Improve the patient experience with digital patient intake

Imagine if every time you wanted to sign up
to buy groceries online, book a vacation, or apply for a job, you had to fill
out a paper registration form. For 21st century consumers who are
accustomed to sleek digital and self-service experiences in industries such as
retail, travel and banking, such an antiquated and cumbersome process seems
unthinkable. Unfortunately, when it comes to healthcare services, we don’t have
to use our imagination. Too often, we’re still required to fill out
time-consuming, repetitive and tedious forms before accessing services.

For providers who want to stay competitive,
the long waits and wasted time that arise from paper-based registration system
do nothing to win consumer loyalty. And on top of the disappointing patient
experience, manual intake processes often lead to delays and errors that can
disrupt the billing cycle, costing time and money further down the line.

In fact, up
to half of denied claims
occur because of issues around the point of
registration, such as identification errors, sub-standard data analytics and
inefficient workflows. And at a time when patients and staff are trying to
minimize face-to-face contact due to COVID-19, manual registration seems like
an unnecessary extra touch point.

Is it time to say goodbye to paper-based
paper registration?

Reimagining the patient intake
experience for the digital age

During registration, patients can be asked
to provide personal details, submit their medical history, and confirm payer
information. They may also need to schedule
appointments
, organize billing, or sign up for care management programs. It’s
often a patient’s first glimpse of how a provider is going to look after them,
so making the registration experience as stress-free as possible is a great way
to build
customer loyalty from the start
.

As the competition for consumer business
heats up, providers should look for ways to give patients the virtual and mobile-friendly
experience they desire, with as little time as possible spent in waiting rooms
filling in forms. By letting patients tick off their registration to-do list
online or via a mobile device – before even coming into hospital – providers
can improve patient satisfaction, while using automated workflows to drive down
costly errors and increase revenue.

Here are two examples of how healthcare providers have embraced
self-service registration and automated pre-registration workflows to benefit
both their consumers and bottom line:

1. Schneck Medical Center used automated pre-registration to double their productivity

For the patient access team at Schneck Medical Center, getting the correct patient information in a timely manner during registration was a challenge. By introducing  eCare NEXT®, they were able to automate pre-registration workflows so the majority of manual, repetitive patient tasks could be completed automatically, freeing up staff to focus on patients who needed specific attention before being cleared. With Registration QA added to the mix, they could track and correct errors and spot opportunities to improve performance in real-time, for a better patient experience and more efficient operations.

Skylar Earley, Director of Patient Access and Communication, said that by using Experian Health’s patient intake solutions, “we were able to make some fairly minor workflow changes, but double our pre-registration productivity on a daily basis and then repurpose some labor to different areas in patient access.”

2. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital (MLKCH) used automated registration to reduce claim denials

Seeing that a large portion of claim denials were
originating during patient registration, MLKCH introduced an automated registration workflow to eliminate unnecessary manual tasks and increase
the accuracy of the data being collected.

For Patient Access Manager Lori Westman, the results
have been impressive:

“We get fewer denials because we’re getting true verification data, and our patient volumes continue to increase. So the fact that we can take off at least two to three minutes on half of our registrations is speeding up the work for the team, and the turnaround time is much better for the patients.”

By reducing paper-based tasks and
introducing automated pre-registration options, these providers were able to
make life easier for patients while slimming down their workflows. Is it time
for your organization to do the same?

Download our free eBook to find out more about how automated
patient intake workflows could help you create a seamless, more efficient
patient registration experience.

The post Improve the patient experience with digital patient intake appeared first on Healthcare Blog.

Technology key for hospital financial recovery following COVID-19

Financial recovery after COVID-19 is likely to
be a slow burn for most healthcare organizations, according to a recent
survey
. Nearly 90% of
healthcare executives
expect revenue to drop below
pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2020, with one in five anticipating a hit greater
than 30%.

While the return of elective procedures will
be a lifeline for many hospitals and health systems, the road to financial
recovery remains fraught with obstacles:

  • Five months of canceled and postponed procedures need to be rescheduled
  • Worried patients must be reassured of hygiene measures, so they feel safe to attend appointments
  • Patient intake and payment processes must be modified, in order to minimize face-to-face contact
  • As the rate of infection continues to grow, providers must find new ways to also grow their revenue and protect against a further dent in profits.

The healthcare industry is unlikely to see the recovery curve hoped for across the wider economy, but digital technology, automation and advanced data analytics could help provider finances to bounce back more quickly.

4 ways technology can accelerate your
post-pandemic financial recovery

1. Easy and convenient patient scheduling unlocks your digital front door

Patients want to reschedule
appointments that were postponed or canceled over the last few months. To
manage the backlog and minimize pressure on staff, consider using a digital
patient scheduling platform
, so patients can book their
appointments online.

A self-scheduling system that
incorporates real-time
scheduling
and calendar reminders will help to create a
positive consumer experience, while offering analytics and behind-the-scenes
integration to keep your call center operations running smoothly.

2. Secure and convenient mobile technology can enhance your telehealth services

Telehealth
is the top choice for many hospitals looking to boost revenue growth and
counter the impact of COVID-19, with two-thirds
of executives
expecting to use telehealth at least
five times more than before the coronavirus hit.

Many new digital
tools and strategies
designed to improve the patient
journey as a whole can support telehealth delivery, and help to meet growing
consumer demand for virtual care.

For those beginning
their telehealth journey, our COVID-19
Resource Center
, which offers free access to
telehealth payer policy alerts, may be the place to start.

