par8o Announces Completion of Nationwide Platform Upgrade
BOSTON, May 23, 2018
par8o, the largest referral management provider in the US, announced the completion of a system-wide platform upgrade. The technology enhancement was completed in mid-May following a closed beta over the past six months among par8o’s clients across Pennsylvania. Par8o has now successfully upgraded its entire client base to the new platform which was provided as a free upgrade. The upgrade included three major features: par8o chat, a HIPAA-compliant instant messaging technology that facilitates care coordination between staff at different offices; par8o profiles, which facilitate an online community for healthcare staff and providers while encouraging individuals to improve stats thereby providing better, faster services to patients; and finally, a new user homepage featuring a “smart feed” of action items that streamlines how office staff will receive and respond to information, which par8o has proven improves user engagement and data fidelity.
“We’ve long known that two common challenges across all of our clients is the quality of the data in their provider directories and user activation, particularly among clinically integrated networks or CINs,” says Melissa Opraseuth, par8o’s SVP Operations. “We realized that many of our clients were struggling with a top-down approach of trying to reconcile different provider databases from multiple sources. They might have one directory from the hospital, one from the CIN, and one from each of the payers they include in their network – and they almost always hold conflicting information about everything from office addresses to provider NPIs and insurance participation.” Ms. Opraseuth goes on to say, “Cleaning the information and getting it to a baseline is only the first part of the challenge. Maintaining that information as providers move in and out of a network, insurance plans change year over year, and clinics grow to add new locations, close doors or are absorbed into larger organizations – if data integrity isn’t there, staff simply don’t like using any referral platform. But what we’ve learned is, if you give the people at the frontlines the ability to own their information – and update it in the product – and go bottom-up instead of top-down – you can fix the data integrity issue.”
In early 2017, par8o started a comprehensive survey of its user base which included online surveys, focus groups, and ethnographic research on how best to fit within the already complex workflows found in physician offices today. “As the results of this research started coming in, we realized the people who were the heaviest users of the product, typically referral coordinators and office staff, were quite often ‘digital natives’ who were just as likely to be on Facebook as they were to have experience working in an EMR like Epic, Cerner, or Athena.” Roc Hargrove, par8o’s SVP Product said. “Once we started carefully incorporating some of the same design techniques that are so common outside of healthcare, we found that our user engagement and data fidelity dramatically improved”.
Par8o has now shown that enhanced user profiles and gamification of healthcare software, which is typically far from “fun” for an end-user, leads staff to be far more engaged and active within the platform. Enhanced profiles create a sense of community across offices within a network, helping staff in different offices to better establish and maintain the relationships which are so critical to effective care coordination. “What is so exciting here is that staff within these offices are looking for better, more efficient ways to coordinate care for their patients,” says Dr. Daniel Palestrant, par8o’s CEO, “Not only do staff take great pride in this, our product enhancements create a sense of shared commitment across different locations, where staff become much more determined to be responsive and maintain provider data as a point of pride, and this results in better data within the par8o network.”
Founded in 2012, par8o is now the largest referral management system in the country. Par8o uses technology to reinvent the patient referral – the moment a provider helps connect a patient to the next step in his or her care – through workflow integration and mobile technology. By leveraging its proprietary specialist matching algorithm, par8o’s clients create a customized, concierge experience for each patient, ensuring that each patient is matched with an in-network, nearby specialist that accepts his or her insurance while creating a seamless care transition between the referring and specialty offices. Institutions including Mt. Sinai Health System, Dignity Health, and CityMD have leveraged par8o’s referral solution to coordinate care for over a million patients to date.