Making Patient Education Systems a Snap … with APIs

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Jun 10, 2015 10:48:03 AM
Debra Zalvan
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Your patients are looking for educational resources online.

In fact, about 7 out of 10 (72%) of adult Internet users say they have searched online for information about a range of health issues—especially specific diseases—according to Pew’s The Social Life of Health Information

A few weeks ago, we shared a blog post about Choosing the Right Patient Education Systems for the changing digital healthcare environment. We wrote about how the first step in an effective plan for real patient education or engagement is finding patient education systems that will help you connect with patients digitally—right where they are—online. 

White Paper: Understanding the Changing Healthcare Environment and How to Incorporate Digital Patient Education Systems

Now that you understand the need to connect with patients digitally about their health, your next question is probably, “Who has the time?” That’s where APIs come in.

You probably interact with APIs—application programming interfaces—daily without knowing it. That’s because APIs are like keys that help software programs speak to each other and share data simply and quickly in the background. APIs can help verify your credit card when you make a purchase online, for example. To the purchaser, it appears that the entire transaction happens without leaving the website.

In a health care setting, APIs can carry information such as a patient’s name, surgery date and email address, in a secure, encrypted way, from one database to another. This information could travel among forms your patients fill out on your website, from existing data in your CRM or EHR or into your patient engagement solution.

The key here is that APIs make digital access to your patients easy. Let’s say your patient registers for a pre-surgery class at your hospital. He fills out an online form and includes his email address and surgery date. As soon as he clicks the submit button, he can also be automatically added to a database of patients receiving educational messaging before, during and after surgery by email—if you have an API set up.

It is completely HIPAA-compliant to email patients educational resources about their care, provided they have previously given you their email addresses. Consent is implied when it comes to emailing educational health information and no further consent—or opt-in—is necessary. Read more on that in this white paper.

Your IT staff or developers already know how APIs work and how to implement them. This means that it’s easy to use our APIs and requires no time from your clinical or marketing staff.

Once your API is set up, you’re on your way to proving the impact of your patient education systems and patient engagement solutions.

Taking It Further

You can read more about APIs—and how UbiCare’s API works with our SmarteXp patient engagement solution—in our Knowledge Base article.

If you’re a UbiCare customer or just someone who wants to talk about APIs with our Client Success team, email us or comment below.

Topics: Patient Education, Quality of Care, Digital Patient Engagement, Health Care Interoperability

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