Here’s why you should integrate your EHR + patient engagement platform

Recently, we’ve talked about integrating patient engagement software with an EHR. We’ve also talked about how there are integration opportunities — lots of them — for your digital front door strategy. But integration sounds complex, clients tell us. “Why would I take it on?”

Making technology work for you

Whenever healthcare organizations are considering integrations, we encourage them to evaluate the new technology from a number of angles:

  • Is the tool clinically significant?
  • Once deployed, does it deliver a higher level of medicine?
  • Can you see better outcomes? 
  • Does it reduce the burden on clinicians? 
  • Can the tool provide new insights where previously there were none?

Other important considerations

Once you’ve assessed a tool through these lenses, consider what it can do and what it brings (or doesn’t bring) to the table:

The “chameleon”

Any software should be able to stand alone OR integrate deeply with existing structures. Why? If not, it’s simply not scalable, and can’t grow as your organization grows. We like to think of successful technology in this vein as a “chameleon” — it should be just as effective operating independently OR integrating successfully.

Data into EHRs

You’ll want to make sure any data from an integrated tool is flowing into the EHR, so clinicians and others on the care team can use the information generated to inform care decisions. This means looking for a technology company that has strong relationships with EHRs, to ensure a lighter lift for your team and smoother integration across the board.

Cost effectiveness

Integration, or the adoption of new software, costs money and resources. With this in mind, what are the key outcomes you want to drive? Is the return to the organization justified by the time spent on the project? Only your organization will be able to answer that question, but the right partner will be able to help you deliver outcomes.

Real-world success

Clients who implement GetWell Loop, for example, have seen increases in volume by 11% year over year, and a considerable cost savings under bundled payments. 

One such client, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, saw $1.5M in savings over a two-year period by testing and rapidly scaling the patient engagement solution across their health system. 

And, from automating PROMs collection to supporting patient navigators with nearly daily automated patient check-ins, Froedtert’s implementation of GetWell Loop helped them see better outcomes across the board.

It’s a win-win proposition: Make sure the technology you’re working with is working for you, too.

It’s all about the resources

Let’s talk about GetWell Loop as a model for patient engagement solutions. Over the past nine years, GetWell Loop has been successful precisely because we’ve learned how to do this in a quick, effective way that can get patients live on a platform in 77 days. 

The reason this speed can be achieved is due to a mixture of the people deployed and the tools used. Every client has access to the following three resources:

  • Account Manager: Responsible for the day-to-day health of platform.
  • Dedicated Implementation Director: Tasked with overseeing the project and pulling together key stakeholders.
  • Integrations Director: These resources traditionally come from an EMR background, bringing the deep experience to implement and integrate in a way that makes sense.

Through all of this, we’ve learned that we’re able to make it easy for IT to deliver on their promises, so long as organizations keep their desired outcomes in mind and rely on the resources and tools provided. Integration doesn’t have to be complex; but tools must share a common goal and purpose. Ultimately, this means delivering relevant clinical content, happy stakeholders and, above all else, better outcomes for patients.