Lauren Smith has an appointment at your practice. You are behind schedule due to medical emergencies. Ms. Smith gets a text message letting her know you are running late – she can choose to accept a later appointment, see another physician in your practice, or reschedule.
Ms. Smith decides to accept the later appointment time, providing her more time to run an errand. She’s very happy she was given options, rather than spending idle time the waiting room. She is pleased that you value her time.
Two days later, Ms. Smith receives a patient survey on her smartphone. She had a very positive experience with her doctor and was very happy she was not kept waiting. She completes and submits a positive survey.
Healthcare providers are focused on improving the patient experience while controlling costs. Excessive wait times are a top complaint for many patients – and one they are most vocal about. In fact, 39% of patients say they would switch practices based on wait times. Taking charge of your waiting room has a direct impact on your bottom line.
Technology and smart device use are on the rise across all segments of the medical industry. Here are a few ways your practice can save wait time before patients arrive and while in the waiting room.
- Establish a patient portal – a secure online website – giving patients convenient, 24-hour access to personal health information, appointment scheduling, prescription refills and communication. Through the portal you can collect insurance updates, demographic changes and documents through secure online form services.
- Use electronic eligibility verification to confirm patient’s insurance coverage and benefits prior to the appointment.
- Employ patient cost estimation technology to provide pricing transparency around patient financial responsibility and administrative efficiency.
- Collect co-pays and balances in advance as part of the patient’s visit with an online payment solution or patient portal.
- Deliver interactive appointment reminders so patients can confirm, reschedule or cancel appointments by text message or email or through your patient portal.
- Automate communication of visit prerequisites such as insurance cards, copays, a list of prescriptions, and the suggestion to arrive early.
- Utilize a Kiosk for patient registration.
- Provide online registration forms via smart tablets that can automatically update your practice management application to waiting patients. Tablets can also be used for kid friendly entertainment to keep them busy and parents less frazzled.
- Use a handheld device or tablet to show healthcare videos about additional services your practice provides and a list of physicians and staff.
- For long procedures, keep family members updated regarding a patient’s progress via text message, saving time for your staff and less worry for the family.
- Patient surveys after visits provide valuable feedback you may not otherwise capture.
Ms. Smith’s patient experience was positive, in part, due to a simple text message. Communication is key. The technology will improve the patient experience and reduce wait times saving time and money. Don’t let your practice fall behind.
If you need help looking for the right technology solutions for your office, please contact us at AssuranceMD, your medical solutions resource team.