Member portals are the first step toward realizing the true potential of IT in healthcare. An ideal portal will act as the digital interface of your organization. Portals can engage members in health care and benefits decision-making. Accessibility of the member portal for members, therefore, remains the single most important feature of designing and deploying such a system. Giving your members access to the portal offers a bonus to the service offerings as you are able to connect in an entirely unique and personalized way.
As discussed in the previous blog/in the first blog of this series, the member portal should answer the important questions of Access, Value and User Experience.
The ability of members to access only the information relevant to them matters significantly. Random information snippets directed at the wrong people can prove disastrous for an organization.
For instance someone who came in for a general health check-up getting notifications about post-pregnancy therapy. Sounds crazy, right? Well it can happen if the system isn’t properly aligned and directed toward the target audience. This requires proper segregation of data and redirecting information to the right place. Apart from the instant gratification for your audience, accessibility will help in:
More efficient communication with patients.
Removal of redundancy in collecting and providing information.
Gauging customer perception about dispatched information through analysis of data.
Gratification is an important component of getting people involved with your organization on a personal level. Checking the medical history of a patient may already be personal enough, but that doesn’t actually provide any value to the patient.
Value is derived when the information provided enhances the knowledge of the patient and empowers them to make the right decisions regarding their health. Offering quantifiable value to patients through your member portal will help in:
A sense of personal connection with the organization.
Trust and reliability on the healthcare provider, providing patients with pertinent information.
·Ability to give patients additional information on a prognosis given after they have spoken with a physician.
Finally, none of the things mentioned above will matter if the user experience of your member portal is below par. How many times have you used all apps on your smartphone, or rather have you even considered going back to an app once your initial requirements are met? The answer will most likely be in the negative, as the only apps you go back to are the ones that make you feel right at home with the interface.
A somewhat complicated platform such as member portal requires intelligent designing to make it worthwhile for the users. Simplifying the usage is paramount to have users reuse the app as and when they require it, and better still just to browse through the app for updates. A satisfying user experience on your healthcare member portal is denoted by:
Usability by people from all age groups and backgrounds, so that the portal is easily accessible
Better user experience results in a positive outlook on the capabilities of the healthcare provider.
Instigates users to interact more with the platform and less with human resources, thereby helping in redistributing resources within the organization for more important tasks.
This blog covered the benefits of providing a comprehensive member platform. In the next part of this blog series, we will explain how to leverage the portal for more efficient communication between the members, providers and payors. Stay tuned!