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PATIENT EXPERIENCE

14 good ways to cut your appointment wait times

Long patient wait times cause frustration for patients, stress for reception desk staff, loss of confidence in the practice—and, ultimately, loss of revenue. Here are 14 things you can do to reduce patient wait times, courtesy of Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, a team of specialists who partner with healthcare clients to profitably deliver results through data-driven marketing. 1. Offer digital check-in services that allow patients to submit medical forms before their appointment. 2. Offer hassle-free online appointment scheduling and rescheduling. 3. Integrate virtual care services like telehealth/telemedicine. 4. Stay on schedule by leveraging physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) for routine or non-urgent visits. 5. Develop better new patient lead workflows to improve efficiencies and productivity. 6. Conduct patient surveys. 7. Send patient appointment reminders to lower your risk of no-shows (which… . . . read more.

MARKETING

Take the sting out of bad reviews from patients

It is important to address every online review—good or bad—publicly so that others reading the review will know you are responsive to patient communication and concerns. Here are some simple steps to addressing a bad review, potentially resolving the patient’s complaint and showing possible future patients how you deal with patient concerns. Keep your cool As much as we want to think that we do the best we can for every patient, we do make mistakes, said Mary Pat Whaley, founder and president of Manage My Practice. “I spoke with a patient recently and told her the practice had failed to send her prescription in and she was dumbfounded,” she said. The patient was surprised and pleased the practice owned up to the error. Read it again “First blush reads… . . . read more.

MANAGING PATIENTS

Make your patients happier with these communication tips

By Mike Rigert Even though modern patients appreciate the ease and convenience of digital communication with your practice through automated text reminders and real-time communication, we can’t lose sight of the importance that personal interaction has in keeping those relationships strong. A HealthGrades study showed that patients’ communication with front office staff are primary factors in online reviews—both positive and negative. The research found that of nearly 7 million patient reviews, the most frequently used phrases in negative comments were related to front office staff interaction. In the busy and chaotic environment your front office staff operate in, it’s easy to forget that patients still expect human connections and quality customer service during a visit. This includes everything from how to greet a patient to individual personal connections that lets each and… . . . read more.

TECHNOLOGY

3 tips for better patient education

The link between patient education and outcomes is clear: When patients understand their diagnosis and treatment plan, they’re more likely to become and remain healthy. In fact, health literacy—the degree to which individuals can obtain, process, and understand basic health information needed to make appropriate health decisions—should be a top priority for medical practices seeking to move the needle on value-based care. This social determinant of health is a critical component of value-based care, and addressing it ultimately helps patients take better control over their own health. Why patient education is important Patient education is critical for many reasons, most importantly because it helps patients make informed decisions. This is one of the tenets of patient-centered medical care—to engage patients in the decision-making process. When patients understand their diagnosis and… . . . read more.

WORKING WITH PATIENTS

How to fix failing patient engagement initiatives

Patient engagement initiatives are a dime a dozen across healthcare organizations. From patient advisory groups and patient-centered portals to social media outlets and secure messaging, healthcare organizations understand that it’s important to get patients involved in their care. Studies prove that engaged patients result in better outcomes, lower costs, and a higher quality of life. But a survey indicates that while most healthcare organizations have patient engagement programs, nearly 50% felt they were only moderately or not at all mature. Perhaps many patient engagement programs fail because they neglect to connect with patients in a way that is meaningful to them. Sure, your practice is checking off the patient engagement boxes. But, are your patient engagement strategies actionable and relevant to the people you are dedicated to caring for? Traditional… . . . read more.

HEALTHCARE DATA

Not ready for clinical analytics? Try operational analytics

By Aaron Brandwein Up until this point, our discussion about analytics in healthcare has revolved heavily around clinical analytics—and understandably so. The potential promises it brings to the table are huge, especially when you look at things like predicting clinical outcomes, identifying the risks for diseases and ailments, and helping practitioners choose better treatment plans. However, clinical analytics solutions can be challenging to get across the finish line and, in some cases, harder to even get to the starting line. Generally, they come with a higher price tag, more complicated integrations, and a much steeper challenge to secure the necessary buy-in to take the first step. So, what do you do as a healthcare provider who is interested in harnessing the power of analytics but is looking for a way… . . . read more.

PRODUCTIVITY

10 tips for a more efficient medical office

What healthcare provider doesn’t want to see his or her business run more efficiently? After all, a well-run practice usually means increased revenue and happier, healthier patients. In the past, providers relied on smart hiring and organized employees to ensure their practices operated smoothly. But today, it takes a thoughtful blend of solution-based technology and old-school morale boosters to really make your medical office more productive without sacrificing quality of care and patient experience. From better break rooms to online appointment scheduling, read on to discover 10 proven ways to boost your medical practice’s efficiency. Enable online scheduling There’s perhaps no better way to lessen the workload of your administrative staff than with on-demand, 24/7 online scheduling functionality. Here’s how a simple “Book an Appointment” button can streamline operations for your… . . . read more.

WORKING WITH DOCTORS

Nearly 7 in 10 physicians now employed by hospitals and corporations, says report

Once upon a time, a medical degree was a ticket to life-time self-employment. That no longer seems to be the case—at least not the “self” part of the phrase. For years, hospitals and health networks have been gobbling up physician practices at increasing rates. And now a new study from the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) finds that, as of the beginning of 2021, just 30 percent of all physicians in the U.S. are practicing medicine independently. The remaining 70 percent are employed by hospitals, private equity firms, health insurers or other corporate entities. Whither the independent physician? In addition to being a fixture of the U.S. health care system, the independent physician has been a part of Americana itself perhaps best captured in the paintings of Norman Rockwell. But now… . . . read more.

MANAGING PATIENTS

How medical practices can improve pricing transparency

By Tolu Ajiboye At least 10 million Americans have lost their health insurance due to the coronavirus pandemic and no longer have employer-sponsored health coverage linked to job loss as a result of the pandemic. With these shifts, more and more patients are paying for healthcare services out-of-pocket. Patients’ price sensitivity will also likely be heightened by these circumstances, which could have a negative impact on medication adherence. Consequently, it is critically important for medical practices to assess their current price transparency level and develop ways to improve it. Recent data reveals that nearly all patients want information about costs for healthcare services. An Accenture survey reported that “91% of consumers would like pricing information from providers in advance of care”. Here are some ways you can increase price transparency… . . . read more.

MANAGING PATIENTS

5 steps for managing a clinic efficiently

By Tom Greenhalgh Improving medical office efficiency requires evaluation and planning. If you’re constantly running behind schedule and chaos is standard operating procedure, these 5 steps can help you get and keep your practice running smoothly. Track and observe First things first: spend a few weeks tracking the flow of patients through your practice. You’ll want to know how many patients you see each day, how much time you spend with each patient, how many patients are there for the first time, and which days are most popular for first-time visits. This information can help you identify when your patient load is at or over capacity and allot an appropriate amount of time for each visit. Offer online scheduling The majority of medical practices that offer online scheduling see a… . . . read more.


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