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As the healthcare industry shifts focus from volume to value, modern payers and providers are leveraging patient outreach software to improve patient engagement and satisfaction at a larger scale and lower costs than traditional communication practices allow.

Historically, healthcare practices relied on labor-intensive manual communication to encourage patients to stay engaged in their care plan. But calling each and every patient before and after every visit isn’t feasible, nor an effective use of your staff’s time.

This is particularly true for population health management, given the large groups of at-risk populations for a wide variety of conditions. And as federal regulations and incentives continue to increase accountability for healthcare quality, costs, and outcomes, payers and providers recognize the need to establish more efficient programs in order to achieve their goals.

From appointment reminders to health and wellness campaigns, patient outreach software can help healthcare organizations deliver personalized messages to high patient volumes across the care continuum. Using automation to conduct more efficient and consistent outreach, patient outreach software is resulting in fewer no-shows, time and cost savings, and improved quality outcomes.

There’s no question that technology is catalyzing improved efficiency and patient engagement in healthcare, but how do you know which patient outreach software is right for your practice?

The following four things are worth considering as you explore and select a patient outreach software that can help your healthcare organization redefine quality care delivery.

1. Security and Compliance

First and foremost, whichever patient outreach software you choose must meet Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) industry standards of safeguarding Protected Health Information (PHI). Under HIPAA, healthcare providers and payers are permitted to use email, text message, and voice dialers to provide healthcare information and treatment options with their patients as long as they “apply reasonable safeguards” when doing so.

That’s why HIPAA compliance is especially important as healthcare organizations leverage patient outreach software to send emails, text messages, and automated voice messages to their patients.

There are security risks with any kind of technology, as hacking can alter, destroy, or publicize private information. And, outdated software is more vulnerable to cybercriminals.

However, minimizing these security risks is the top priority of reputable patient outreach software vendors, and you can prevent your own risk by ensuring whichever partner you select is willing to enter into a Business Associate Agreement.

Providertech understands the importance of safeguarding your patient health information, which is why our patient outreach software runs off of Microsoft’s Azure Cloud, one of the first large-scale cloud services to receive certification for the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) Common Security Framework (CSF). In addition, Providertech uses comprehensive protocols covering data security, network security, facility security, and privacy protection to ensure full compliance with all applicable provisions of the HealthIT.gov’s HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool.

In addition to HIPAA compliance, patient outreach software must follow the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s regulations. Text messaging is an effective communication channel for reaching patients when and where they want to be reached, but TCPA regulations are strict and noncompliance can result in multi-million dollar lawsuits.

It’s important that whoever you partner with for patient outreach software implementation is well-versed in the TCPA’s healthcare exemption that allows covered entities to deliver healthcare-relevant information via phone calls and text message programs as long as they adhere to certain conditions.

Providertech works with your practice to develop automated communication workflows and processes that are compliant with TCPA standards, including length, frequency, content, and opt-outs. We also use landline and cell phone detection to ensure compliance with consent requirements. One way we do this is through our proprietary Active Patient Identity Verification (APIV) system designed to enhance right-party contact and reduce risk associated with recycled phone numbers and stale data.


2. Integrations

Second, it’s important to select a patient outreach software that can be directly integrated into your Electronic Medical Record and Practice Management System. Not only can this save you time and frustration during onboarding and implementation, it’s also the best way to ensure that your communications have the ability to be personalized based on your specific population’s needs, behaviors, and history.

Comprehensive patient outreach software will leverage EHR integration

to capture required clinical elements of a population, so reporting is quick and easy, too.

Providertech’s professional staff has decades of experience in successful integrations, enabling us to integrate with any EMR, including but not limited to:

  • Allscripts
  • Athenahealth
  • Centricity
  • Cerner
  • Epic
  • Meditech
  • NextGen
  • Virence

When you work with us, our experienced integration team extracts the necessary data elements from your existing EMR system. Our two-way integration means you never have to re-enter patient data, and patient responses can be viewed directly in your practice management system.


3. Customization

A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for your patients, and it won’t work for your patient outreach software either. When choosing a patient outreach software, you should be able to automate communications that still have a personal touch.

That’s why most sophisticated patient outreach software allows your practice to customize the content of your text messages and voicemails, including the actual message, send date, response options, frequency and more. While patient outreach software like Providertech’s allows you to leverage pre-built integrations for speedy implementation, your clinical team can establish your own message preferences based on all kinds of custom options, including but not limited to:

  • Appointment type
  • Physician
  • Patient language
  • Insurance
  • Morbidity
  • Visit status

Whatever your needs, Providertech has the flexibility to meet your practice’s requirements.


4. Ease of Use

Finally, your patient outreach software must be easy to use in order for your team to maximize the efficiency and measure the results of your patient outreach campaigns.

Features like a self-service portal empower your staff to manage your office more effectively by giving them complete control over the rules and protocols that work best for your business needs. Whether you need to cancel a pending message or want to send a separate communication outside of the automated workflow, a self-service portal enables you to configure the processes that your patient’s need and want.

In addition, you should have full access to a suite of analytical tools in our patient portal so you can track appointment data, opt-outs, and responses from one place. This allows you to make data-backed business decisions as you work to improve patient engagement and satisfaction.

To learn more about Providertech’s patient outreach software, schedule a demo with our experts today.