The shift from a fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursement model toward a value-based one is indicative of an overarching, industry-wide shift that focuses more on the quality of care and service a patient receives. Meaningful and effective communication with patients is the most crucial and worthwhile investment you can make to bring this shift around full circle. Erratic and, at worst, inconsistent communication stems from a greater problem – a lack of consistency within your own organization. If this sounds all too familiar to you, it might be time to re-evaluate and figure out new ways to establish meaningful touch points with patients.
Here are three ways you can devise a more successful patient engagement plan and set your organization on a better path toward holistic, value-driven care.
1). Develop a Deliberate Plan
Excellence is impossible without deliberate action. In order to achieve excellence within your organization, it’s critical that you lay out a clear and definitive plan for patient engagement that integrates between departments. Part of developing your plan includes defining what excellence means for your organization and then illustrating a clear path to achieve those goals. Whatever your goal for excellence might be, if it is enforced consistently across your entire organization you’ll experience a streamlining of your processes, an elimination of wasteful procedures, and an increase of revenue delivered back into your organization.
Automation helps uphold the standardization you’ve set in place. It streamlines the most relevant data about your patients between departments. It elevates your staff to higher positions, allowing them to focus less on mundane tasks and instead to make more profound contact with patients at critical moments. Automation gives you a whole wealth of data insight that can help you figure out the best ways to communicate with your patients based on behavior and other output indicators. Additionally, less paper and fewer keystrokes means fewer errors. Unfortunately, we humans are prone to error. Therefore, any time a human does something – like key in a social security number or manually fill out a form – the opportunity for error increases. Automation significantly reduces this opportunity to make mistakes that could otherwise be avoided.
3). Use Technology and Human Contact Together
The best course of action is to develop a patient engagement plan that weaves together an effective use of both technology and human contact. Automation and technology can’t replace an actual human to effectively communicate with patients. Rather, the right tech can free your staff from menial tasks, allowing them to communicate when it is most necessary for them to do so. With a deliberate plan in place, a mix of both technological and human communication can take your communication efforts with your patients to the next level.
As more and more hospitals and medical groups focus on value-based care, it’s important to remember that this extends to how your patients are treated long after they’ve left your facility. If you want to resolve accounts, boost cash flow and improve customer satisfaction all while reducing administrative costs, now’s the time to determine your goals, develop a plan and take action with the right tools.