What is Your Practice Doing to Modernize the Patient Journey?
With all of the healthcare technology options available, patients expect to be able to reach a practice, hospital or health system and want access and autonomy around appointment scheduling. If a provider is short-staffed or managing new patient volume growth, they can lose existing or new patients to a better-prepared competitor. Medical practices and the administrators and managers of hospitals and health systems can stay ahead with several approaches to modernize the patient journey.
The Digital Front Door
Using technology to provide an exceptional patient experience across all essential touchpoints of the patient journey is pivotal to the success of your practice. A digital front door allows providers to offer patients contact and functionality even outside of regular business hours. It relieves hours of answering phones and performing traditional tasks from staff and lowers frustration points for your patients.
If you haven’t thought about implementing a robust digital front door strategy, you should be aware that your patients and prospective patients are more likely to go to a provider who offers digital capabilities. A digital front door will help you to engage and retain patients and achieve better growth.
When given the option, most patients would rather schedule their appointments instead of calling your practice. If you don’t offer self-scheduling, you could be losing prospects to other healthcare providers.
Research shows that almost one-third of visits booked online are scheduled after working hours when no one can answer the phone. Your patients benefit from the added convenience of 24/7 scheduling, as not everyone is free to schedule appointments while your office is open. It also frees up more time for your front office staff, enabling them to focus on more productive work.
Remaining connected to your patients throughout their healthcare journey is a vital aspect of increasing engagement and the patient experience. As a practice, you need to communicate with patients directly using text messaging, a preferred channel.
You can use two-way texting to send automated appointment reminders, direct patients into an exam or alert companions when treatment is completed. When a patient regularly engages with their mobile phone, texting for medical offices can reduce no-shows and keep patients involved in their care.
Check-In and Wait Times
Long appointment check-in and wait times at your practice contribute to patient dissatisfaction and an overall negative patient experience, forcing them to find another provider who can see them more efficiently.
Patients consider appointment wait times as a top factor in deciding where to seek healthcare services. Clearwave Connect for kiosk, tablet or mobile dramatically lowers check-in and wait times, taking the pressure off your staff and contributing to patient satisfaction.
Safety and Efficiency in Practices and Waiting Rooms
Practices limited the use of formerly crowded waiting rooms to ensure better safety after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. With variant surges and during flu season, Clearwave’s Pre-Check and Virtual Waiting Rooms are a true advantage to support health and safety in medical offices.
Pre-Check and Virtual Waiting Rooms ensure adequate social distancing and empower patients to navigate your practice smoothly with simple guidance. They both allow digital communication to avoid a patient coming in to fill out paperwork or spend an extended amount of time around other patients. When the risk of flu or virus transmission is increased, both of these measures will protect your staff and keep patients safe.
Billing and Collections
Your revenue cycle has multiple pain points for your practice and patients alike. Patients dislike unexpected medical costs, especially when they were not aware of costs not covered by their insurance until after a visit.
For practices, managing billing and collection can turn into a pitfall when the process is too long and complicated. Staff don’t often have the time to address a patient’s financial responsibility during a visit, or practices push collections off to another department to manually manage patient volume. Revenue health is often impacted by patient balances and chasing after old invoices.
You can streamline billing and collections by:
- Implementing digital patient collections to allow patients to pay at check-in
- Automating eligibility verification to run in real-time and confirm coverage prior to patients’ visits
Patients are more likely to pay at check-in instead of responding to a bill sent by mail. After the day of a patient visit, the propensity to pay decreases. Providers can dramatically increase cash flow and reduce needed staff hours with digital collection at check-in.
Automated eligibility verification checks coverage instantly at the point of scheduling, which will flag any information that needs to be updated prior to a visit and create a clean claim for low penalties and quick reimbursement.
Upgrade Your Practice to Ensure Patient Satisfaction
Modernizing the patient journey is key to improving patient satisfaction. It benefits the practice by relieving some time-consuming tasks, letting staff members be more productive. A streamlined front desk creates a better atmosphere for staff retention, and patients see a well-functioning environment that keeps them loyal.
Modernizing a front desk involves the digital, strategic and scalable solutions that Clearwave can deliver.
Want to learn how your practice can capitalize on opportunities and increase patient engagement while modernizing the patient journey? Click here to download Clearwave’s newest whitepaper, Modernizing the Patient Journey- for Better Outcomes and Higher Satisfaction!
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