How Providers Can Improve Patients’ Digital Experiences
ClearDATA CEO Darin Brannan agrees that the pandemic has greatly accelerated the demand for consumer-focused digital experiences. Now, the pressure is on providers to keep those initiatives moving forward — for example, by combining wearables with electronic health records and offering their patients AI-assisted online appointment scheduling.
“From payers to providers to pharma, consumers are now demanding new choices and interoperability to share their data,” Brannan says. “There are at least 10 or 15 major transformative trends resulting from the pandemic last year.”
Among the most important shifts that healthcare organizations need to make is improving the consumer-facing user experience — the “digital front door.” It’s a key component but one that, as Safavi notes, there wasn’t time to refine during the height of the pandemic.
Going forward, patients will not only want the option to interact with providers through digital channels, but they’ll also expect a high-quality user experience when they do so.
“It’s a critical component of the provider’s overall reputation and ability to be competitive,” Brannan says. “The website, the patient portal, the scheduling, educational resources, telehealth — if they haven’t transformed the interface for those services, patients will move on to someone who has.”
Hybrid Care Models Require Security and Privacy Protection
When it comes to smart devices, such as home monitoring solutions, Brannan says the pandemic also drove advances in remote managed care for people with chronic conditions. It’s also hastened the shift to hybrid care, in which remote monitoring and virtual visits complement in-person visits, designated for follow-up services and urgent care.
As providers move these services from a pandemic-driven necessity to a routine service offering, cybersecurity and patient privacy concerns will need to be a central focus, Brannan and Safavi say. As the public cloud gains broad acceptance as the only reasonable path to scalability, cloud security concerns, such as data leakage, are a big risk.
“There’s a real drive to have a specialized security domain around that cloud infrastructure, but you have to be aware of third-party vendor risks and tools like automation that help you keep pace with patching new features,” Brannan notes. “These are all risks that will have to be considered as the digitalization of healthcare continues.”