If You Build It, Will They Come?
Healthcare organizations must treat the roll out of a patient portal much like it does any other service they are promoting with a marketing campaign – with a clear strategy and objectives, a target audience, and a process to measure success. Marketing and IT, along with leadership, must work together to achieve this. IT is the subject matter experts that can clearly define what the capabilities of the technology are. Marketing can then put together all of the materials needed to educate and drive portal enrollment and use. The education process cannot be limited to patients. Providers, call centers, admission and discharge staff and community outreach coordinators all need to be knowledgeable on the importance and benefits to portal adoption.
Providers are on the front line of healthcare and still have the most influence over patient behavior. They will be the primary drivers of patient portal adoption and must understand its benefits to their patients and their health. The organization must work with providers and their staff to establish new workflows that incorporate the enrollment steps as seamlessly as possible in existing routines. Internally, organizations must establish methodologies for verifying identities and rules for family and proxy accounts to ensure smooth, and compliant, processes.
Technology can be disruptive and change is difficult. Change management relies on communication, education and relationships. Patient portals are a tool, part of an arsenal that organizations must employ to achieve patient engagement goals. With cross functional participation, provider engagement and workflow alignment, patient portal adoption, and thus Meaningful Use incentives and population health goals, can be exceeded and long-term competitive advantage established.
To discover more about strategic plans to help you establish processes for patient portal rollout, adoption & utilization, learn more about the Virtual Influence Planning group, the experienced, unbiased healthcare and IT consultants.
About the Author: Jim McGregor
Jim has more than ten years of healthcare experience. As the Senior eHealth Strategist, Virtual Influence Planning group, Mr. McGregor’s primary focus is in the development of eHealth Strategic Plans, including evaluating healthcare organization’s current eHealth status, defining strategic goals and objectives, and developing tactical level plans to implement new technologies and processes. In addition, Mr. McGregor has done tremendous amount of work with transparency in healthcare concepts, including the development readiness assessment tools, transparency strategies, and product development.