In this episode, we are joined by John Deutsch, CEO of Bridge Patient Portal, to discuss how healthcare providers can create an optimal online patient experience.
Highlights of this episode include:
- How the online patient experience is used to attract and retain patients.
- What gaps exist in the online experience with healthcare?
- Challenges that healthcare providers face when providing patients a seemless and positive online experience.
- Steps that healthcare providers can take to create an optimal online experience.
- And more…
Mike Passanante: Hi, this is Mike Passanante and welcome back to the award-winning Hospital Finance Podcast®. Creating an optimal online patient experience is something that most healthcare providers are still struggling to do. Joining me today is John Deutsch, CEO of Bridge Patient Portal, with some advice on how to create a patient experience that helps to attract and retain patients. John, welcome to the show.
John: Hi, nice to be here.
Mike: So, John, how do you define the online patient experience?
John: I think we have to look at what does it mean to– when we talk about patient engagement, patient experience, everything that happens outside of the brick and mortar setting. So that might be things that are happening before the appointment, making that appointment right to maybe after the appointment of receiving patient education or reminders to book another appointment.
Mike: And healthcare is always a little bit different than other sectors for lots of reasons. And I think most people out there understand there’s probably a gap between what providers are currently offering in terms of an online or a mobile experience and what most patients actually expect today, what they see in other areas of their life, consumer-related sites, things like that. What does that gap look like?
John: Obviously what we’re used to are apps like maybe Uber or Airbnb, maybe banking apps that are all quite feature-rich. When I think about healthcare, it’s almost like– imagine going into your banking app and not being able to see your current balance, but maybe you can transfer a payment. So it’s like there’s gaps in what is being offered in these online mobile app-type solutions because they can’t really collect the whole picture and give the patients what they’re looking for.
Mike: So what do you think some of the challenges are that providers are up against as they try to offer patients a seamless and positive patient experience, knowing that those gaps exist?
John: Sure. I mean, a lot of it has to do with the sourced data. So the information that would come from their EMR or revenue cycle management software, interfacing that data, bringing it up into an app is a major challenge. That challenge is multiplied if you have multiple EMR or practice management and revenue cycle management systems, which is very common in any type of idea and environment where you have a hospital acquired, the clinics in the area, and then maybe that hospital merged with another hospital, and so on. If you accumulated these massive systems that you have to now work with, so it’s a big challenge of getting that information, obviously, into an app. And then you have the challenge of building an app. I mean, most healthcare organizations, aren’t developers, inexperienced with mobile app development. So you have to build an app that is secure and meets the expectations of the patient. And going through all of that and getting all that data in there is up until now has been a really monumental task.
Mike: John, do you have any advice for providers as they consider how to create an optimal online experience?
John: It starts with understanding what are your patients looking for, understanding you’re in the environment that you’re working with. So the landscape of EMR revenue cycle management type technologies and setting a course to getting there. Now, of course, there are technologies that exist like Bridge Patient Portal or other mobile apps that help the providers get there, but that doesn’t necessarily get them away from some of the other challenges of just deciding on what functionality they need, and making sure the plumbing works to get all the data into a solution. We handle a lot of that work for our clients, but there is still a significant amount of work that our clients have to put in to help make that all happen.
Mike: And John, if someone wanted to learn more about what you do at Bridge Patient Portal, where can they go?
John: Bridgepatientportal.com, of course, is our website, and there’s a lot of information there. And we offer essentially demos to any prospective clients that are interested in learning more about the solution. We offer a single mobile app and web application solution. So the idea is whether there’s one or multiple systems on the back end, feed all that data into one platform, one code base essentially. And then the patient can access that information whether be through a mobile app that they download branded to the client or access it maybe through their website as a web application to look at all that information there.
Mike: Got it. Well, John Deutsche, thanks so much for coming on the Hospital Finance Podcast today and helping us understand more about optimal online patient experiences.
John: Great. Thanks for having me, Michael.