Futurizing healthcare experiences to drive ROI
5 strategies healthcare organizations should implement today to create better patient and provider experiences.
Read time: 5 minutes
Automating patient data and processes is an integral and pivotal strategy to create faster and easier healthcare experiences for patients and providers. The stakes are high — especially for more traditional health systems — to create superior healthcare experiences for patients to access and connect with their care providers. Non-traditional enterprise retail outlets like Amazon, CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens are making investments and acquisitions to gain a stronger hold in healthcare, disrupting the industry. So how do legacy healthcare providers get ahead of this growing competition?
Here’s a look at five intelligent automation strategies healthcare providers should implement to create a friendlier environment for patients while promoting the wellbeing of staff and clinicians:
1. Streamline patient care and gain financial insights at every step
Having an accessible, flexible digital “entrance” connected to intelligent automation systems can provide options to patients from the comfort of their homes, make in-person visits shorter, and prepare them medically and financially. First impressions — including digital ones — set the tone, so welcoming and caring for patients professionally with simplified workflows that move them through the pre-visit, arrival, and registration process efficiently are critical to the patient experience and the provider’s bottom line.
Revenue cycle management solutions streamline the processes above throughout the care continuum, including prior authorization, insurance verification, medical necessity checking, financial assistance screening, appeals management, the release of information, and more. These types of systems will not only boost patient experiences, but providers will benefit from faster revenue cycles and data-driven financial insights.
2. Reimagine processes with digital communications
Business transformation from manual to digital workflows is a key driver of provider ROI. As manual administrative tasks are automated, the cost-saving opportunity for the medical industry is estimated to be $22.3 billion.¹ However, many providers are still sending out physical packets and letters. Evaluating the cost and frequency of paper, envelopes, postage, management, and printing can provide topline insights into general cost-savings, while labor-saving resources can add even more efficiency. Providers will see higher job satisfaction rates for clinicians and physicians due to packet and letter automation with less paperwork.
3. Go digital with orders and referrals
For many healthcare organizations, fax remains a primary form of sharing information as a way of working around the limited interoperability of health record software. In fact, the global fax services market is expected to grow at 11% per year between 2022 and 2027.² Despite that prediction, there are compliance, security, integration, duplicate data entry, errors, lag time, miscommunication, and many more challenges from fax communications, costing the U.S. healthcare system billions and compromising patient safety and provider job satisfaction rates.³
A recent focus group from the National Association of Healthcare Access Management found that “a mere 6% of the group currently utilize automated fax operations in orders management, including data extraction, auto-indexing and uploading the fax image and data to the Electronic Health Record (EHR) or Electronic Document Management (EDM). Additionally, the group reported that the average time to process a faxed order was just over 5 minutes.”⁴ That means the vast majority or 94% of the group was still using manual fax processes.
Digitizing key fax-based workflows can create better healthcare experiences for patients and providers with faster response times. For example, the University of Louisville Hospital reported saving $1.6 million in the first year after modernizing its print, fax, and workflow processes. Replacing outdated fax technology with automated order and referral management solutions can provide the following benefits:
Support a better patient experience
Reduce administrative workloads
Prioritize patient referrals
Streamline pharmacy orders and reduce wait times
Make informed decisions
4. Unlock the power of more accessible patient data
An orderly, streamlined process is achievable when patient information and data can be easily found, searched, and gathered — not buried in charts, files, and clipboards. Patient information management (PIM) offers an end-to-end solution that streamlines the processing of patient records, correspondence, and billing.
Specifically, this refers to automatically digitizing patient records and information using intelligent document processing tools to create structured data, which can then be used for other automated workflows, claims, compliance, audits, and communications.
Patient information can be linked to patient records in an existing EHR, finance application, or other secured repositories. Errors are reduced with automated data extraction and indexing. Backlogs, delays, and missed deadlines are eliminated. The workload-to-resource ratio is improved with automated processes and fewer manual, time-consuming tasks. The result is happier employees who can now offer better care without worrying about piles of paperwork.
Once paper documents are securely turned into data, healthcare systems can drastically boost interoperability and operational efficiency. For example, one large medical center was able to cut processing time by 75% from 20 minutes to 5 minutes per document, reduce their backlog from 2 weeks to 2 days, enhance revenue cycle management, and decrease local scanning and paper consumption by 90% after deploying a PIM. These types of outcomes add value and improve all types of healthcare experiences.
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- 1CAQH. “2022 CAQH Index Report.” 2023.
- 2Business.com. “Why Businesses Are Still Sending Faxes in 2023.” May 25, 2023.
- 3Direct Trust. “How Healthcare Can Stop Faxing.” September 23, 2019.
- 4National Association of Healthcare Access Management. “Leveraging NAHAM Group Insights to Enhance Patient Access through Automation.” June 22, 2023.
- 5First Stop Health. "29 Statistics You Need To Know About Healthcare & Telemedicine." December 13, 2022