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Customer Experience and Design

ACOs Create World Class Outcomes with Patient Portals

Last week John Moore of Chilmark Research wrote an excellent piece called “Much Ado About Patient Portals”. This post is a very telling sign of what we are seeing in the healthcare marketplace. With the buzz around healthcare reform and the emergence of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) one can understand why the increase interest in patient portal technologies.

However, most of these initiatives are more around branding of the healthcare organization and the services that are offered versus the real need to connect and empower patients that interact with your healthcare organization. Patient portals, when engaged with the broader healthcare organization, have the potential and the power to create real and meaningful change in the outcomes of patients and the physicians that deliver that care. Innovative healthcare organizations realize that being transparent and non-proprietary with their patient relationships and their medical information can and do create more meaningful relationships that can create world class outcomes. Healthcare providers must engage multiple areas of their health system to create real and important capabilities through the use of patient portal technologies.

Creating World Class Outcomes

When healthcare organizations utilize Patient portals that not only include branding but empowerment features such as access to medical information results, secure messaging with physicians, self-service features like bill paying and scheduling appointments are just some of the capabilities that provide a more powerful relationship with patients and their physicians. In addition, progressive patient portals enable healthcare providers to message and engage with patients outside of an individual encounter. Being able to interact with patients around medical conditions can reduce re-admission and more complex events from occurring. True medical management can be achieved only when an interactive and bi-directional relationship is occurring between the patient and the healthcare provider.

Going Beyond Marketing to Impact Accountable Care

With Accountable Care Organizations taking on a more prominent role in healthcare reform, the ability to connect and engage more effectively with patients and physicians is an important relationship to maintain and manage in a more proactive manner. The use of a Patient portal tool can and should be an important component of modernizing a healthcare provider environment as long as it is viewed beyond the narrow area of just marketing and branding capability.

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