How Automating Registration Can Boost Patient Satisfaction
You only get one chance to make a first impression. That’s an age-old adage, but it’s often true, especially in healthcare.
For your patients, the registration process is typically their initial contact with your practice. Make it difficult for them, and chances are they’re out the door and probably not coming back. It’s a balancing act between getting the data you need and making it convenient for patients.
We’re not implying this process is the easiest task. As you probably already know, patient registration requires a considerable amount of preliminary patient data input, including:
- Collection of patient demographic information, including personal and contact information
- Patient referral or appointment scheduling
- Collection of patient health history
- Checking of health payer coverage
- Patient orientation
Offering your patients a positive registration process is not only essential for ensuring you’re able to offer high-quality care, it also can set the tone for the entire patient journey. Collecting accurate data before a patient’s visit speeds up the billing process and optimizes the whole revenue cycle – a win-win for you and your patients.
The Importance of Optimized Workflow
Automation has been used in the United States for decades. That’s not breaking news. Healthcare has been a little late to the game, though.
When used correctly, automation can help you proactively improve the already high quality of care you give your patients – and reduce waste and costs. Applied to those pesky administrative processes, it’s been shown to reduce the potential for medical errors and help ensure compliance with all those seemingly ever-changing industry regulations. Most importantly, it gives you more time to spend with your most important stakeholder – your patients.
- Communicate and collaborate more efficiently
- Complete tasks in less time or with less effort
- More efficiently utilize available resources
- Reduce the time waiting for others to complete tasks
There’s proof to back up these claims. A report from KLAS found that 60 percent of provider organizations that use patient intake systems reported that the tool helped them become more efficient, focus more on the patient experience and eliminate some overhead costs associated with traditional paper patient intake strategies.
Epion EveryWhere allows physician practices to automate workflows and more efficiently meet their patients’ needs by automatically and proactively engage patients to complete steps in advance of, or following, a healthcare or billing event.
The Role of Digital Health Tools
Unfortunately, not all physician practices have made the move to the 21st century and still use paper. Lots of it. The result is unnecessary errors, longer wait times and dissatisfied front-office staff. All that makes for unhappy patients.
Using digital health tools can be used to automate administrative tasks that don’t directly affect patient care. Time isn’t the only resource saved, either. Just a few years ago, it was found that using digital technology for eligibility and benefit verification automation saved the healthcare industry $85.6 billion. That’s not chump change!
According to MGMA, digital health tools such as patient portals, automated appointment reminder systems, check-in solutions and online payment options have achieved the most positive results in recent years. Why? Because they streamline practice workflow, improve patient experience and lead to more efficient and effective care delivery. When combined, they create a contactless experience from pre-visit registration to post-visit payment and all the way in between.
If there was a popularity contest between the digital health technologies used in the patient registration process, check-in solutions would be the clear leader. With this tool in place, your front office staff doesn’t have to sort through stacks of paper to find the right patient forms or try to read patient handwriting that typically looks more like chicken scratch. Plus, you have a more accurate and complete look at your patients’ medical history and medication.
Patients already spend a lot of time glued to their smartphones and other mobile devices. By enabling them to use these devices to perform necessary tasks like verifying their insurance, signing consent forms and reviewing and updating clinical information — all of which updates in real-time with their electronic record — they can finish the process anywhere at any time.
When your patients’ digital check-in data automatically flows into your electronic health record (EHR) system, appointments can be faster and more efficient. Patients want that type of convenience, anyway. Survey results found that more than half of patients would choose a doctor that let them fill out paperwork online before a visit. Also, as HIMSS notes, digital check-in decreases check-in time by 20 percent.
If you’re not already convinced about how using digital technology for patient intake can benefit your practice, we have even more reasons:
- Reduced administrative costs
- Increased access to healthcare
- Improved practice efficiency
- Reduced claim denials
- Improved collection rates
- Real-time data authentication
- Better risk management
- Enhanced communication
- Improved medication safety
- Expanded focus on clinical initiatives