Importance of patient access

How accessible are your treatment, care, and other services to the patient, is essential to maintain the financial health and reputation of your healthcare practice. This is termed as patient access. It gives the patient and the caregiver the freedom to take charge of their health and be able to make a well-informed decision regarding their medical care.

Patient access in a healthcare setting includes a dedicated patient access department which is responsible for ensuring that right from the first encounter on the front desk, the patient gets a sense of assurance from the practice’s environment. 

  • Patient access is a determinant of the performance of the healthcare practice wherein all operational aspect; from doctors, nurses, staff, facilities all are included and held accountable for their responsibility towards ensuring quality patient care and treatment. 
  • Well established and adequate patient access service helps the patient, caregiver, and the practice prevent any emergent situation by prior scheduling the appointment with the concerned specialist. 
  • Patient access service allows better communication between the physician and the patient, thereby improving the sharing of the information. When the patient feels they can easily interact with the doctors and the facility, they won’t think about switching to another practice, which will escalate patient satisfaction and thereby help improve the revenue. 
  • Better accessibility to services, also help strengthen compliance and patient engagement. This will further improve the quality of treatment being delivered, indicating enhanced patient outcomes. 
  • Healthcare facilities need to emphasize more on the patient access area, from where the RCM begins. The concerned department must be qualified, experienced and adequately trained to ensure that every shred of information that is being stored is accurate and there is a minimum requirement for corrections, rework for the errors, and duplication. This will hence smoothen the entire claim reimbursement process, thereby enhancing the productivity and efficiency of the healthcare organization. 
  • As the healthcare economy is continuously evolving and getting aggressively competitive, it is crucial for the practice to understand the significance of and work on delivering impeccable patient access services. 

While patient access service is undoubtedly a holistic approach to dispense better care and ensure patient retention and revenue escalation, a particular department in a healthcare system is more emphasize on it or impacted by it:

  • Revenue cycle management:

Appropriate patient access maximizes the inpatient retention rate, and boost the productivity of the practice. This further improves patient engagement and revenue generation possibilities. 

  • Operations:

Patient access service includes and impacts the functioning of all the operational aspects of the healthcare system, right from the registration, to diagnosis, to treatment to filing and claiming reimbursement from the insurance company. 

  • Patient Experience:

Timely and proper communication between the patient, caregiver, and the provider will enhance the patient experience, who will trust the facility for their prompt services.

By now, you would have understood how intricate the patient access process is, with it involving every minuscule to significant process concerning the patient. But ensuring maximum accuracy by solely relying on manual processing would be a mistake. 

Not only will manual entry and processing be time-consuming, but the data might be riddled with errors, which will adversely impact the entire claim reimbursement processing. Any incorrect or incomplete information, be it in the registration or eligibility status is only reflected at the back end in the claim issue.  

How can automation help?

With every industry incorporating and leveraging from automation, why not automate the patient’s access services? 

  • Automating every element associated with patient access from the registration process, to insurance verification to patient collection to gain better data insights, strategize a more targeted approach and adequately streamline the revenue cycle output is patient access automation.  It minimizes the time, money, and potential wasted on doing repetitive tasks, prone to errors, and simultaneously ensures heightened productivity. 
  • Automation provides real-time documentation and tracking of the processes, which help the facility with identifying the cost estimates and improves the cost transparency between the provider, facility, and the patient. Magnolia Healthcare Centre in Mississippi saw it’s patient collection improve by implementing automated technology in patient access services. The small community hospital attributes its financial success to the timely and accurate incorporation of the automated tools and technology, which has helped them achieve cost transparency and improve their patient collection. 
  • Patient access automation can help strengthen the security and integrity of the EHR, thereby minimizing the probability of delays and disruption, which are apparent in the manual copying and scanning of the EHR documents. 
  • Paper-based manual processes can not ensure optimum safety and satisfaction since there is always a probability of it being susceptible to inaccuracy or lacking proper information, no matter the times it is cross-verified (which makes it a time-consuming process). The paperless automated admission and further processing can ensure qualitative services and simultaneously cutting down on the operational cost and time, thereby streamlining the workflow.
  • Automating patient access with the right tools and technology is necessary to enhance the communication between the facility, provider, and the patient, which will ultimately impact the revenue cycle management. 

Ways with which you can automate patient access are:

  • Automating the patient registration process will give the front desk staff sufficient time to carefully verify the insurance credentials, thereby ensuring accuracy and proffering cost estimates in real-time. 
  • Automated auditing of the patient information can help identify and promptly resolve any issues related to the processing of the patient information or insurance verification. 
  • Automated timely follow-ups be it mail/messages can help bolster patient confidence in your service, thereby enhancing patient engagement and retention.  

Staying up to date with and navigating through different technologies requires extensive knowledge and experience in the patient access department, be it the front desk service or the appointment reminder. A patient access matters and only a professional service provider like Medphine can ensure its efficacy. 

We understand the significance of every minuscule process in strengthening and boosting revenue cycle management. Our dedicated team of appointment reminder, medical transcription service, insurance verification, front desk support service and more will make sure that the patient accessibility is enhanced and your healthcare facility can concentrate on and deliver high standard treatment and care at competitive market price. 

We believe in gradual results, which is why we are offering a free 30 day trial for our services, without any obligation of having to sign a long term contract.

Get in touch with Medphine’s representative today!