You may recall a post from last year discussing the supposed death of the corporate website. It was my reaction to a number of posts claiming the age of the destination website had passed and social media was the heir to that platform. Perhaps the best known in that group was (then) Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang’s post about the irrelevant corporate website.
While not backing down on his previous position, Owyang recently presented thoughts on how to make your corporate website relevant by incorporating social media. Like nearly everything Owyang writes, it’s well worth a read.
There’s no question patient portals are a hot topic right now. Not only are patients demanding more interaction with their healthcare providers, recent reform changes have left many organizations considering moving down the portal path sooner than expected.
What’s the biggest obstacle they face? It’s overwhelming. And expensive.
Or at least that’s the perception.
Consumers are demanding a more active role in making healthcare choices. This is one of the most significant changes taking place in the industry and one we’ve talked about extensively via our webinars, whitepapers and articles. However, consumers aren’t the only constituents that hospitals must target to develop business. Hospitals are placing renewed focus on improving physician relations and physician sales.
While the relationship between physicians and hospitals are often complex and occasionally strained, the fact is: for a hospital to be successful, their doctors need to be successful. Nearly all physicians are online as are a great many patients that are looking for physicians. As a result, the Web is a great place to be promoting your physicians and supplementing the other physician relations programs that you have in place.
One of the great challenges in providing connected portals for patients is proving that the person using the portal is the person he/she claims to be. It’s a problem known as identity proofing and getting it right or wrong greatly impacts the success of your portal.
The American Health Information Community (AHIC) looked into this challenge in 2007 through its Confidentiality, Privacy and Security (CPS) workgroup. We’re starting to see how some of these approaches are applied in real-world solutions.
The gold-standard for identity proofing is to have the patient appear, in person, with one or more government-issued photo identifications. This is nearly foolproof, but it’s also impractical and a significant barrier to adoption. And even when incorporated into a visit to the hospital or physician office, consumers are often not interested in the portal solution at that time or they’ll forget they have an account, login, and password.
You’ve seen the difficulties in reforming healthcare at a national level. Even changing significant parts of healthcare delivery in a single organization is complex and fraught with technical and political challenges.
One area we’ve seen this is in the adoption of patient portals. Some healthcare organizations have adopted EMR-centric patient portals, which for a purebred organization can work great. But for most hospitals and IDNs, the situation is far murkier because:
- The EMR vendor doesn’t have a patient portal (or they do, but it doesn’t fit your business need)
- You have a best of breed approach and mix and match numerous systems, making data integration complex and costly
- Existing patient portal products are difficult to use
- The cost is too high
Our approach to patient portals is a bit different, and addresses all of these challenges. But one area in particular that we focus on is the ability to implement a patient portal in phases.
Every month Geonetric distributes Webinars and eNewsletter articles on timely topics in eHealth. And if you’re like me, your to-do list just doesn’t allow you to catch as many Webinars and read as many articles as you want.
That’s why we’ve compiled our “Best of 2009” – a list of the top-attended and top-downloaded Webinars and articles from 2009. The Webinars are available for you to listen to in your downtime… maybe this week while the office is half-empty, you can find time to check out a few.
Geonetric’s top five Webinars of 2009
Geonetric’s eConnections Framework
The blog post was entitled “The destination website is dead”. I’d read several posts like this over the past year authored by people who had moved their online home base away from the traditional Web presence to a blog or social networking site. In dedicating themselves to this new path, they were not willing to simply acknowledge the motives behind their own change but felt compelled to burn the bridges behind them and mock all who continued to hold a presence on the other side.
For my part, I’m intrigued by this shift. As I’ve gotten increasingly engaged in social media technologies, both personally and professionally, I’ve seen growing value in this new application of the Web. The Internet has changed by broad leaps in recent years as have the ways in which it has integrated itself into the lives of millions of people. For someone building an individual brand or an individual consultancy, there is little need of the traditional destination Web site. Their needs are served through their blogs and social networking presence.
Nine years ago, Genesis Health System in Davenport, Iowa, took a chance and hired Geonetric to implement a newfangled “Content Management System” with a series of applications designed specifically for hospitals.
Since then, Genesis and Geonetric have done some amazing work together. Here are some highlights:
- Launched two complete redesigns
- Created one of the nation’s first bariatric patient blogs
- Put urgent care wait times on the Web site
- Constructed an advanced policy and procedures system
- Developed a comprehensive intranet
The goal has been to keep Genesis ahead of its competitors, and the long standing relationship between Geonetric and Genesis has made this possible.
Yesterday, however, the results of our relationship became even clearer: Genesis went live with the first release of our VitalSite Patient Portal Edition that features our most advanced Web-based pre-registration process, secure messaging, and eNewsletter integration. This foundation will be leveraged for significant new capabilities in the future.