The Modern Patient – How to Navigate Patient Experience in a Digital World
The world we live in today is a digital space. Increasingly more of our daily tasks can be completed from the comfort of our couch through the screens of our smartphones, from grocery shopping to job applications to business meetings, and the healthcare space is no exception. As a healthcare provider, how can you navigate patient communication in a digital world? What effect does digital access have on patient payments and your revenue cycle management? This month, we’re diving into these topics and offering ideas on keeping up with the latest tech best practices at your healthcare center.
Your Patients are your Customers
The world of retail and customer service prioritizes experience to ensure that their customers return for their product or service again and again and that repeat purchases are easy to make. These business owners think through every step of their client experience and constantly update their products and portals to maintain a seamless and positive experience for their paying customers. As healthcare providers, thinking of your patients as customers can help you understand all the barriers they might face when it comes to obtaining their healthcare or completing their payments.
Conceptualizing a visit to your healthcare center from the point of view of a paying customer AND a patient can lead towards a more positive experience for the individuals and families you care for and can increase your revenue by making patient payments easier to complete. Check out our guide on making patient payments easier, written by Practice Management President John Zulaski.
Telehealth is Here to Stay
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth became the primary way individuals received routine healthcare, particularly behavioral health services, and while request for telehealth services has declined as the pandemic waxes and wanes, there are still many patients that prefer a virtual option. And it works! A study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that telehealth interventions reduced mortality and hospital admissions in chronic conditions like cardiovascular and respiratory disease.
Integrating a hybrid approach to your practice, especially if you provide mental health services, lowers your overhead, reduces no-shows, and provides much-desired flexibility to your patients. However, collecting patient payment can feel tricky with telehealth services, so be sure you provide your patients with an easy way to pay online.
Online Portals are the New Patient Experience Standard
Buying things online is no longer considered a luxury convenience, but a standard option for all services. Providing your patients with an easy way to pay bills, update their information, and schedule appointments online increases your collection volume and reduces your administrative overhead. Check out one of the portal options we implement with some of our clients here.
Patients want Payment Options – Staff Education is the Key
According to a research report sponsored by Synchrony, 45% of all U.S. adult patients surveyed would be interested in using some kind of payment plan in the future.
There are multiple options for patient payment plans, from companies like CareCredit to in-house payment plans, but ensuring that every staff member understands the options available to patients is vital. All staff, from physicians to administrators, need to be able to offer patients an explanation of their options up front, depending on who a patient interacts with before, during or after receiving their treatment. Doing this will help patients feel informed and less anxious about their medical costs. It can also improve your collection rate as a healthcare center by enabling patients to set up these payment plans early and begin making payments immediately.
If you are interested in learning how revenue cycle management with Practice Management not only maximizes your revenue, but also provides a top-notch patient experience, contact us here! We would love to discuss your unique needs with you and build a plan that fits your organization.