Caitlin Clement|10/27/2022|3 min read

Is Your EHR and Health Platform Working for You?

7 questions to consider when evaluating your digital health platform

image containing graphic drawing of a desktop screen, mobile phone and tablet screen with the title EHR platform.

Just about every hospital, health system and physician practice has adopted some form of patient portal. However, with the push towards a more value-based care model, consumer demands have shifted. Patients and providers alike are looking for more than just a place to share test results and messages.  

A 2021 survey done by software company Redpoint Global showed 80% of people surveyed said they preferred to use digital communications with their providers at least some of the time. On the flip side, the surveyors noted that some industries, like retail and banks, provide better personalized experiences across channels than healthcare organizations.

The reality — some industries have been implementing and investing in consumer focused, real-time technologies longer than healthcare. The industry is behind, but that doesn’t mean it can’t catch up. As patients have begun to expect more from their healthcare experience, now's the time to sit down and evaluate what your digital health platform is doing for you.

Does the digital health platform align with clinical goals? 

Your platform should be prioritizing the delivery of quality patient care with the use of innovative clinical management features. As a company, you need to evaluate whether each feature being utilized is actually improving upon the patient's outcome. Or is it simply taking up space?  

Features typically found in industry leading platforms include asynchronous services like remote patient monitoring, synchronous, real-time telehealth services, multiple secure messaging options and patient facing care plans. 

Is the current platform seamlessly integrated with your EHR?

Given that EHRs contain sensitive patient information, this is crucial. A digital health platform that does not seamlessly integrate with your EHR opens up the potential for gaps in security. Patient information could be stored or transferred incorrectly and become more easily accessible to the wrong people. It’s worth investing in a platform that offers a secure API integration with HIPAA compliance built in.

Not only can it offer a better patient experience, but it ensures that your own company stays well within compliance standards. 

Are there HIPAA functionalities built into the platform?

Speaking of HIPAA compliance, it’s become an expectation for digital health platforms to have HIPAA functionalities built into them. That being said, there are still some legacy platforms out there that could use updating. But what do we mean by HIPAA functionalities exactly? Here are a few of the bigger ones:

  • Offering a secure patient portal

  • Communicating via secure private messaging

  • HIPAA certified video conferencing software

Of course, technology alone does not produce full HIPAA compliance. It’s up to you to develop a seamless internal process that, when paired with the technology, offers a secure and safe environment for your patients. 

Does it easily integrate with secure telehealth tools?

Another way a platform can encourage better HIPAA compliance and offer a better patient experience is its ability to integrate with other third party virtual care tools. For example, Healthie, a digital health platform, is integrated with Zoom for Healthcare. This relationship allows Healthie to offer its users more compliant options without having to invest the resources for in-house video conferencing software. 

Additionally, if a client is already using the integratable video conferencing tool, it makes the transition for both provider and patient that much easier. And now, everything is all in one place.

What kind of patient journey does it offer?

If your digital health platform doesn’t offer the option to create customized care plans, you’re missing out on an opportunity there. 

Your patients and providers are able to manage and track their care plans in one, secure and easily accessible place. Patients have a place to safely upload any data, notes or progress while their providers can easily follow along and offer timely changes throughout their treatment. No in-person check-in visit needed. 

Does the platform offer room to scale as you expand your services?

It’s okay if every feature doesn’t currently align with where you’re at as a company. However, it’s important to keep in mind any future growth you may have. You’ll want a platform that will give you the room needed to grow and scale as you add services down the road. This could include offering telemedicine appointments or transitioning to a cloud-based EHR. Either way, a platform that limits your growth is not one you want to be investing in. 

What kind of vendor technical support does your digital platform come with?

Technology can be tricky and may require some training in order to use it appropriately and safely. Make sure your digital health platform vendor offers technical support for things like implementation training and any IT troubles that may arise down the road. It will allow your time to be better spent on offering quality care to your patients instead of organizing and facilitating software training. 

Powering intuitive healthcare technology 

Now that you know a little more about whether your digital health platform is the right one for you, we’d like to introduce ourselves. We’re OpenLoop, a telehealth support company offering a full-suite of virtual care services. Our intuitive, API driven technology platform allows our clients to manage their patients and create patient care plans seamlessly. 

Interested in what our services can offer your organization? Get in touch here!

Our full suite of Telehealth Support Services include: