Improve the Patient Experience Use technology, reimbursement and marketing strategies BY KYLIE KACZOR AND MICHAEL WINKLEMAN

Telehealth, wearable health track- ing devices, cloud-based

services and a seemingly unending list of technological innovations domi- nate today’s headlines, and all areas of healthcare incorporate technology. Your ASC’s revenue cycle is no exception. Consumers want convenient access to healthcare and a streamlined pro- cess, but they also want to have a good experience and “feel good” about their healthcare event. As a result, providers are looking for ways to implement new technologies that promise to promote accuracy and efficiency while posi- tively impacting the patient experience. Patient experience is not made up of

one or two definitive components: it is a compilation of many processes and pro- cedures. This leaves many ASCs pon- dering where to focus. Organizations that deliver a better patient experience also have better technical quality, bet- ter safety records and better engage- ment of data from their doctors, nurses and other employees, according to data collected by Press Ganey Associates, a South Bend, Indiana-based healthcare company that develops and distributes patient satisfaction surveys. This means all parts of patient experience matter. The best thing you could do to improve patient experience in your ASC is set short-term and long-term goals that influence patient experience via the technological and internal processes that affect it. Let’s begin by focusing on best prac-

tices for two processes that can affect patient experience: financial counseling and how to use patient outcomes data.

Financial Counseling One way to improve your patients’ experience is through financial coun- seling and the use of technology to accurately quote patient responsibility and determine patient eligibility. The growth in high-deductible health plans has forced providers to change front-office practices. To help provid- ers collect these higher patient respon- sibilities, many practices are imple- menting automated tools that can evaluate patient benefits and eligibil- ity and produce accurate time-of-ser- vice quotes. There are numerous ben- efits to the patient experience when you implement automated tools focused on accurately calculating and collecting patient responsibility. Having this information will better prepare front office staff and set proper


expectations for the consumer. This type of technology implementation helps to streamline the time-of-service collections process while ensuring that patients arrive prepared with a full understanding of their responsibilities. These estimates also offer the provid- ers and office staff the supportive and accurate information they need to dis- cuss personal and customized financial responsibility with their patients, fos- tering a positive relationship between the provider and the consumer during financial counseling.

Automation of this type can help reduce patient phone calls, improve patient

satisfaction and decrease the

administrative burden associated with collections. Often, these technologies are integrated with the practice manage- ment system or electronic health record

The advice and opinions expressed in this column are those of the authors and do not represent official Ambulatory Surgery Center Association policy or opinion.

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