Using Secure Email APIs to Improve Operational EfficiencyTuesday, May 10th, 2022
APIs are just one tool that organizations can use to streamline operations and automate processes. This article explains how secure email APIs can save time in healthcare communications.
What is an API?
API is an acronym that stands for “Application Programming Interface.” APIs enable companies to open up their applications’ data and functionality to external third-party developers, business partners, and internal departments. They allow services and products to communicate and leverage each other’s data and functionality through a documented interface. APIs simplify app development by allowing applications to work together.
APIs help business and IT teams collaborate. One example is the Weather Underground API. If a smartwatch developer wanted to display the weather on the watch face, they could use the Weather Underground API to source current weather data and local forecasts. Application developers do not have to create an entirely new weather database and keep it updated. Instead, the API enables them to use the Weather Underground’s meteorological data in their application.
APIs enable information to flow both ways. The smartwatch can display Weather Underground forecasts, and the API can report data back to the Weather Underground. This functionality enables interoperability and data sharing.
An email API gives applications the ability to send emails and retrieve analytics. Email APIs are often used to send transactional emails from applications like CRMs, EHRs, and other databases. Trigger-based emails are ideal for sending with an email API. In this situation, emails are sent when pre-determined conditions are met. For example, an order confirmation is a transactional, trigger-based email. A person buys a product online, the transaction is processed, and an email is sent to the buyer with their transaction details. The email is sent automatically with an email API.
Benefits of Secure Email APIs
Imagine if it was an employee’s responsibility to create and send every order confirmation email. It would be completely overwhelming. Besides saving time, some of the main benefits of email APIs include:
- Easy to use and implement
- Cost savings
- Email deliverability improvements
- Email list management
- Reporting and analytics functionality
- Personalization and customization
- Enterprise-grade security
How to Use Secure Email APIs to Improve Operational Efficiency
Healthcare organizations are under increasing pressure to improve the patient experience. Online shoppers expect to see those order confirmation emails within a few minutes of finalizing their orders. Healthcare consumers using online communication tools expect the same experience from their healthcare providers. By expediting and personalizing patient communications, APIs can help increase patient satisfaction.
Thanks to the introduction of electronic health records, healthcare organizations have access to more patient data than ever before. Developers can use secure email APIs to send timely, trigger-based emails from EHR platforms.
Some examples of the types of emails that healthcare providers can send using an email API include:
- Welcome emails
- Appointment reminders
- Patient satisfaction surveys
- Flu shot and vaccine reminders
- Password resets and other transactional emails
It works like this: the developer creates the email templates in advance and the criteria for email sending. The email is automatically sent when the conditions are met. For example, a developer may trigger a welcome email to send when:
1) a new patient is added to the database and
2) their first appointment date is set.
Email APIs can also pull information from the patient record to personalize the email. The welcome email may include the patient’s name and the date of their first appointment.
Other than updating the patient record, office administrators do not need to take additional actions to send the email. The email API automatically sends customized emails when appropriate.
Security and Privacy Considerations
Of course, developers working with patient data should not ignore HIPAA. It is essential to choose a vendor that understands the requirements. Failing to follow proper protocols can put patient data at risk and lead to data breaches.
For developers looking to create their own HIPAA-compliant APIs, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has put together a helpful guide. LuxSci also has API developer documentation to help integrate applications with our secure email API.
Email APIs are an essential part of digital health transformation and interoperability. Healthcare organizations should explore how APIs can improve their workflows and improve efficiency. LuxSci provides HIPAA-compliant and secure email APIs with Secure High Volume Email Sending. Contact us today to learn more.