3. A digital patient intake experience can lessen fears of exposure

Although many providers are starting
to open up for routine in-person appointments again, patients may wonder if
it’s safe. Proactive communication about the measures in place to protect staff
and patients will be essential.

Another way to minimize concern is to allow
as many patient intake tasks as possible to be completed online. Automating
patient access
through the patient portal can give
patients quicker and more convenient ways to complete pre-registration, while contactless
payment
methods are a safe way to settle bills
without setting foot in the provider’s office.

4. Optimize collections to bolster financial recovery

Automation can also play a huge role in helping providers tighten up their revenue cycle, find new ways to enhance accounts receivable collections and avoid bad debt.

Tools such as Coverage Discovery and Patient Financial Clearance enable providers to find missing or forgotten coverage, and help the patient manage any remaining balances in a sensitive and personalized way.

Palo Pinto General Hospital uses automated coverage checks to find out whether a patient is eligible for charitable assistance within three seconds, so self-pay accounts can be directed to the most appropriate payment plan before the patient even comes in for treatment. With fewer accounts being written off, Palo Pinto has seen a noticeable improvement to their bottom line.

The pandemic has been a wake-up call for an industry that has been traditionally slow to adopt new technologies. Ahead of a second wave of COVID-19, providers must move now to take advantage of automation and digital strategies to speed up financial recovery. Contact us to find out how we can help your organization use technology to improve the patient experience, increase efficiencies and kickstart your revenue cycle.

The post Technology key for hospital financial recovery following COVID-19 appeared first on Healthcare Blog.

Ditch activation codes and automate portal enrollment with integrated identity authentication solutions

For many healthcare consumers, visiting patient portals to check medical records, schedule appointments, renew prescriptions and pay bills is a no-brainer. Accessible from multiple devices at any time of day, patient portals allow patients to manage their health from the comfort and convenience of their own home. COVID-19 has been a catalyst for even more patients to consider remote and virtual healthcare services. But with large healthcare data breaches increasing by nearly 200% between 2018 and 2019, one concern continues to lurk in the background: how do providers keep patient data safe?

Knowing the industry is prone to
dated cybersecurity measures, hackers zero in on the lucrative medical
identities market, with their top
targets
including:

  • patient
    medical records
  • billing
    information
  • log-in
    credentials
  • authentication
    credentials, and
  • clinical
    trial information.

As COVID-19 encourages more
patients online, the digital doors are open for even more identity thieves to try
to steal – and profit from – sensitive data.

Healthcare organizations need to be confident that the person logging on is who they say they are, both to reduce the risk of a data breach and minimize HIPAA penalties. One way to balance consumer convenience with data security is to automate the patient portal enrollment process with robust patient identification protocols, making it harder for hackers to access patient information but without burdening patients.

3 ways to automate patient portal enrollment

1. Ditch activation codes that are easily misplaced

Many healthcare organizations give new patients an activation code to use the first time they log in to their patient portal. Unfortunately, these tiny bits of paper or codes hidden at the bottom of lengthy enrollment documents are easily lost or forgotten. The patient has to call the office, taking up valuable staff time and resources to figure out how to log on – the opposite of streamlined and scalable.

Instead, providers should consider an automated portal sign-up process. Using a combination of out-of-wallet questions, device recognition, risk models and cross-checks with linked patient data, portal access can be secured through a single platform. It’s easier and more reassuring for patients, and with far fewer calls to IT support.

2. Automate patient identity checks

It’s not just the first log-in that matters. A portal without reliable identity authentication for each log-in attempt risks data breaches and duplicate records, all of which mean more work on the back-end.

AdvantageCare
Physicians
used Precise ID to
improve and protect patient identities. In just six months, they reduced the
overall number of patient calls to their IT help desk by 25%, and reduced calls
related to password reset issues by 75%. The amount of staff time spent on
validating patient identities was also reduced by 80%. AdvantageCare saved time
and money, while offering patients a more secure and satisfying portal
experience.

3. Find quicker ways to integrate patient identity tools with existing systems

The more people who need to see patient data, the more
opportunities there are for cyber thieves to sneak in and access that sensitive
information. Being able to share data securely between multiple providers and across
different platforms is essential.

During the current COVID-19 crisis, integrating authentication tools with other healthcare information systems (HIS) quickly is a huge advantage. One example is Precise ID, which can now integrate directly with Epic’s MyChart portal, Allscripts’ FollowMyHealth platform and many other HIS systems within two weeks.

Jason Considine, senior vice president and general
manager of Experian Health’s Patient Experience Solutions says:

“Patients want to feel reassured that their data won’t wind up in the wrong hands. That’s even more important right now, as COVID-19 means more patients are choosing online services instead of face-to-face contact. With staff and cashflow under pressure, it’s even more important to get systems up and running as fast as possible. That’s why we’ve integrated with leading HIS systems to help them achieve interoperability within just two weeks.”

Patient portals have the power to transform
the healthcare experience for patients, but only if they can trust that their
data will be kept safe. Providers can protect their patients from identity
theft by adopting a multi-layered solution that incorporates best practice and cutting-edge
data security technologies.

Find out
more
about how Experian Health can help you
automate patient portal security to avoid medical identity theft, so you can
save money, avoid reputational damage and create a positive patient experience.

The post Ditch activation codes and automate portal enrollment with integrated identity authentication solutions appeared first on Healthcare Blog.