Keeping Healthy Connections through Proactive Outreach


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While many healthcare organizations continue to focus on what happens when patients are physically in the hospital or at the doctor’s office, successful healthcare systems are taking steps to maximize patient engagement and retention before, during and after patient visits.

Let’s take a real-life example to make our point.  Meet Karen. She is a typical healthcare consumer. She works hard at her job, and when she’s not, she’s keeping up with her family on her smart phone. At night, she helps her children do their homework and when they’re done, she gets some time to watch TV and browse the internet on her tablet.

Later the next day, Karen is sitting at her doctor’s office, rapidly strumming her fingers on the arm rest of her waiting room chair. Her doctor is uncharacteristically late and she’s getting annoyed. She has access to her tablet but not her corporate email account and is imagining how many emails are piling up. “Why is this taking so long?” she thinks to herself. Then the receptionist calls her over with a forced smile on her face. “I’m sorry, but your doctor has had an emergency come up and will need to reschedule your appointment.” Karen is upset about the amount of time she wasted and leaves without rescheduling.

This wouldn’t have happened if Karen had been proactively notified that her doctor was unavailable and was able to easily reschedule her appointment – in one convenient exchange.

Actively Engage Your Patients

According to HealthSparq, provider-specific studies from Johns Hopkins and the University of Rochester show proactive patient engagement lead to a 30% decrease in patient no-shows. And this isn’t the only benefit to your patients and healthcare system.

Benefits of proactive communication for patients:

  1. Increase patient engagement by sending educational information based on appointment type
  2. Remind lab patients of test requirements so their tests remain on schedule
  3. Provide a secure link that allows patients to reschedule their appointment if necessary
  4. Allow patients to pre-register for appointments to save time the day of their appointment
  5. Increase insurance compliance by providing links for patients to update/add insurance information to their profile prior to their appointment
  6. Provide patient focused information about hours of operation, directions, parking information, upcoming events, new physician announcements

Benefits of proactive communication for providers:

  1. Reduce ‘no show’ rates by allowing patients to reschedule before hand
  2. Improve patient arrival times, keeping you on schedule
  3. Increase number of patients seen and ultimately your revenue stream
  4. Capture lost staff and physician time by automating patient communications
  5. Reduce front office workload, while simultaneously increasing the frequency and   quality of patient communication.
  6. Ease patient access to commonly requested information such as hours of operation and improve call routing when human assistance is required

Long-term benefits for both patients and providers:

  1. Get patients into the system quickly and efficiently
  2. Create long-term loyalty between patients and providers
  3. Provide more accurate schedules for providers
  4. Deliver value-based care focused on preserving wellness and preventing readmissions
  5. Improve patient adherence to their care plan
  6. Increase awareness of and participation in wellness programs that will improve overall population health
  7. Follow-up with patients about their clinical well-being after an emergency department visit, a hospital admission, or even a routine visit for a chronic condition.
  8. Increase access by freeing up appointment time for new patients
  9. Reduce billing inquiries and insurance payment delays
  10. Improve profitability and ROI

Keeping patients like Karen engaged and loyal to your healthcare system is vitally important to your long-term financial viability. The significance of patient communication in reaching this goal cannot be overstated. It costs 90%less to get current patients to return for future care than it does to attract new ones. The real value of a solid proactive outreach effort comes from the ability to deliver a quality patient experience that alleviates lost revenue because of factors such as low HCAHPS scores or attrition.

Be proactive, your patients will thank you for it.

Learn more about Aspect’s proactive patient engagement solutions for healthcare providers.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kathleen Schroeder
Kathleen Schroeder, Senior Product Marketing Specialist, has over 25 years' experience representing the voice of the customer through global event presentations, webinars and integrated multi-national campaigns for numerous verticals ranging from education to transportation and tourism to telecommunications. Kathleen creates customer-facing programs and content to bring the value of next generation customer contact solutions to various market segments.


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