engagement solutions.
Whether you’re trying to reduce costs or simplify patient engagement processes, healthcare organizations can benefit by adopting a consolidated patient engagement solution.