In this day and age, people expect to be able to handle their life administration online. Whether it’s taking care of banking, ordering groceries, or buying clothes, the internet has changed the way we interact with organisations.

This extends to looking after our health, with people expecting the same sort of online access to their health providers as they do in other areas of their life. The reality though is that many people often have trouble accessing the health system online.

For many, engaging with their health providers can be a complicated and confusing experience, with inefficient systems and difficulty finding reliable information being a common source of frustration. How can we drastically improve the healthcare experience so it’s as simple as online banking?

Where do I start?

The COVID-19 pandemic saw the digital provision of information and access to care implemented and adopted at rates never seen before.

Despite this progress, organising healthcare online remains notoriously difficult to manage. Questions of who to speak to, how to book appointments, and where to find information are some of the challenges that can impact the patient experience for the worse.

The need to empower people to engage with their health system online, so they’re able to make informed decisions on their health and wellbeing, is a much-needed step.

A Digital Front Door – an omni-channel platform where people can manage their healthcare interactions in central location – is one way to empower people, providing them with the tools and access they need to play a more active role in their care.

This one-stop shop makes it much easier for people to navigate, find trusted health information and know where to go when they need help. It also minimises the need to keep repeating information in each interaction, with key details being saved as part of an online patient profile.

Using the Digital Front Door – an example:

Through using a Digital Front Door, people who are visiting a healthcare facility for treatment or appointments are provided with a central place to find out everything they need to know. That can include where they need to go, information about their procedure or appointment, and information on aftercare.

They’re also able to complete the necessary paperwork online, which is more efficient for patients to complete, and for hospital staff to process.

Southern Cross Healthcare (Southern Cross) and Orion Health have piloted a system that’s able to deliver these benefits to patients. Utilising Orion Health’s Virtuoso Digital Front Door technology, Southern Cross piloted an eAdmissions solution at Auckland Surgical Centre over a 12-week period, ending in March 2022.

More than 90% of the pilot group opted to complete the admissions process online, unanimously preferring the digital solution over the paper-based alternative.

Patients have indicated they find the system easy to use and more convenient, demonstrating how technology can be successfully introduced in the health sector to improve the patient experience.

Want to learn more?

You can read more about Southern Cross Healthcare and Orion Health’s Digital Front Door partnership, and the positive impact it’s having in improving the patient experience, in the Southern Cross Healthcare eAdmissions pilot case study.