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If you manage a home care business, you’re likely no stranger to the industry-wide shift towards facilitating a digital experience for your patients and referral sources. As Nupura Kolwalkar, Brightree Chief Product Officer, explains in this blog, modern patients not only prefer but expect to have the same online customer service experience with their medical providers as they do with a retail store. This attention to patients’ consumer mindset has driven incredible innovations for HME providers that improve your ability to communicate with individual patients directly and encourage positive treatment outcomes.

As you incorporate digital communication and documentation tools into your HME business’s workflows (like text messaging, automatic notifications, patient portals, and mobile apps), keep in mind that these tools offer the opportunity to do more than just connect with an individual patient. You have the power to bring together that patient’s entire care team and create a comprehensive digital care experience that inspires loyalty and helps patients stay on track with every aspect of their treatment.

Let’s look at a few ways you could be making connections and building relationships with your patients’ care teams using digital technology.

Use integrations to accommodate providers’ existing software

With the number of options for medical care software, mobile apps, portals, etc., growing year over year, HME providers are commonly faced with the challenge of communicating with another provider or referral source that uses an entirely different software system. The key to overcoming this hurdle? Software integrations.

Integrations can tell your system how to communicate with other types of software. And this all happens “behind-the-scenes,” without any additional effort or technology know-how required from your team. It can be helpful to think of integrations as a “go-between” capable of translating messages, documentation, and notifications into the correct format for another provider’s software system. This transfer of information between platforms is also known as interoperability, and you can learn more about the importance of interoperability in healthcare here.

Incorporating these integrations can allow you to:
  • Receive referrals from any software platform while facilitating a seamless, consistent experience for providers and referral sources.
  • Share information, updates, and documentation with other providers on a patient’s care team.
  • Keep costs down by eliminating the extra work required to reformat, rewrite, or manually follow-up on information sent to a provider or care team member using a different software platform.

If you don’t know which integrations you need for your business, ask your software provider to help you identify which would be the most beneficial for your patient base and frequent care collaborators. To get an idea of what’s out there, you can find a list of popular integrations available from Brightree here.

Send more than transactional information

A robust patient journey should include much more than resupply reminders and shipping notifications. By utilizing multiple modalities of digital communication, you have the opportunity to build relationships that offer value to the patient beyond the ability to place an order for home medical equipment. What else could you be asking or sharing with your patient base? To determine that, your team should first answer questions like:

  • What other healthcare entities are often a part of your patients’ treatment journey? Think: pharmacies, home health nurses, physicians, etc., and try to be as specific as possible.
  • What are the most common pain points for our patients when managing their health or treatment?
  • When and how could we support our patients beyond delivering a product?

Use your understanding of your patients’ care journey, lifestyle, and pain points to identify valuable potential touchpoints and relationship growth opportunities. Could you provide updates on their prescriptions, pending orders, or home health appointments in your patient portal using a software integration? Are there additional resources for maintaining a healthy lifestyle that your patients would appreciate easy access to? How could you help make managing their disease state easier?

And lastly – remember that the effort to make the treatment process easy doesn’t only help create positive relationships with your patients; it can be a great way to foster long-lasting partnerships with other members of their care teams.

Provide relevant updates to care team members

Physicians, respiratory therapists, case managers, nurses, and other caregivers appreciate working with partners who prioritize patient-centric care that’s simple and efficient. Software integrations that automatically pull info from multiple care team members and present it all in one place (like through a portal or application) can benefit every member of a care team.

This is especially relevant for more complex disease states that require regular monitoring and frequent updates sent to physicians or patient caregivers. By intentionally prioritizing seamless interoperability and using automatic digital notifications to keep a patient’s entire care team in the loop, you can set yourself up to be the HME provider that caregivers want to work with.

A connected care team is an effective care team, and digital integrations are one of the best tools HME providers have to build those relationships. Focus on creating a digital patient journey that goes beyond easy ordering and automatic notifications, and design an experience that provides holistic support for any treatment plan. To learn more about software integrations or how you can enhance your at-home care experience with easy-to-use online tools, get in touch with Brightree expert for a free consultation.

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