January 5, 2023
Unlike an EHR (Electronic Health Record), a white label patient portal designed for behavioral health is specifically created to enhance the patient experience, improve care quality, and boost clinical outcomes. While an EHR is designed to be provider-facing and enables them to capture and track patient data, a patient portal gives patients access to their appointment and health information, as well as the ability to connect with their provider through video, instant messaging, or other means. Having patient information readily available also helps your company remain compliant with the 21st Century Cures Act, passed in 2016 to try to improve the free flow of health data in the U.S.
There are several major benefits to leveraging a white label patient portal for behavioral health. A patient portal can increase your administrator and provider efficiency by automating key aspects of a patient’s booking, onboarding, and appointment experience. A portal can also increase patient engagement and feelings of connection, as it encourages additional touchpoints with providers outside of scheduled video calls. Additionally, a patient portal gives your company the ability to track outcomes, make better business decisions, and employ data and analytics to help you negotiate with payors. We review each of these benefits below, and highlight why a white label patient portal is essential to delivering high-quality behavioral health.
Providers and administrators spend countless hours completing administrative tasks, such as scheduling appointments, sending forms and files to patients, and completing patient follow up. Interestingly, physiatrists spend over 20% on administrative tasks, the highest proportion of time on this type of work compared to other providers. Not only are these tasks time consuming, but they lead to an increase in provider burnout, provider churn, and can greatly impact patient care.
Enter your patient portal. Although designed to be patient-facing, a white label patient portal can automate key administrative tasks that providers and staff are currently completing manually. The portal enables patients to self-schedule appointments and send direct messages to providers securely. Staff can also automate workflows so forms and files are sent to patients at specific intervals in their care journeys, including prior to appointments to capture consent, medication history, and family information. If forms are not completed on time, patients may receive an automated reminder. These automations remove the need for manual patient follow up, freeing provider and administrator time to instead improve care quality and develop new and innovative services. OnCall’s white label patient portal and telehealth solution has saved one behavioral health company with 30 providers over 63 hours of administrative time per week. Providers have used the additional 63 hours to provide care, resulting in an additional $12K in weekly revenue for the company.
Not only can a white label patient portal enable easier access to care; it can improve outcomes for patients by encouraging them to interact with their provider and engage in care outside of a scheduled appointment. Improving outcomes is essential for mental healthcare patients. A Consumers and Health Information Technology National Survey found that patients with access to a patient portal felt 38% more connected to their provider and 32% more likely to “do something to improve their health” as a result. By implementing a patient portal, your company has the ability to not only improve outcomes, but increase program completion rates. For example, your white label patient portal can house a library of rich media, exercises, videos, and other resources for patients to consume in between appointments. These additional touchpoints encourage patients to have a hand in their healthcare journey, complete therapeutic assessments, and comply with their program to see results.
The 21st Century Cures Act states that as of October 6, 2022, payors, companies, providers, and other stakeholders are required to share health information with patients and each other in a record that qualifies as protected health information under HIPAA. With a vast majority of current claims being logged against providers for not sharing patient data, it’s essential that your company employ processes, procedures, and technology that can help you remain compliant with the Cures Act.
A white label patient portal can help you kick-start your company’s compliance process while also enabling you to integrate technology to improve interoperability. For example, your patient portal can be integrated with your EHR to ensure the free flow of data across platforms. This means that patient information entered in your EHR is automatically shared with your patient portal, and vice versa. The integration ensures that patients have access to their EHR data and patient portal data without constraints, making your company compliant with the Cures Act.
The goal of tracking patient health outcomes is two-fold; to understand the patient’s historical health and capture their day-to-day information, while also supporting proactive care decision- making in the long-term. White label patient portals can offer tools for providers to track the health of their patients day-to-day, through automatic patient surveys, post-appointment follow up questionnaires, and custom therapeutic assessments. Capturing this data not only gives providers better insight into their patients, but can also help them proactively sense a patient’s shifting health so they can prepare personalized treatment plans.
Your company can also use cumulative patient data to better understand broader patient and industry trends. For example, data may show that your providers are treating more patients in the evenings. By seeing this information per patient and en-masse, you can proactively make informed decisions and adjust provider schedules based on the needs of your patient and provider base. Adapting your company’s services to better serve patients and to align with their needs is an important step in delivering on patient expectations in behavioral health.
For behavioral health leaders, value-based-care can open the doors to innovative service delivery and reimbursement models that can increase access and improve outcomes for patients. Positive reported clinical outcomes can help your company negotiate for better reimbursements, provider pay, and additional technology to help your company achieve its strategic goals. Although you don’t necessarily need to formalize a reporting structure to capture patient outcomes, a white label patient portal can help you manage the myriad of processes you might employ to record patient outcomes, and then help you report on the significance of these outcomes to payors and stakeholders alike. For example, providers and administrators can use your patient portal to automatically send PHQ-9s and GAD-7s to patients to track their therapeutic outcomes. The portal can then consolidate this information in an analytics tool that generates reports on individual patient improvements, service offerings, and your company’s overall improvements.
There are many considerations for behavioral health companies looking to invest in and launch their own white label patient portal. Ensuring providers and administrators are set up for success, enabling patients to share information and engage with providers, and finding ways to remain compliant are just a few. Using a patient portal to track patient health is valuable; however, using it to track outcomes and improve on your company’s goals of efficiency, interoperability, compliance, and payor relationships is essential to developing a strong telehealth strategy. Learn more about how a white label patient portal can transform how your company delivers care by scheduling a complimentary consultation with our team.