Integrating APIs Into Your Patient Onboarding Process

Healthcare APIs enable fast, comprehensive, and accurate digital patient onboarding.

"I don't know what this medicine is called."
“I’m not sure when this allergy appeared.”
“I don’t remember what my diagnosis was - I think it came from this doctor?”

This is what healthcare organizations often hear when a patient visits for the first time. When a patient can’t recall relevant parts of their history, it’s up to backoffice staff to interview the new patient… track down their old records… wait for a fax… and hopefully avoid duplicative care or missed concerns. 

A growing number of medical groups have found a better way to onboard patients. Particle Health’s API finds patient data across nationwide medical databases, enabling fast and comprehensive onboarding. Multiple provider organizations - from large in-person groups to telemedicine startups - make Particle’s platform the first step in their onboarding process.

How Does Fast Onboarding Happen?

It’s relatively simple to onboard new patients with the help of Particle’s API. At a high level, it goes like this:

Once your new patient is confirmed - typically after they’ve booked an appointment - your provider organization will query our vast healthcare data network. Only a few points of demographic information are needed to run the query.

Particle’s platform will quickly find your new patient’s medical history, which you can download to your data warehouse (e.g. a FHIR store) using our API. From there, your team will use your existing tools to map the records to your EHR. Once the new patient’s data is in your system, a clinician can review it manually before the patient is seen, as permitted by HIPAA.

The best part? We get a LOT of data. Particle’s record locator service is unmatched, we return data for more than 85% of patients, and we receive an average of 95 documents per patient - enough to make a difference in any practice.

3 Ways Particle Customers Use API-Based Patient Onboarding

Orderly Chart Review Before An Initial Visit

APIs raise your team’s expectations about preparations for a patient’s first visit. When you know that you can find data for most patients, you can consistently integrate pre-visit research into your onboarding checklist. A reliable source of patient data supports comprehensive chart reviews.

Chart reviewers - midlevel practitioners or doctors - can review new patient information and highlight pertinent information for busy providers, who have limited time between patients. Some of those patients - like those with chronic conditions or a long medical history - actually have more data than a hurried doctor can handle! The extra time and accuracy afforded by healthcare APIs help your team highlight what’s relevant for an MD before the actual appointment.

With patient history in hand, doctors have time to create a care journey gameplan. For instance, a new diabetes patient may have concerning A1C levels and a documented low exercise social history in their FHIR data. A doctor can diagnose exercise and better meals.

The FHIR data Particle finds can also include fields like current medication dosage and the name of a prescribing doctor. What you do with that information can help keep patients healthy and in your network. Doctors can use it to encourage medication adherence or perform drug interaction checks before writing a different prescription.

When we think of “tech-enabled” medical services - the many healthcare startups that fill an existing need more efficiently - this is what they look like. 

Trim Down History Forms and Redundant Paperwork

You don’t like paperwork, we don’t like paperwork, your patients don’t like paperwork. Our objective is to cut that down.

Instead of having the patient fill out an A-Z list of conditions on arrival - which your team has to transcribe - a doctor can simply verify the years of data that Particle has collected.

This doesn't eliminate paperwork entirely for the patient, but it does make their onboarding an easier experience. Patients get a better impression of your service when there’s less waiting time, and more face time.

Make Your Internal Metrics Sing

RAF score. Medicare Star Ratings. HEDIS scores. Eventually you’ll find an outcome tracking acronym that’s important to you. A 2020 Deloitte survey reported that healthcare is moving towards value-based (or risk-based) care, where “quality and cost outcomes determine continued inclusion in insurers’ networks.” 

A value-based care provider that takes the patient’s word about their health winds up paying for it in the long run. A successful value-based care organization gets the documented facts. If it’s important for your organization to measure and track results, then you need accurate patient data from the start.

Even if your insurance payments aren’t tied to patient health, accurate provider workloads might depend on data. Deloitte also found that 76% of physicians believe they play a prominent role in limiting unnecessary tests, but that they don’t yet have the tools to do so effectively. Patient data empowers physicians and helps you understand your population over time.


Integrating APIs into your patient intake process makes sense. It improves care, increases efficiency, and can pay off financially. Once your organization starts onboarding patients with the help of an API, you’ll wonder how you operated without it! ⚛️