By: Naik, Yogesh H, TeleVox Information Security Manager TeleVox’s industry-leading, omnichannel patient relationship management platform…
Frustrated and disruptive patients have become common in today’s medical waiting rooms, due in part to staff shortages and clinician burnout. However, this phenomenon is an excellent opportunity to create greater patient satisfaction at the first point of contact: arrival at the appointment. The medical check-in process can be greatly improved by leveraging technology to streamline operations, reducing wait times at the front desk while creating a modern healthcare experience. With 83% of medical practices reporting that the front desk is still the most common patient check-in method1, it’s easy to see how many practices could reduce patient frustration by offering online check-in.
Digital patient online check-in is an absolute priority for patient retention, as satisfied patients are 28% less likely to switch providers2, according to McKinsey.
Tips for Streamlining the Check-in Process
Minimize the Paper Trail
Let’s face it, nobody likes paperwork. While the importance of gathering accurate information cannot be denied, the process itself can often feel burdensome. The solution lies in making these essential forms as user-friendly as possible. Consider digital versions that are accessible online, reducing the stress associated with reading and signing reams of paperwork.
Liberate the Front Desk
Imagine a world where patient check-ins flow seamlessly outside the confines of the traditional front desk. Achieve this advantage through digital pre-check-in procedures. Embrace options such as online self-check-in, or on-premises self-check-in facilitated by a link. By granting patients greater control over the medical check-in process, you can significantly reduce stress levels for your front desk staff while boosting patient satisfaction rates.
Insurance verification can be one of the most time-consuming parts of the patient intake process and is therefore one of the important time-savers online check-in provides. Patients can assemble their insurance credentials at home, without the pressure of having to fumble through their personal effects at the front desk.
Guide Patients with Wayfinding
Navigating the corridors of a healthcare facility can be intimidating, causing stress and increasing the potential for tardiness. Implementing wayfinding solutions can be the answer. Guiding patients effortlessly to their appointments alleviates the burden on your front desk staff of having to give people manual directions or handle late appointments. And it also ensures that patients arrive punctually, free from the anxiety of getting lost or missing their appointments. This is especially important if your office can be difficult to find.
Ease Anxiety About Upcoming Medical Appointments
Make online information about what to expect from a medical appointment available to patients prior to appointment check-in. Medical Economics recently reported that anxiety about what will happen at the doctor’s appointment was a key reason why four in 10 Americans said they put off seeing a physician.3 If medical check-in is handled online, patients have a chance to take the mystery out of the event, helping to defuse their worries and giving them the courage to keep their appointments.
Automate Patient Reminders
Every second counts in today’s fast-paced world. Your front desk staff operates under a tight schedule with minimal flexibility for chasing after no-shows or rearranging clinical timetables. Embrace automation to send out patient reminders and allow for easy rescheduling. This simple yet powerful measure not only reduces the frequency of no-shows, but also lightens the load on your staff and enables them to focus on delivering superior patient care.