From our sponsor, Parallon
Revenue cycle is an intricate balance of delivering an exceptional experience that patients demand, while preserving the financial integrity that drives success.
What better way to remain in a state of equilibrium than breaking away from antiquated workflows and processes and updating your infrastructure to ensure you exceed expectations on all fronts. The modern patient expectation is convenient access, a seamless process and a patient-centric experience. And, if it’s not, they take to social media and other public outlets to share their interactions.
A patient may have had an amazing experience throughout their entire stay, but if they have a frustrating experience with their bill post-service, they’ll remember the hospital negatively because revenue cycle management does have a major impact on the overall patient experience.
We have to make ourselves easy to do business with — whether that is internally, with the processes we implement, down to the people we employ, and externally, from ease of information to how we treat patients. Because, at the end of the day, healthcare isn’t just treating an illness or injury — it’s about helping a patient navigate through maybe one of the hardest times of their life.
Putting people first
An organization’s mission should be at the center of everything it does. You should remain true to your core while also making attempts to satisfy your patients and your employees.
Investing in your most important asset—your people. Investing in your employees is investing in the future of your company. Employees underperform or leave their jobs when they do not feel engaged, and that is at the expense of your patients. Use the following strategies to stay in touch with employees.
Frequently check-in to stay aligned. Providing your employees with real-time, constant feedback is key to open lines of communication and preventing misunderstandings. Invest in software that is a one-stop-shop for PTO requests, performance reviews, skills training and the ability to manage people up through publicly displayed compliments.
Offer up the ability to work remotely. Allow your employees to work-from-home when it makes sense. The modern workforce is increasingly mobile, and it allows you to attract top talent outside of your geographical area. It frees up valuable real estate, improves productivity and most of all, it boosts employee retention.
Provide income stability through daily pay. Financial stress can impact employees’ performance. Employees experiencing unexpected financial hardship are trying to navigate taking out loans, tapping into their 401K or filing for bankruptcy. Give your employees the option to sign up for daily pay or cash advancements without administrative burden or making changes to payroll.
Give recognition through gamification. Do you know the feeling of closing all of your rings, receiving awards or winning competitions on your smart watch? What if your employees could experience that throughout the day with their colleagues? Gamification dashboards recognize employee performance immediately with views of their performance targets and benchmarks. It also provides the opportunity for micro-learning when there are areas with room for growth.
Enhance communication efforts. Offer up micro employee surveys quarterly to gauge the pulse of engagement throughout the year instead of one long annual survey. Provide routine communications such as podcasts, video messages and digital stoplight reports.
In addition to investing in your employees, you should focus on innovations that provide a frictionless, hassle-free, enhanced experience for your patients.
Humanize healthcare through concierge registration. Patient access is the front door to the hospital and the first impression on your patients. Investing in technology to make the check-in process simple and convenient sets the tone for the rest of the visit. Having a concierge greet your patients in the lobby with a tablet that can capture digital signatures, express check-in and offer a retail payment experience, demonstrates that you are prepared for their arrival and are there to walk them through the process.
Offer a robust payment portal and multiple payment plan options. Your online patient portal shouldn’t just be driven by clinical need to meet meaningful use requirements. Going digital not only allows you to save millions of dollars on postage, you can enhance the patient experience by offering multiple payment plan options with a self-service approach. Also, provide visibility into all patient financial responsibilities by combining physician and hospital accounts in one location.
Survey patients after every phone call. Surveying patients 100% of the time allows for real-time feedback to ensure they are satisfied with their experience and how their account was handled. The closer you receive feedback in real-time, the faster you can resolve issues. Surveying software allows you to analyze data to see where areas for improvement are and if there are significant trends requiring course correction.
Workflows and technology
Lastly, incorporate analytics and process workflows into your operations for establishing KPIs and looking for areas for performance improvement.
Leverage data science for patient’s likelihood of needing financial assistance. Instead of screening every patient, utilize artificial
intelligence to score your patients to estimate their likelihood of qualifying for Medicaid and other assistance programs. Set targets and automate your processes to be as productive as possible.
Utilize automated dialing — within regulatory compliance. Manage multiple calls simultaneously, set rules around proper times to call and boost the productivity of your representatives with automated dialing technology. Ensure you are following Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) requirements appropriately, such as not calling cell phones without consent, especially wrong numbers, and honoring the do-not-call registry.
Analyze call performance through interaction speech analytics. Voice to text enabled analysis allows for 100% of calls to be recorded in order to spot trends, identify underlying reasons for calls, improve quality assurance programs, measure script adherence and determine training needs. The software can provide a word cloud feature to evaluate phrases and sentiment to track call trends.
Increasing revenue cycle efficiencies may seem like a major challenge, but by focusing on your employees, patients and workflows through automating and streamlining processes, you can improve patient relationships and your bottom line.