Patient portals are becoming a mainstay of how healthcare providers connect with patients. However, patient adoption can be challenging – if only for the reason that it’s another username and password for the patient to remember (we all have too many of those!).
When seeking to make a patient portal as useful and attractive as possible, access is paramount. Access to medical records, past appointment information, prescriptions, etc… are all important, but many portals leave out the most important thing – access to providers.
As patients seek convenience, flexibility and value more than ever, digital solutions can provide the patient experience and healthcare outcomes they are looking for. Our work with Vanderbilt is one example of how forward-thinking access solutions that integrate with EHR’s (like Epic) are enabling patients to search, locate, and book online directly with their physicians through a self-scheduling platform.
Some EHR’s, including Epic, have some limited scheduling functionality. Which may leave you wondering why Vanderbilt came to us when they needed self-scheduling inside their Epic portal. The answer boils down to simply this, our solution does things that EHR’s cannot do. When enabling scheduling behind a portal for complex scenarios, like Vanderbilt’s, there are two key things you need, such as:
- Ability to automate current scheduling rules (used in phone scheduling) into a digital platform – protecting providers calendars
- Advanced decision tree logic that guides patients to the right provider through a series of Q&A
Enabling self-scheduling for provides isn’t as easy as just making the calendar publicly available for patients to book into. Rather, careful consideration must be taken to customize the scheduling solution to cater to the needs of each provider. Otherwise, providers will lose control over their calendars and will refuse to even participate in the online scheduling program.
There are numerous ways to enable self-scheduling for a healthcare organization, and placing it behind a portal is just one. Regardless of the channel, enhanced experience and access are surefire benefits. If you are interested in learning more about intelligent scheduling on a digital care coordination platform, download our free guide, Redefining Patient Access.