People are frustrated with the traditionally narrow entry point into healthcare: the phone call. Short of showing up at urgent care or something similar, a patient still typically first contacts a provider by phone rather than through a convenient digital front door. Sometimes the provider then moves on to electronic engagement, such as appointment reminders, but very few places are capable yet of using technology to open up their clinic in order to improve cost and care. The patient may wait on hold as the providers juggle other duties, while many of their tasks could be handled faster and with more precision online. Both sides of the desk can benefit from person-focused tech that increases patient and provider satisfaction while securing protected health information.
In other industries, such as banking, we’ve come to understand and use the online experience to meet our needs, save time, and feel secure as we set passwords, chat with intelligent AI, and enter PINs to handle our finances on our own schedule. Healthcare must take steps to catch up. GoCrew bridges this gap by meeting human needs through cutting-edge digital solutions.
The right tool for the job
In healthcare, there is more than just private health information about which doctors you are seeing for what conditions. There is also financial, insurance, and identity information. In the age of cyber-attacks, ransomware, and social media hacks, HIPAA sets guidelines to protect our personal information, and the company that manages or handles that data assumes responsibility to protect it. Clinics need updated tools to relate sensitive information securely in a seamless, patient-centered manner. With GoCrew, the patient and clinic experiences remain simple and accessible while our technology does the heavy lifting in the background to ensure HIPAA-compliant communication.
Open communication in a secure environment
In healthcare, people sometimes crave the consumer experience at the expense of security, but the right balance is crucial. At the infrastructure level, whether you’re a technology firm or a radiology lab, the back office is constantly under threat from external hackers who could expose your members’ data. GoCrew’s innovations allow for high-speed communication in a secure environment. For instance, patients may text their OBGYN to ask questions and receive follow-up video instructions. Or a lab sends out bloodwork results. Or a patient enters emergency contact information that lists a family member’s private details. In all those cases, people want smooth communication that still protects them and their loved ones.
Creating a communication platform for healthcare needs to feel as easy and open as messaging apps but must have sturdy gates to protect patients and clinics. When the patient or clinic logs in to the platform, GoCrew encrypts the shared data, adding an extra layer of security. It’s critical to treat even the name of the clinic as information to hide and encode, as merely the fact that a patient is communicating with a certain provider could reveal information that the patient prefers to protect. Patients and providers can enjoy rapid text and video exchanges without having to think about all the safeguards running in the background.
Adding only a password or a single form of verification is cheaper and quicker both for the clinical and the patient side. But when things go sideways, it’s risky to fix. When mentoring teams, I ask them: “What is the most precious information you have about yourself? Imagine that’s what we have in our database. Protect that information as if it concerns you or your own spouse, children, best friend, parents, or relatives.” Our team appreciates that this is the data we’re holding in our hands and that we’re dedicated to securing.
Tech-boosted continuity of care
On the clinical side, providers need more ease of communication. What if a doctor has an appointment with you for an hour, advises several actions or medications, and then wants to check on you later? Because of the current barriers in the clinical system, it’s difficult to follow up with a patient. Clinics need a way of using protected text messaging rather than a patient’s personal phone number, to share and track information.
By using a HIPAA-compliant communication platform, not only are we securing the messages but we’re also tracking the messaging history, for health and legal reasons. Both parties are able to refer back to what medical advice was given when. Patient-provider communication is no longer dependent on disparate pieces of information shared over time. GoCrew’s app keeps all the communication together, making it easier for both providers and patients to reach each other and continue the conversation. In the past, a lab might spend hours calling a patient who can’t pick up the phone at certain times of the day. Now the lab can share those private results quickly and securely, and instead of patients worrying about receiving results or calling back to discuss them, they can immediately review their tests and write back with specific questions. This continuity of care improves the quality of treatment by removing barriers to effective communication throughout a patient’s healthcare journey.