Today, we’re proud to announce a new Spruce feature called Workflow Automation. Workflow Automation is a tool that helps practices automate common tasks, such as responding to patient inquiries or triaging messages to the appropriate person. We’ve created an “if this, then that” logic model that you can customize to reduce repetition and improve efficiency in your practice.
We release new features in Spruce all the time, but they don’t always get an accompanying article. We’re taking some time to think bigger, about all of the ways that technology can fundamentally improve efficiency in your practice, giving you the time to focus on delivering the best care possible. It might seem like Workflow Automation is an abstract buzzword term, but we want to show you how it speaks to Spruce’s larger vision. We constantly strive to create tools that allow technology to do the behind-the-scenes work, so that you can spend time expanding your scope and quality of care.
There are two categories in particular where medical practices around the country can benefit from better communication technology: administrative work and clinical improvements.
Administrative work: Healthcare professionals should be spending less time on administrative overhead, and more time on providing care. Some of the ideas we have to automate common tasks include:
- Automatically assign patient messages to the correct person or department.
- Automatically invite patients to download the Spruce app after they message your practice.
- Automatically send a message inviting patients to book an appointment once they’ve created their Spruce account.
- Automatically escalate patient inquiries to teammates after a certain number of hours without a response.
Clinical Improvements: We built workflows to help you think creatively about ways to achieve the highest level of care, as a single team can do so much more with the use of technology. Some ways that workflow automation can streamline your care include:
- Automatically message patients to ask how they’re doing after a visit. If they’re not feeling better, ask them if they want to schedule an appointment. Then, internally page your scheduling team when they reply.
- Automatically notify your team after hours if a patient marks a message as “Urgent,” so that you can quickly provide care.
- Automatically remind patients who take certain medications to message your practice every three months, or whenever their prescription runs out. Similarly, send automatic quarterly messages to patients with chronic diseases to check on relevant health metrics.
- Ask all patients if they’ve gotten a vaccine when flu season rolls in. If they haven’t yet done so, ask them to schedule an appointment.
This is just the beginning. The great thing about automating your workflows is that they are infinitely customizable. We built our logic model for this exact reason — to inspire and foster your creativity in this space.
Some other things to note:
- Workflow automation can be used via both Secure Messaging and SMS, so it’s not limited to your patients who already utilize Spruce. Engage new and existing patients with workflows to proactively offer care.
- Workflows are amazing for the reasons we’ve mentioned, but we haven’t even delved into the data analytics that we could run on this information over time. Stay tuned, and eventually we’d like to use workflows to capture structured data about patient inquiries or clinical status, so that you can better understand your patient panel’s needs.
If you’re interested in learning more about the structure of Workflow Automation, or how to set it up in your practice, read this series of articles in our Help Center. We also suggest you watch this short video starring Ari from Team Spruce, which highlights some cool ways that the feature can be used.
Thanks for reading our ideas and inspiration around Workflow Automation. We think it has the potential to impact healthcare delivery, and we hope you feel as passionately as we do.
Have other ideas? We want to hear them. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get up and running with Workflows today.