Patient Engagement Functionality to Improve Practices’ Bottom Line

By Kim Commito, Chief Product Officer, Experity
Twitter: @ExperityHealth

With urgent care clinics becoming the go-to sites for on-demand healthcare in the U.S., patient engagement technology has become necessary for clinics to succeed in the highly concentrated, competitive marketplace. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated patient expectations and demands for more convenient, consumer-centric healthcare experiences that patient engagement technology can help achieve. But there is broader, untapped value outside of meeting these evolving patient wants and needs to be gleaned from these functionalities.

Increasingly, urgent care clinics are looking to leverage patient engagement technology, and the data insights it can garner, to operate their businesses more intelligently, efficiently, and effectively. For urgent care operators, there are a handful of high-impact operational benefits to be achieved through the strategic use of these solutions.

First, patient engagement solutions can drastically reduce some of the workloads for front-end clinic staff. More specifically, offering patients the option for remote check-ins ahead of their appointments not only keeps staff safe from exposure threats but also allows front desk staff to spend less time registering patients upon arrival. This functionality helps speed up the visit experience for patients and providers, too, while minimizing the risk of making data entry mistakes.

Helping automate this operational process helps staff cut out unnecessary tasks and better focus on other aspects of the patient experience that require their attention. Additionally, because new patients are more likely to choose a clinic that offers online check-ins than one that does not, opportunities for future revenue are increased.

Second, clinics are accelerating patient throughput thanks to smarter queues and improved workflows. Using intelligent technology to manage patient queues, for example, enables clinics to create numerous distinct queues based on patient need, visit type, and other filters which helps to speed up throughput. Additionally, clinics with multiple locations can leverage advanced load-balance capabilities to evenly disperse patient volumes across all locations for minimal wait times and maximum throughput. Clinics are able to intelligently manage visit volumes while increasing the number of patients that are being seen each day.

The business benefits of smarter management of patient queues extend long past the end of an appointment. Clinics are able to leverage their queue technology to generate transformational data sets to report on operational factors like wait and door-to-door times, and overall patient intake processes. With data-driven queue reporting, clinics can make better decisions that improve staffing efficiency and clinical workflows to protect revenue and prevent staff burnout.

Third, urgent care operators increasingly rely on patient engagement technology to actively manage their net promoter scores (NPS) and the online reputations of their businesses. With over 50% of patients using online search to find care today, clinics need the right reputation management tools to manage and influence top search results.

NPS surveys are one important tool for reputation management, as this metric inherently tracks customer loyalty and satisfaction by asking patients to rate their experience immediately following their visit. By asking a simple question like, “How likely are you to suggest our services to a friend on a scale of 0-10?” clinics can break down NPS scores by location, provider, and patient demographics to derive valuable information from their patient responses. Collecting and continuously monitoring this feedback reveals trends in NPS scores and quickly reveals negative clinic experiences so clinics have the opportunity to address the concerns of these patients quickly to enable continuous, proactive reputation management.

We know that leveraging patient engagement technology is key to building important relationships with patients, but with the right tools, it also helps clinics increase revenue by improving operational processes and working smarter. From improving efficiency to automating some of the load for frontend staff, clinics have vast opportunities to benefit their businesses with patient engagement functionality.