3 tips to improve patient satisfaction, practice efficiency

Jan 31, 2017 | Hospital Finance Efficiency

Regardless of what type of practice you might run, patient satisfaction and operational efficiency need to be the highest priorities of all. From the time patients call in to schedule appointments to when they finalize their payments, the details of plans and the workflows involved play a major role in medical practice performances. 

Let's take a look at three ways you can simultaneously improve your practice's efficiency and the satisfaction of your patients. 

1. Get electronic health records in order
The rollout of electronic health record systems has left a lot to be desired. In fact, The Hospitalist reported that 52.3 percent of hospital employees felt burnt out, and EMR systems played a major role. Not surprisingly, a similar rate of physicians and private medical practitioners have been feeling the strain of EMR, and the time is now to get these systems into a better position. 

Healthcare IT News suggested leveraging a service provider to help manage the systems and take the burden off of physicians and administrative staff. When these electronic records systems are in optimal shape, though, private practices will be operating more efficiently, physicians will be less burnt out and patient experiences will be more favorable. 

How does your practice engage patients?How does your practice engage patients?

2. Engage millennials
Renal and Urology News recently argued that millennials tend to have a less favorable perspective of their medical service providers, and that this has been one of the causes of a decrease in Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems performances across the nation. Suffice it to say that millennials are going to become the largest population of patients before long, so something has to give soon. 

According to the news provider, some of the best ways to ensure that millennials and other patients are satisfied include taking as much stress out of the experience as possible, and always striving to make good first impressions with the individuals. The source noted that to do this, communication and operational efficiency need to be priorities. 

3. Streamline accounts receivable, collections
One of the biggest problems in the health care community – including hospitals, private practices and primary care facilities – is rooted in financial solvency and cashflow. When the organization ends up having severe issues trying to collect the debts owed to it or processing payments in a timely fashion, chances are that both patient satisfaction and practice efficiency will begin to drop off from a performance perspective. This simply cannot happen, and does not need to. 

Because of the sensitivity involved in medical bill and debt collections, it can be even more difficult to keep payments running through the pipeline in a timely fashion. When the practice does not have enough cash on hand to execute necessary policy shifts, technology overhauls or other necessary activities, how will it respond to the intensifying and diversifying demands of its patients?

Simply put, it cannot. Yet technologies are available that can help dramatically improve the efficiency of bookkeeping, record-keeping, payment processing, transaction automation and more, helping to ensure that the basic tasks and functions are optimized. However, when it comes to collections and particularly tricky accounts, practice leaders might want to consider working with a professional medical services provider that specializes in collections, accounts receivable and similar duties.