The patient experience is not limited to clinical care — it encompasses the full spectrum of a patient’s interaction with a hospital or health system that often begins before the patient steps foot in a care facility and extends beyond discharge. While delivering safe and effective care has always been a top priority for providers, many healthcare organizations have often overlooked other elements of care that create the patient experience.
Technology advances are enabling health systems to meet the shifting expectations of consumers and deliver a more unified patient-centric experience
One aspect of the patient experience hospitals can no longer afford to overlook is the shift to consumerism. Patients now directly pay for a larger share of their healthcare services than they have in the past, and while consumer interactions in nearly every other industry have rapidly become more convenient thanks to digital technology, progress toward a more transparent, streamlined consumer experience in healthcare has lagged. Hospitals and health system leaders looking to meet patients’ consumer expectations must rethink their organization’s approach to the front-end of the revenue cycle. According to Scott Rowe, vice president and Chief Information Officer with Conifer Health Solutions, delivering a frictionless experience should be a top priority in the revenue cycle.
“Patient expectations are rising and understanding the cost of care is no longer a conversation that can be left unaddressed. We are prepared to have educated and respectful conversations with patients about their share of the cost and provide flexible payment options,” Mr. Rowe told Becker’s. “We have to make sure patients understand what they might owe as this is part of what impacts overall patient satisfaction.”
New technologies can help streamline a patient’s financial experience, making the process more transparent for patients and more efficient for hospital and finance teams. Integrating these solutions into the revenue cycle can help generate cleaner claims, while simultaneously meeting emerging patient expectations regarding convenience and price transparency.
Creating a unified, patient-centric experience: 4 technology solutions to know
In this new consumer-centric environment, finance teams should approach patient interactions with a mindset of service and support.
“The first step really is having a retail-like service mentality and a total commitment to quality,” said Deepali Narula, Conifer’s vice president of performance improvement, in a recent interview with Becker’s. “We have to make sure we change the paradigm to say, ‘We’re here to serve the patient and we will deliver a high quality work effort.'”
Emerging technology solutions can help support a more consumer-oriented approach to revenue cycle management that prioritizes more human-centric tasks, such as interacting directly with patients.