Proactive Patient Communication
The distinction between patient, member and customer has blurred as providers and payers aggressively market their offerings. Self-service is an increasingly important interaction vehicle for attracting and conducting business with this group.
As a natural extension of social media and networking, self-service functions are being deployed by many facilities to expedite patient interaction while minimizing ongoing costs. For example, various aspects of patient scheduling and automation can streamline administrative work flow while improving revenue and its positive impact on patient satisfaction.
Patient no-shows are a significant source of lost revenue. Patients occasionally arrive for ambulatory procedures unprepared which also results in lost revenue. Simple asynchronous reminders are of no value if the patient has the need to change an appointment. It is difficult to offer patients a choice of alternative appointments with standalone automated telephone reminder systems. Automated appointment reminder systems are frequently limited in their ability to interact with patients using the format and media (e.g., SMS, email, phone) that best meets the customer’s preference.
Dynamic Communication Processing, from Arrow Systems Integration, enables the acquisition, transport, and delivery of information using the device(s) and media determined by the user to be most convenient at any point in time.
Using closed loop communication services, DCP provides comprehensive management, tracking and media conversion facilities to assure information is delivered in real-time to the right person at the right time.
- Patients do not have to “call back” if they cannot meet an appointment date. The scheduling “transaction” is completed in real-time while they are on the telephone.
- No-shows are minimized by reminding patients in an appropriate timeframe with the correct preparatory instructions given.
- Clinic schedules are maximized through the appointment reminder system’s ability to automatically identify and offer schedule openings to patients.
- Acting as the “front-end," the appointment reminder system engages staff in real-time collaboration with the patient when necessary to further reduce costs and drive efficiency.
Ambulatory procedure reminder: A 55 year-old male is scheduled to receive a colonoscopy examination as a follow-up to his annual physical examination. The procedure is slated for 2 weeks from the date of scheduling. The patient has been given a prescription and instructions regarding the necessary preparation to be started 24 hours ahead of the examination. Two days before the scheduled procedure the patient receives a call on his cell phone. The automated calling system verifies the patient identity and requests the patient to confirm the data/time of the upcoming procedure. The patient remembers that he cannot be prepared for the upcoming procedure because of his business travel. As a result, the automated system “dips” into the scheduling system and offers the patient several alternative dates/times for the procedure. Upon accepting a new appointment date, the system locks the new schedule date and sends the patient an electronic confirmation. It will offer the newly “released” time slot to other patients as it proactively reminds them of their appointments and pre-op instructions.