3 Automation Tips to Improve the Patient Experience

By Matt Kelly, Senior Account Executive, Medfusion
Twitter: @medfusion

Medical providers are challenged with navigating the new healthcare landscape for their staff while continuing to improve the patient experience. While healthcare has seen incredible advances in both medicine and technology over the last several decades, the patient care model continues to evolve. With an effective patient engagement strategy and the right tools, practices can create a more efficient environment that benefits both their staff and patients.

Here are three automation tips to improve the patient experience at your practice:

1. Remove the Hurdles for Patient Engagement
Many practices have invested in online patient engagement solutions over the last ten years. Organizations frequently tell us they struggle with overall patient technology usage, despite having several online touch points in place.

We often find this stems from a misconception from staff and patients that the technology is difficult to use. In some cases the patients aren’t even aware of all the solutions a practice has made available to them. There is usually a substantial amount of work required of the staff just to register patients in the system. Meanwhile, the patient experience can be equally frustrating. When it’s easier to create an online bank account than signup for a patient portal, there is a problem.

Make sure the solutions being offered are user friendly for both patients and staff. They should also offer the convenience patients expect. There aren’t many second chances at a first impression, make it count.

2. Streamline the Patient Check In Process
When it comes to challenges with time management, the first question Medfusion asks practices is “what does your patient in-take process look like?” Whatever the process may be, it is usually so entrenched in the culture of the office that it is often overlooked as a candidate for change. Many medical offices ask that patients arrive early for their appointment so that they can fill out the necessary paperwork for their visit. This process can be very time consuming depending on specialty, the reason for the visit and whether or not it is a new or existing patient.

Make sure there is a strategy to help simplify this process by offering forms online. In many cases, we work with practices to implement a process by which the information provided by the patient can flow back into the Electronic Health Record. If even a small percentage of the manual entry can be diverted, it has the potential save hundreds of hours in time and resources.

3. Improve the Patient Experience through Automated Patient Messaging
We are in a new era of patient access. Patients are bearing more responsibility for their overall healthcare costs and are behaving more like consumers. A part of this shift is a demand for easy patient access to clinical information. While the patient owns their health information, it can often be a difficult process to receive that data in a fast and secure way. Even practices that have online communication options resort to several manual processes to make that happen. There are solutions that can help ensure you are automating much of this workflow in a secure manner. Whether it is a Clinical Summary or Lab Results, make sure that your practice has the right tools to streamline this process with auto-messaging. It will take a tremendous burden off of your staff and improve the experience for the patient.

The Patient Consumer has arrived and while challenging, it is also an incredible opportunity for your organization to grow. There have never been more options at your fingertips to simplify workflows. The right partner and the right strategy will allow the practice to face these challenges head on. Then you can get back to what you do best, focus on patient care.

For more tips on how to improve the patient/provider experience, check out our recent webinar for GE Centricity users.

This article was originally published on Medfusion and is republished here with permission.