Streamlining Practice Workflows to Work More Efficiently
The problems are clear, but finding the right solution to address them can be easier said than done. The answer lies in automation technologies.
Both patients and providers benefit greatly from workflow automation. By automating workflows with tools that integrate with your practice management and EHR systems, you can improve operational efficiency and spend more one-on-one time with patients. But not just any technology will do.
The key to making this successful is to implement an orchestrated patient engagement platform, or one with tools that seamlessly work together to address and automate all stages of the patient journey. Orchestrated patient engagement solutions automate each of the pain points that practices are facing when it comes to workflows, such as:
Online Appointment Scheduling
With the right online scheduling tools, patients can either request appointments or completely self-schedule within parameters set by the practice. This not only reduces the number of people who call to make appointments, but also offers patients a convenient way to schedule them on their own time. This convenience is very important to the modern healthcare consumer. In fact, 68 percent of patients said they were more likely to choose a practice that allows them to book, change, or cancel appointments online.
Today, most practices are already using some form of a patient portal. In fact, 90 percent of healthcare organizations offer portal access to patients. That said, many patient portals are missing the mark and lacking the most useful features. A portal should serve as a practice's digital front door for engagement and provide a brand-consistent experience for patients. To do so, it should have features like a user-friendly interface, secure messaging, remote visits, and complete health information accessible via mobile app or favorite browser.
Automated Appointment Reminders
Seventy percent of patients are more likely to select a practice that offers appointment reminders via text, email or phone call. By automating appointment reminders, you can reduce patient no-shows and the manual efforts of practice staff, which streamlines workflows and improves efficiency.
Digitizing and automating patient registration and intake eliminates waiting room backlogs and the headaches that come with paper forms. Once an appointment is scheduled, the appropriate forms are automatically sent to the patient, and when completed, they import directly into the EHR. This workflow saves staff from scanning each form and eliminates the need for redundant data entry.
Online Surveys to Collect Feedback
Automating surveys allow providers to proactively reach out to patients after visits. This then triggers automated events based on patients’ survey responses, helping practices intervene when necessary. For example, a patient indicating that they’re experiencing painful symptoms after an appointment can trigger an automated call, text, or alert to practice staff.
Ongoing Patient Management
Keeping patients engaged between appointments is critical, especially in this era of population health and value-based care. An automated patient health management tool helps practices easily identify patients who are at lower risk for adverse events. This frees up care managers to conduct intensive interventions with high-risk patients as needed, improving outcomes all the way around.
To truly maximize workflows, these tools must not only work together, but also seamlessly synchronize with your practice’s EHR. That’s why a solution suite that orchestrates patient engagement is so beneficial for practices looking to simplify operations across a number of touchpoints. It all comes down to how well solutions talk to each other and share data.
Data should be real-time and bi-directional, meaning that updates on the provider’s systems and from the patient side automatically synchronize. This reduces frustration and inadequacies, driving significant process improvements. For instance, when you confirm an appointment via text, that appointment is confirmed in the patient portal as well.