How Frankensystems Impede Positive Patient Experiences

October 20, 2023 | By The InteliChart Team

How Frankensystems Impede Positive Patient Experiences

In the first installment of our Frankensystem series, we introduced how integrating mismatched, disparate patient engagement solutions results in what is known today as the 'Frankensystem.' 

Although often created unintentionally and with the best intentions to deliver an optimized healthcare experience, Frankensystems are notorious for wreaking havoc on patient engagement. 

In the second installment in this series, we’ll take a closer look at how Frankensystems impede the patient experience and compare it to that of a patient engagement ‘Masterpiece’—a platform of solutions purpose-built to work cohesively together from the get-go.

We’ll use two fictitious patients, Frank and Mary, to illustrate the difference between both kinds of platforms. Frank’s chosen provider uses a Frankensystem, while Mary’s uses a Masterpiece. 

Continue reading to learn more about how their digital experiences influence their attitudes toward the care they receive and their later decisions about returning to the office for another visit. 

Stage One: Pre-Visit 

Frank’s experience using a Frankensystem 

It’s been a while since Frank has last seen a doctor, and he decides it would be a good idea to schedule a preventative visit. Since he recently moved, he does a Google search and finds a few options that may be a good fit. Frank reads the Google reviews to gain more insight. 

As he clicks through several possibilities, he realizes it’s hard to tell which provider might be best because there are only a handful of reviews available for each, and patient opinions vary greatly. Frank is a little wary of all the choices, so he decides to choose the provider that is closest to his home and finds the website for that provider. He'd like to schedule online but can't because he needs a portal account, so he calls the office instead. After waiting on hold for several minutes, he is finally able to make an appointment and is sent a link to the new patient intake forms. He logs into his email to retrieve the link and then sets up a portal account so he can fill out the forms online.  

Mary’s experience using a Masterpiece 

Mary has also recently moved and turns to Google to find a new doctor. As she looks through the reviews, she notices one provider really stands out because opinions are overwhelmingly positive, so she clicks on the link directly from the Google listing to schedule an appointment. She is immediately taken to a page where she can schedule her visit. Minutes later, she receives an email with her intake papers and begins filling them out. 

Stage Two: During-the-Visit 

Frank’s experience using a Frankensystem 

Frank arrives for his visit and notices the waiting room is very crowded as he steps into line to check-in with reception. When he reaches the front desk, the receptionist looks up at him and gives him a weary smile. When she sees that Frank is a new patient, she explains that they did receive his intake forms – but she still needs to confirm they landed in his file. In the meantime, she explains he needs to fill out one other form and offhandedly remarks that they’ve been waiting ages to have those converted into their online system. 

Frank completes the form and walks to the front desk. As the receptionist takes the clipboard, she tells Frank that someone will be out to get him as soon as they scan the form into his patient chart. After a few more minutes, an assistant calls Frank and leads him into the exam room. 

Mary’s experience using a Masterpiece 

Mary arrives for her visit and walks straight to the front desk. The receptionist smiles, welcomes her to the practice, and lets her know everything is in order and that she can have a seat – someone will be out for her momentarily. Mary turns to the waiting room and notices she has a lot of chairs to choose from because the room is practically empty. As she wonders if sitting near the fish tank is a better choice than the TV, an assistant opens the door and calls her in for the visit. 

Stage Three: Post-Visit 

Frank’s experience using a Frankensystem 

A few days after his visit, Frank remembers that he was supposed to get his blood test results back. Frank logs into his patient portal and notices that he has a message from his provider. He clicks the link for the message and finds he must sign in again. 

Frank signs in again and reads a message letting him know that the office is available should there be any questions about his results. After closing out of the messaging application, he goes back to his portal home screen and clicks on lab results. He notices there are several that are just shy of being considered high and immediately has questions about what the numbers mean. He travels back to the home screen, logs back into the system, and sends a message. 

A few days later, frustrated that there hasn’t been a reply to his message, Frank picks up the phone to call the office. After several rings, a receptionist answers, and he is put on hold. After an agonizingly long wait, an assistant finally picks up the phone and answers the questions he asked in his message. 

As Frank hangs up, he thinks to himself what a hassle it is to deal with that provider! He’s irritated that a few quick questions took over 15 minutes to answer, and that the call could have been avoided in the first place if the messaging system worked. 

About a year later, it’s time for Frank’s yearly preventative exam. He looks at his calendar and picks up the phone to call the office he saw last year, but he hesitates. He remembers how difficult communicating with that office was and then recalls his friend mentioning a new doctor in their neighborhood. He thought the nurse practitioner he saw during his visit last year was very good, but after reflection, he just can’t face dealing with the communication issues of that office again. He decides to find another provider for this year’s visit. 

Mary’s experience using a Masterpiece 

Mary wakes up a few days after her visit, notices a text saying there is a message from her provider, and logs into the patient portal. After reading the provider’s message, Mary clicks the tab for her labs. When she notices she has a lot of borderline results, Mary decides she wants to ask her provider a few questions. So, she clicks on her messages tab, hits compose, and begins writing. 

As Mary arrives home from work later that day, she receives another message notification. She logs into her portal and her provider answered all her questions about the lab results and asks if she’d like to join their healthy living campaign – it’s an email or text (Mary could decide which format she preferred) that forwards healthy ideas and inspiration from the provider’s office. Mary replies that she’d love to have a little nudge toward a healthier lifestyle and asks to be enrolled in the program. 

After hitting send, Mary decides that she wants to make an appointment for another blood draw in three months because she’s feeling optimistic that with a few changes, she could get those high numbers down. So, she clicks on the schedule tab and books a lab appointment. 

Mary returns for her annual exam a year later and is delighted when her test results show that her healthy choices have put almost all her numbers squarely in the normal range. Mary fills out the patient survey emailed from the office and indicates how pleased she is with not only her care but also how easy communicating with the office has been. A few moments later, she receives a link to leave a review on Google. Mary gives the practice five stars and writes about how much the positive encouragement from the healthy lifestyles campaign has helped her achieve her goals. 

Are your patients experiencing a Frankensystem or a Masterpiece?  

As our stories of Frank and Mary illustrate, patient engagement technology can have a profound influence on the patient experience and the future of your practice. Frank liked his provider, but decided not to revisit the office because communication was a disjointed, frustrating experience. Mary, on the other hand, not only returned to her provider but also was able to improve her health with encouragement from an automated health campaign. 

When you think about your patients’ experiences, are they dealing with a Frankensystem or a Masterpiece? 

How to create a patient engagement Masterpiece 

Creating a patient engagement Masterpiece begins with a unified, patient-centric platform that seamlessly integrates every step of the patient journey from pre- to post-visit. Unlike a Frankensystem, a Masterpiece is meticulously designed to ensure that every component works harmoniously together from the start. 

An authentic Masterpiece prioritizes a frictionless user experience, thereby eliminating redundant logins and ensuring intuitive navigation. It ensures that communication between the patient and provider is smooth, secure, and efficient, thus enabling proactive health management and fostering a positive patient-provider relationship. 

If you’d like to see a Masterpiece in action, register for our upcoming webinar on October 31, 2023 at 2 pm ET, where we’ll be showcasing our Healthy Outcomes patient engagement platform. You’ll also hear real-life stories about how we helped two of our customers escape the dreaded Frankensystem. 

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