Patient access is presented as one of the focal points of any modern healthcare provider. In the end, it doesn’t matter if you have the most beautiful clinic in the city if you don’t have good experts to help your patients.
Patient access is especially important for brands with massive employee turnover. As these businesses have a steady inflow and outflow of practitioners, having a large enough workforce becomes a major consideration. Otherwise, if a clinic can’t provide good enough service, their patients will slowly start switching to their competition.
In this article, we’ll go through 3 best ways to improve patient access. We’ll also explain how a CVO (Credentials Verification Agency), such as Andros, can help with your overall efficiency.
3 Methods for improving patient access
Healthcare organizations have lots of tools at their disposal to improve patient access. Here are the three main things you can do for this particular purpose:
1. Set goals
According to the biggest names in the industry, the best way to improve patient satisfaction is by providing flexible, on-demand healthcare. Your clients should be able to choose which doctor does the checkup and should have numerous slots available. Furthermore, they should provide home visits as an additional measure of improving patient access.
The best way to improve your performance and availability is by setting measurable goals in advance. For example, your practitioners should be obliged to take 90% of incoming calls. Another objective can be to fill 80% of available appointments during the month while reserving the other 20% for emergencies.
Being restrictive with your goals is the best way to improve patient accessibility. In most cases, it comes down to how many doctors in your clinic are willing to work. However, you should also monitor patient behavior, prioritizing the ones that always show up to appointments and downgrading those that don’t.
2. Improve your workflows
Once you determine what you wish to do, it’s time to create a methodology that will allow you to execute the task. A healthcare provider should create an efficient workflow that would maximize the company’s resources and ensure the highest service quality.
- A healthcare provider should always have a suitable substitution within the network if one of the practitioners is overwhelmed. That way, a patient would never have to switch providers or go to ER
- Ideally, you should focus on reducing and eliminating any redundancies and interruptions in the system. The best way to achieve this goal is by assessing staff’s competencies and assigning them to tasks where they’re most likely to succeed
- While not the most popular measure, clinics and hospitals can extend their working hours and add extra shifts
- Team meetings are crucial ahead of a busy work day. During these meetings, staff can predict a lack of appointment slots or double bookings
- You can also make massive improvements by physically rearranging your space. Most notably, frequently used devices and medicine should be better placed and more accessible to practitioners and patients
- Try to resolve the issues as soon as possible. Online calls are slowly becoming commonplace, especially when tackling minor issues. Alternatively, practitioners should try to help their patients over the phone without having to book an appointment
By following all these tricks, healthcare providers can significantly improve the efficiency of their practice and boost patient satisfaction through accessibility alone.
3. Introduce advanced technology
Technology has become an integral part of every clinic and hospital. Not only are we reliant on advanced medical technology, but we can also benefit from better communication and scheduling systems. Advanced software can also help during tasks such as credentialing, oversight, and audits.
As just mentioned, hospitals are starting to introduce video visits as a way of improving client satisfaction but also increasing their efficiency. Similarly, patients should have access to various healthcare resources and informative content via hospitals’ portals. They should also be allowed to check available appointment slots and book their visits accordingly.
Technology is also vital for tracking patient data. Practitioners can check their records before visits to ensure all information is properly reconciled. Technology can also be used for prescriptions and other purposes.
The role of CVOs
Even if you introduce the best possible practices, there will still be areas of inefficiency. For example, many clinics are still struggling with onboarding and credentialing, partially due to the process’ complexity and lack of software knowledge. As such, these brands often hire external CVOs to help them out.
So, how can these providers help your healthcare business?
- Credentialing is a very complex process that takes a lot of time and money. To tackle the issue, many healthcare providers create in-house teams that specialize in this activity. Unfortunately, this can be very expensive in the long run. So, to reduce the costs and micromanagement, clinics and hospitals nowadays delegate credentialing to outside CVOs
- Companies that offer credentialing services are experts in the field who track all the latest trends and software. They use modern, sophisticated solutions to streamline and improve the process, providing great results for the clients. Furthermore, most of these organizations have a direct connection with regulatory bodies, ensuring an even smoother onboarding process
- A common issue with in-house credentialing is that there are too many human errors. As many hospitals don’t have specialized teams, their medical staff performs credentialing as a secondary activity. Not only do they lack experience with the process, but they don’t understand nuances in the same way CVOs do. External providers have established methodology that allows them to circumvent the most common issues and avoid blunders that would result in fines
- Speaking of fines, due to their meticulous, software-driven process, CVOs are less likely to get you in trouble with regulatory bodies compared to your own credentialing team
The main benefit of hiring a CVO is that it allows you to save money. However, we also can’t neglect the accessibility effect. As these companies can perform credentialing much faster, practitioners can also start working sooner. That way, patients can benefit from improved care and additional options, resulting in higher satisfaction rates.