In an increasingly digital age, people expect to be able to interact with organisations online – and the healthcare industry is no exception.

Many hospitals and healthcare providers however still rely on collecting patient information using paper forms, adding time and cost to the process of collecting the data and consent needed to provide health services.

This manual method of data collection places pressure on already-stretched clinicians and staff. It also causes frustration for patients, adding complication and confusion. How can we best reduce the burden of administration on patients, clinicians and support staff?

A healthcare ‘digital front door’ is one potential solution to help patients digitally interact with their care teams and share information with ease.

Inefficient processes and increasing pressures

Patients visiting hospitals for procedures or outpatient appointments need to provide a range of information before arriving for treatment. This can include information about the patient and their current health status, medications they’re currently taking, and their consent to receive treatment.

In many cases, the lack of a suitable digital solution makes this an inefficient process. Patients are required to complete a significant amount of paperwork, which are returned to their healthcare provider by post, email or in person.

These paper-based systems also have an impact on the workload of clinical admissions staff. The mix of physical paperwork, PDFs and photos being supplied takes time to process, as does chasing missing information or clarifying illegible handwriting. Paperwork not arriving on time also adds to the administrative workload, placing staff under more pressure.  

Providing a seamless experience for all  

A healthcare digital front door can be leveraged to streamline the admissions process. It offers a one-stop online platform that can help organisations to go paperless, reducing complexity and better equipping them to administer services. This also improves the end-user experience, too; through the digital front door, patients, caregivers and referrers are able to easily access tools which can help them navigate healthcare.

Orion Health’s Virtuoso Digital Front Door provides a secure, open and scalable platform that helps organisations bring new and existing patient engagement technologies together into a single, user-friendly hub where all interactions can occur, whether that’s referrals, bookings, virtual care or remote monitoring.

Through this platform, existing paper admission packs can be replaced, with patients being invited to register for a secure online account through which they can complete the necessary forms. Patients are provided with clear deadlines, and hospital staff can see how patients are progressing in completing the forms, allowing greater oversight for planning and follow up.

Opening the Digital Front Door at Southern Cross Healthcare

Southern Cross Healthcare, which has been a trusted part of New Zealand’s healthcare system for over 40 years, continuously invests in modern healthcare technology – including co-designing a solution with Orion Health to streamline the pre-admission experience for its customers which reduced booking processing time per patient by an average of 83%.  

You can read more about Southern Cross Healthcare and Orion Health’s partnership and the Digital Front Door in the Southern Cross Healthcare eAdmissions pilot case study.