The rise of digital forms in hospitals

Telehealth adoption experienced a huge surge of growth in 2020.

Although digital health technology has been growing steadily for the past few years, there has been an accelerated growth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, this is leading to a shift in healthcare across Australia.

Prior to COVID-19, telehealth had been extremely underutilised in Australia. However, with people in and out of  lockdown throughout 2020 in Victoria and other states, it became the ‘new normal’ way of accessing healthcare and preventing further contamination amongst provider and patient, and patient to patient. In addition, healthcare providers wanted a solution which would support the capture of accurate and current health information from patients to improve productivity, efficiency and overcome the patient frustration of “telling their story” over and over again.

At Global Health, we reprioritised a bulk of our planned improvements across our products in response to the changes prompted by COVID-19. Specifically, the updates were to support remote healthcare and to enable the enhancement of our client’s level of care for their patients. As an Australian business with almost 35 years in the healthcare software industry, we continually work with the relevant organisations and bodies to ensure that these improvements comply with the Australian Standards and regulations, and are suitable for healthcare providers.

Where we instantly experienced a strong demand and spike of interest was for our Lifecard Patient Portal as Health Delivery Organisations across Australia embraced digital engagement with their patients. Lifecard Patient Portal allows patients to complete their preadmission, registration and on-going assessment forms online, and the information is securely sent directly to their provider’s clinical application using the Government-approved Secure Messaging protocol.

Re-keying patient information is a common source of error, however Lifecard Patient Portal enables data collection on digital forms which seamlessly integrate with provider clinical systems eliminating any potential re-keying or transcription errors from the manual handling of patient data. Hospitals are choosing this digitally enabled solution to transition into a future in digital health services. Current clients using Patient Portal have found that 60% of pre-admissions are being completed online, and digital admissions increased by 25% between May and June of 2020 in comparison to the same period the previous year.

Further to the overnight and day procedure hospitals who were already using Patient Portal prior to COVID-19, we have multiple clients in the implementation stage of the Patient Portal, and others who are choosing to enable extra portals for additional services in their business. Hospitals need to satisfy the demand of the modern-day patient by assessing their own digital journey, where they are, where they need to be, and what they need to do to meet these growing expectations of patients today.

Reducing risk by eliminating old fashioned healthcare processes is of high importance, now more than ever. Health organisations need to take advantage of this trend to lift utilisation and improve the overall patient experience, and hospitals need to keep in mind that patients have already taken up self-check-in or online methods in many different industries and therefore healthcare should be of no exception.

Digital forms are a smarter alternative to paper, and they reduce physical touchpoints in operations, improve hygiene, cut-down the manual steps which need to be taken by staff, increase the accuracy of data captured, and improve the patient experience allowing them to easily complete information when and how they choose. Having the pre-admissions completed in advance of admittance to hospital frees up the time of administration staff, increasing productivity in other areas. Capturing this data ahead of time also gives staff the opportunity to identify any issues, avoiding last minute cancellations.

Medical research reports estimate up to 60% of cancelled operations are avoidable.

Telehealth is the digital doorway to better healthcare, and our user-friendly Patient Portal helps hospitals improve traditional business practices by adopting an online admission process which is key to advancing the digitisation of workflows from preadmission right through to discharge, and beyond.

COVID-19 caused a backlog of postponed elective surgeries, and a digital process like this could half the time it takes for a hospital to clear their cases. It is estimated that the online preadmission form saves about 50% in terms of administration time, equating to approximately 15 minutes per patient.

The additional cost of the Lifecard Patient Portal will generate immediate financial returns through time saved, reduced errors, and accurate patient health and financial information into Provider clinical systems. Now is the time to truly transition and embrace Telehealth. Gain the benefits of an efficiently operated hospital, with improved workflows, time savings and available resources, all by incorporating digital processes into your daily operations.

To learn more about Lifecard Patient Portal contact us, or request a demo to see the software in action.