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4 reasons to enable self-service patient registration

Having recently taken a few international flights, I found myself comparing airline registration processes to the ones we are starting to see in healthcare. In airports, consumers can use a kiosk or a mobile application to efficiently check in, thanks to information they have provided in advance.

The experience in most hospitals and physician practices is often quite different. Patient registration is heavily dependent on staff, with just 5-10% of healthcare organizations offering self-service options.

Re-engineering the registration process is critical to improving patient experience. It also eliminates errors and delays that cost healthcare organizations money. Here are four reasons to enable self-service registration and improve the patient experience:

  1. More accurate information. It can be difficult for staff to customize registration for each patient’s needs and clarify patient data or fill in missing pieces at the point of service. This increases the potential for error, which can lead to lost revenue.
  2. Increased patient throughput. When healthcare organizations don’t focus on streamlining the patient check-in process, patient throughput suffers. Putting the registration process in the hands of patients limits check-in time simply by eliminating a visit to the front desk. For example, at Medical Center Ophthalmology Associates (MCOA) in Texas, an electronic patient check-in solution decreased average patient check-in time from 13-18 minutes to just 41 seconds.
  3. Improved communication. Studies consistently show that the quality of patient communication has a direct impact on patient satisfaction. It’s also vital to understanding the patient’s total health needs and managing the patient’s health beyond a single episode of care. Patients can also relate their experience with a staff member or physician in a post-visit survey to actively share their suggestions for practice improvement.
  4. Real-time data authentication. Digital check-in solutions can quickly authenticate data, which enables immediate communication of copays and remaining deductibles. This financial clarity is not possible in a paper-based process requiring additional steps and conversations between staff and patients.

The airlines and other industries have prioritized the consumer experience, and forward-looking healthcare organizations should do the same. To learn more about Emerging Trends in Front-End Revenue Cycle Management in healthcare, watch this webinar from one of our partners, Clearwave.

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