How integration opens up the digital front door

In my last post, I talked about EHRs integrating with patient engagement solutions: why EHRs might do this, what value a patient engagement technology might bring to the relationship and what it all means for the patient.

But what if an organization has an established “digital front door”? We’ve worked with several organizations that have invested dollars and human resources to build a digital front door, all before ever approaching GetWellNetwork. Would patient engagement technology be able to integrate with that digital front door strategy? Or is all of that previous effort wasted? 

The purpose of a digital front door

The Advisory Board, a healthcare best practices research firm, defines a digital front door as a “comprehensive digital experience…[offering everything] from search, to scheduling, to care delivery, to follow up and support.”

Each of these items listed are things patients desperately need, things that will help guide them along their care journey. Many are achieved through the EHR portal, some through third-party tools and some through patient engagement solutions. 

One great example is Atrium Health, whose digital front door directs visitors to Urgent Care, Emergency Care, a Virtual Visit or an eVisit, depending on their needs. But how do all of these features combine into something readily accessible for the patient and provider?

I’ll return to the question at hand: do you have to choose between the digital front door or implementing a patient engagement solution? In other words, do your patients have to choose between accessing their healthcare information in a user-friendly way, and truly engaging with their care in real time?

You don’t have to choose

A patient engagement technology like GetWell Loop can live within any ecosystem, whether that’s a homegrown app or a digital front door strategy. 

This means that an on-the-go technology like GetWell Loop could be accessed right inside the framework of your patient portal, requiring one easy login from patients and no extra steps to get from patient data to patient engagement.

Put another way: Imagine a patient who has just been released from an inpatient stay for a knee arthroscopy procedure. They’re enrolled on a Loop via GetWell Loop, which prepares, guides and monitors patients before and after the procedure. 

If, after their release from the hospital, they want to ask their provider a question, while at the same time wanting to review their medication list, their hospital’s digital front door would be the place to go. From static information like medication refills and prescriptions, to dynamic interactions with care teams and providers via GetWell Loop, the right digital front door can encompass all of the patient’s needs while still being accessible on the back-end to the provider.

Why add patient engagement technology?

GetWell Loop has also been shown to engage patients at an 80% clip. It’s presenting actionable information, useful to patients in their recovery. Through patient engagement, we’re:

  • Earning the right to ask patients questions
  • Providing patients with useful outcomes
  • Getting patients used to asking their providers questions on a regular basis.

The result? In one case, a GetWellNetwork client saw a 45% reduction in 90-day hospital readmissions, 54% reduction in 90-day postoperative complications and $656 savings per patient episode. 

The real question

The main question organizations want to know when they have a digital front door strategy in place is “do I have to build something additional?”

Any time you’re going to put something new in place, like a digital front door, it will require a little legwork. But the key to a smooth transition is for the patient engagement technology in question to have established relationships with EHRs, the way GetWellNetwork does. 

From advanced APIs to HL-7 interfaces and deep experience in deploying them, GetWellNetwork not only has the capabilities, but we’ve worked with all of the major EHRs to ensure it’s a relatively light lift for your team. 

A team player for your digital front door

If you’re looking to integrate your patient engagement solution and other tools, a digital front door might be the way to go. The good news is that while you will have to put in a little elbow grease regardless of the technology being added, we’ve seen organizations deploy basic interfaces in around 20 hours. 

Why are we so confident that GetWellNetwork’s patient engagement technology is easy to integrate and easy for patients and providers alike to use? We’ve invested in hiring people who come from EHR companies. They know the ins and outs of these systems, and how to make other technology “play nicely” with the EHRs. In terms of a digital front door strategy, this helps to lighten the burden on your organization’s internal IT teams, making for a lighter lift, quicker launch and readier access for patients and providers.