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In the News: HIT Consultant

Striving to meet revenue goals, improve the patient experience, and address staffing and labor challenges means healthcare organizations are under immense pressure. Some are accomplishing these aims by prioritizing what consumers want from healthcare. Reports show that while the industry is getting closer to meeting consumer and patient expectations, there is still work to be done.

What consumers want from healthcare

There are a few functions top-of-mind for patients, such as digital communication with their providers, self-service functionality for things like appointment scheduling and prescription refills, and more streamlined access to manage their care. These capabilities are vital to health systems’ digital front door strategies, because when the patient experience soars, so do care and quality outcomes as well as visit volumes. At the same time, many digital functions that drive patient satisfaction simultaneously benefit overworked staff members by relieving them of manual, time-consuming tasks.

What’s the hold-up?

Patients want to manage their care, including self-scheduling and self-rescheduling appointments, through digital, asynchronous communication channels that connect them with their care teams. But these capabilities may not be available in the first place. If they are, they aren’t as convenient as they could be—for instance, patients may have access to request appointments via a patient portal, which requires a login and password and can be cumbersome to navigate. In other cases, these common interactions are fielded by over-burdened staff members. For example, healthcare teams often juggle high inbound call volumes, recall patients who are due or overdue for care, and manually manage rescheduling requests—all while providing direct patient care and supporting colleagues and providers. This is a huge problem given rampant burnout among this group (data has shown that 14% of clerical staff and 7% of administrators intend to resign in the next two years). Given this trend, healthcare organizations should consider what they can do to “hand over the keys” to patients and alleviate their staff’s workload.

Why now is the right time to grant patients “admin access” to manage their care

There is a simple way to address patient expectations and mitigate the administrative burden on staff members. By automating common, time-consuming interactions for a variety of care needs—and doing so via preferred channels like SMS text—self-service healthcare access becomes a reality. Automated patient engagement technology blends the latest workflow innovations with two-way digital communication that lets patients take the wheel. Because patients can respond to their care team’s outreach and do things like self-schedule appointments right from a text, these individuals are granted more control over their care. And it’s all powered by the EHR, meaning staff can take advantage of the systems they already use every day without additional, manual data entry.

Vik Krishnan expands upon this trend and explains what hospitals and health systems can do today to address what consumers want from healthcare. Read his latest article in HIT Consultant here.

“Adopting the HouseCalls Pro platform has endeared us to our operations and executive teams. ACPNY has implemented a variety of automated workflows and over twenty Epic-event-based messages. We also love the self-service capability and on-demand broadcast messaging.”

Venus Jones | Director, Revenue Cycle Systems
AdvantageCare Physicians

“Since adopting HouseCalls Pro to capture real-time, self-reported patient information via SMS and record that in Epic, we have continued to expand the use of automated workflows. The configurability of the system and the service provided has been excellent.”

Anthony Brown | Director, Application Services
Kettering Health Network

“Recently, a whole practice had to move. HouseCalls Pro provides tools that send reminders out, so we didn’t have a time delay to send out customized messages. We didn’t have to wait for TeleVox’s staff to build something. That helped our practice because we didn’t have to reach out to each patient to let them know where the new location was. Reaching out to each person would have cost a lot of money, so TeleVox’s system has saved us a lot of money. Everything ties into the finances. With this solution, we can utilize our time for other things. Our patient turnover would cost us in the long run if we weren’t utilizing the time slots and the follow-up program. Patients have come back, and we have made them aware that they need to be seen for things. The solution has definitely had a positive financial impact.”

Manager | Customer Interview Conducted by KLAS Research About ROI/Cost

“TeleVox’s greatest strength is customer service. When I have questions or need somebody to intervene, I get very good responses from my account manager. That individual is excellent and always checks on us to see whether there is anything they can do.”

Manager | Customer Interview Conducted by KLAS Research About Service and Support

“I really believe in the HouseCalls Pro product, and I regularly engage in networking with other people that use the system. I am a big fan of the platform and the framework on which the platform is built.”

Manager | Customer Interview Conducted by KLAS Research About Technology

The Patient Family Notifications workflow has helped a lot with logistics. Especially since we have limitations on people entering the hospital due to COVID protocols. It has really helped coordinate with rides. Family members drop the patients off and eventually they get the message that their family member is in recovery and know it’s time to head back into the hospital to pick them up. That is very helpful.

Claudia Andrade | Senior Applications Analyst
Cambridge Health Alliance
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