The healthcare industry is under constant pressure to hold down costs, while providing personalized care and maintaining strict confidentiality.
The development of electronic health records (EHRs) has helped healthcare organizations move away from paper-based records and their inherent problems, but EHRs are not the only ways healthcare providers make sure patients receive the care they need.
For many typical medical offices, attracting new patients and retaining existing patients are two tasks that are necessary to maintain profitability and keep the doors open, and automated workflows can help with these tasks. For researchers, workflows in healthcare can help identify patients who are good candidates for clinical trials more quickly, so work can proceed at a more efficient pace.
Attracting Patients to Traditional Healthcare Service Providers
The American healthcare system demands that providers run their offices and clinics like a business. This means doctors must make it easy for prospective patients to choose their facilities instead of competitors’, and one way to do that is to offer online forms and online-initiated workflows that are efficient and easy to use.
For example, online forms for new patient registration and for making or canceling appointments are convenient for patients, while also being more efficient for the non-medical office staff. Many healthcare providers are going an extra step and making these services mobile-friendly, because they understand that their patient population spends more time on mobile devices than in traditional desktop / laptop environments.
Bringing Appropriate Patients to Clinical Trials
One study from 2017 developed workflows for data collection, linkage, and tracking, for potential participants in clinical trials. Records of clinical data were “deidentified” for confidentiality, then evaluated for eligibility in clinical trials. For patients who were good candidates as determined by the automated workflow, follow-up was automatically initiated. Researchers concluded that the workflow had great potential to improve the efficiency of recruiting patients for clinical research trials.
Another study concluded that the use of a Clinical Trial Portal, where people who believe they may be good candidates for clinical trials can fill out online forms to further explore the possibility, is an important addition to current methods of recruiting patients for clinical trials, such as physician referrals. While the online portals alone aren’t sufficient for populating clinical trials (due to high numbers of people who don’t meet clinical trial criteria), they allow clinical trial planners to potentially draw on a larger proportion of the population.
Workflows Designed for Efficiency, Confidentiality
The healthcare industry is bound by strict laws concerning patient confidentiality, with harsh penalties when those laws are broken. So it’s especially important for automated workflows in healthcare-related businesses to be designed to guard confidentiality.
Non-healthcare businesses that are committed to patient confidentiality (whether or not they’re required to be, by law) can learn from healthcare workflows. The key is using workflow software that allows security steps to be built right in. Such steps don’t allow the workflow to proceed until all security steps are satisfied.
Maybe you don’t work in the healthcare industry, but developing customer-facing online forms and workflows is a smart idea regardless. Not only can you gather information more quickly and accurately, you can route that data appropriately and automatically, whether it’s a person who wants to schedule a haircut, or someone who wants to buy semiconductor silicon wafers.
PerfectApps is online form and workflow software with the flexibility and power to help people in all industries create the electronic forms and workflows they need to operate at peak efficiency. No programming is required due to PerfectApps’ intuitive drag-and-drop interface, and PerfectApps is easy to connect with other office systems like spreadsheets, databases, and Salesforce CRM.
We encourage you to look at some of the many PerfectApps case studies to see exactly how organizations across many industries are putting online forms and automated workflows to work, making business processes more efficient and less error-prone, helping avoid duplication of effort, saving money, and boosting profits.