Improve the Patient Experience Through Registration

Story Highlights

  • Patient satisfaction is priority #1 for healthcare providers.
  • Optimize the registration and check-in process to improve patient satisfaction.
  • Consider contactless check-in in the COVID-19 environment.

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Difficulty with scheduling, long wait times, and delayed access to a physician are just a few of the common qualms that patients have with healthcare providers. While many patients are content with their physician and the health care staff who provide care during appointments, patients can still be distraught when it takes longer than expected to be seen.

Remember that patient satisfaction is priority #1. To improve the patient experience and each patient’s overall satisfaction, start by reviewing the registration process. Setting the tone for what patients can expect at the beginning of the process can help patients and providers work toward a common goal of helping the patient realize an improvement in their health. This is an important part of creating a strategy for improving the patient experience.

Start by Confirming Appointment Information

We know that no-call, no-shows are frustrating for you and your staff. Discarding appointments that could have been used to serve patients who are on waitlists is no way to properly manage the time of patients or providers.

To start things off on a good note with patients, consider adding courtesy reminder calls, texts, or emails. These are a friendly way to remind patients of upcoming appointments and provide the nudge they need to cancel appointments that are not needed ahead of time.

Having multiple methods of communication is proven to be the most effective way to ensure that patients show up for their appointment. According to research published by Continuum, healthcare providers need multiple channels to connect with patients beforehand.

  • 1 method of outreach = 26% response rate
  • 2 methods of outreach = 28% response rate
  • 3 methods of outreach = 36% response rate

When should you perform the outreach, though? Studies show that 24-hour and 48-hour reminders are best for patient engagement. Send an email and/or text two days in advance, then follow up with a phone call one day in advance.

You can also remind patients of information they need to provide (such as new insurance) and provide a reminder that payment will be required to see the physician. Walking through the pre-registration information will help alleviate any stress that could pop up on the day of the appointment.

Re-scheduling is also made easier by following this process. You can allow patients to review alternative times for their appointment and then be able to quickly pivot to scheduling someone on the waiting list for the now-available appointment slot.

Pre-Care Prepping for Error-Free Medical Coding and Billing

If there is one thing that patients dislike, it is receiving a bill for a procedure that should have been covered by insurance. Regardless of whether the mistake was due to a clerical error or incorrect insurance information, this creates a hassle for the patient and your staff responsible for coding and billing.

Receiving rejections for incorrect filings and having to re-submit information is time-consuming and inefficient. Yet, it happens. To reduce some of these errors, each patient’s information should be double-checked at the registration stage so that everything is correct in preparation for the billing and coding stage.

Alternatively, if the workload is too much to be managed internally, many healthcare providers will outsource coding and billing to a company like Precision Medical Billing. We work with your EHR system to remit claims in a timely and efficient manner to help you streamline the entire process from registration to receiving payment for services rendered.

Create a Pleasant Patient Experience at Registration

Improving the patient experience can also be furthered by making a positive impact on the day of the appointment. Your front desk is the frontlines of patient care. By creating a better check-in experience, it is much more likely that patients will provide a positive review of the services they received, improving your patient satisfaction scores.

It’s about creating a great customer service experience, as in any business. In fact, according to a report from Becker’s Hospital Review, the number one complaint from patients is their experience with the front desk staff, not the actual healthcare provider.

Interaction with the patient when they check-in is also the best time to ensure the completeness of a patient’s health information. Your team should verify that you have up-to-date insurance information, correct demographics, and accurate service dates in your EHR system to help facilitate timely and thorough claims processing.

Maintain an Accommodating Waiting Room

At Precision Medical Billing, we are focused on helping healthcare providers achieve a “No Waiting Room” experience for patients. However, we recognize that every provider is on a different journey to reach this point.

There are things you can do to make the waiting room experience more bearable for your patients and help the patient feel more at home. Creating a comfortable environment, introducing fun distractions, and checking in with patients intermittently are just a few tactics to improve patient satisfaction while they wait.

In the current era of COVID-19, contactless waiting is also popular now. Many providers allow patients to wait in their vehicles and bypass the waiting room completely by going directly into the exam room to be seen. This is being done more now as well to accommodate each patient’s unique needs.

Consider this statistic. In a recent survey of 1,000 Americans, 77% said that the amount of in-person interaction or contact required at a place they visit will factor into their decision of whether or not they visit the location. In other words, 3 out of 4 people are concerned about what they will come in contact with during their visit to your location.

If you do continue to utilize a waiting room, remember that maintaining a comfortable waiting room is an important aspect of receiving high marks on patient satisfaction surveys. To increase patient satisfaction, you must put yourself in the shoes of the patient and find ways to make each visit more personable and enjoyable, especially during this period of health and safety concerns.

Review Patient Satisfaction Surveys

After services have been rendered, consider sending patient satisfaction surveys to your patients. While not everyone will complete the survey, you stand to gather valuable input that you can then feed back into your process.

These surveys should be sent to all patients. This allows for a broad view of patient satisfaction to be measured across the services you provide.

Care teams can use the information to improve how you interact with patients and improve the quality of care provided. Additionally, when you start to see a pattern of negative feedback, you can follow up on the surveys to identify areas for improvement and push forward with changes that need to be made.

If you find consistent negative patient interaction with billing or health insurance payment remittance, then it is especially time to consider outsourcing this process to the experts at Precision Medical Billing to help you set practice benchmarks and achieve them.

How We Can Help Improve the Patient Experience

Our name says it all. We are thorough and well-versed in health insurance billing and regulations. Not only do we do our jobs enthusiastically, but we also do so quickly and efficiently.

A big part of keeping patients satisfied with their care is by creating the best-possible registration process. Getting registration right will create positive outcomes all the way through the entire patient care experience. It flows into medical billing and coding, which is our specialty, and gives us a runway to help healthcare organizations meet their patient satisfaction goals. 

You want to bill each patient’s insurance provider in a timely, accurate, and efficient manner. Submitting claims that are as error-free as possible will speed up the process and help create a pleasant experience for healthcare staff and patients, alike.

We are proud of our 98% acceptance rate for medical claims. Look to PMB for a solution to support the complete patient experience so that you can make a positive impact on patients.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about outsourced medical billing and coding services. We’ll show you how we can support your efforts to improve the patient experience.