Healthcare Wellness Portals Winning the Technology Race
The race is on in healthcare, and the stakes have never been higher. Organizations including hospitals, insurers, health plans and provider groups are running toward technology to solve the industries three biggest challenges:
- High Healthcare Costs
- Low Patient Satisfaction
- Quality Healthcare Outcomes
But in this race, there is no defined course, and everyone is using a different vehicle to get to the finish line. That is because while there is an abundance of innovative technology available, adoption in the healthcare arena poses incredible challenges. These challenges include the most stringent regulatory challenges of any industry, significantly hindered resources to allocate to new technologies – much less toward the integration costs, and privacy/security risks that are the equivalent of a brick wall in the middle of the race track.
The highest impact technologies, are often those which take the most time to implement, and come with the highest costs….but there is one outlier in this story which is finding early, adaptable, and proven success. Healthcare wellness portals.
What are Healthcare Wellness Portals?
Healthcare wellness portals are online extensions of healthcare and employer wellness programs that offer a suite of web based tools and applications that are seamlessly accessed from one location by patients, employees, or health plan members. They offer tracking of key metrics which are tied to health improvements – such as weight, glucose levels, blood pressure, and exercise. They also commonly offer a variety of wellness programs in a guided format – such as smoking cessation, or diabetes education programs. Finally, they offer a high level of customization – not only for the organizations which adopt them, but also among the individuals that use them.
Healthcare Wellness Portal Benefits from a Patient Perspective
From the viewpoint of the patient, employee, or member the healthcare wellness portal offers a one stop online shop for healthcare education, tracking, monitoring, and information.
Studies conducted by the Pew Research Center have shown that 72% of internet users have looked online for health information. The same study also found that 60% of U.S. adults track their weight, diet or exercise, and 33% track health indicators or symptoms like blood pressure, blood sugar, headaches, or sleep patterns.
More importantly 46% state that tracking has changed the way that they approach their health, and has impacted their behaviors. This is an incredibly significant number because it is the first step in providing evidence of healthcare cost impacts based on wellness and preventive programs. Even more significant is that patients now in some cases have one singular resource that they can trust and utilize for all of their wellness needs – instead of utilizing several applications and tools which are not brought together on a single access interface.
Healthcare Wellness Portal Benefits for Providers and Payers
When providers and payers establish wellness portals, not only do they have the ability to positively impact the populations that they serve through population health, and preventive programs – but they also get access to a wealth of data that can help them further drive innovation. Portal information can be used to show which wellness interventions are working, and which are not. They can measure effectiveness of outreach programs, and general health cost impacts – such as the impact of smoking cessation programs on population health. Finally, they can be used to determine what patients want and/or need to see more of. This allows them to further develop the portal in direct response to what their patient population is asking for – and responding to!
Healthcare payers and providers are seeing an additional benefit in the utilization of healthcare wellness portals – the low cost investment of these programs and the low operational expense to get them up and running. This really is one of the most cost effective ways to begin to utilize technology to help serve patient populations, and helps to empower patients, drive patient engagement and satisfaction, and proactively work toward disease prevention instead of treatment – thereby lowering healthcare costs.
DocResponse, one company which is working toward improving the cost effectiveness and accessibility of reliable healthcare information has recently made improvements to its diagnostic platform allowing it to be seamlessly and cost effectively integrated into any patient portal or healthcare hub.
“We are pleased to announce that with an extremely rapid implementation time frame (averaging only a few days), the DocResponse full suite of self-assessment, prevention, and patient education tools can be integrated into any existing healthcare wellness portal or healthcare hub offering a tremendous value add for organizations and the populations they serve,” states DocResponse COO Richard Munassi, MD, MBA.
When it comes to finding a solution to dramatically impact healthcare through technology, healthcare wellness portals are winning the healthcare technology race, and providing dramatic benefits to both organizations and patients along the way.
Does your organization utilize healthcare wellness portals? Are you looking for unique ways to dramatically improve what your portal offers to patients at a low implementation cost? We would love to hear from you. Please reach out to us to discover how DocResponse is working with organizations like yours to decrease costs and improve lives.