Patient access matters. Providing patients with same-day appointments—or with appointments that don’t take forever—matters.
It matters for service; it matters for care; it matters for efficiency; and it matters in the new healthcare economy.
Large systems, ACOs, and any healthcare provider or group who plans to serve their patients well should care about adding more patients to their population health management system and providing them with some level of healthcare service.
Let’s take a look at some important points to consider when it comes to patient access, followed by practices and workflows to consider modifying or implementing to improve patient access to health care.
One of the most important things medical practices and other healthcare groups can do is regularly assess their workflows to see where there is room for improvement.
And with the rising importance of patient access and population health management, it’s especially prudent to review the efficacy of patient access-related processes.
That said, if you have a busy practice—or even specific doctors who are very busy—here are some questions worth considering about your current workflows and how they either help or hinder patient access to care:
With these questions/points in mind, let’s now take a look at some practices and/or workflows to consider modifying or implementing to improve patient access to care.
As you review your internal processes, here are some things to keep top of mind—and things you might consider changing or doing:
This makes it super important to ensure there isn’t a problem in a patient waiting for a long period of time not to be seen. It would be better to refer them to another provider, whether internally or externally, than to keep them from getting the care they need or deserve.
This could mean sending some type of message—whether email, text, or some other form of communication—based on how far out the schedules are full, or even for folks on the wait lists. We recommend using an automated system to do this.
Whether for annual wellness checks, skin checks, other routine exams, and/or National Health Observances, sending patients a friendly follow-up shows you care. Knowing that you care and follow up matters greatly to patients. Consider employing automated systems, such as our Care Coordination tool, to send these kinds of follow-ups.
For example, you might consider making more after-hours or before-hours appointments available; adding in convenient time slots for parents; and/or adding evening slots for telemedicine, special cases, and so on.
This enables providers to take advantage of traffic patterns, spend more time with their families, and better spend or allot their time in ways they might not normally get to. Even certain times of the day, like Monday mornings, may be worth taking off, as Mondays are traditionally very high no-show days.
Is your patient communication system helping your practice improve patient access and engagement? Call (512) 487-7625 or contact us online to discover the Vital Interaction™ difference.
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