Has Your Patient Communication Solution Become a Frankenstein Monster?
No one notices it at first. But it’s there. It’s a monster disguised as a stack of technology platforms and software. The unintentional result of trying to upgrade your office’s patient communications capabilities.
Giving Patients What They Want
Yes, patients expect secure texting, online chat and automatic call-back features, and no, your original legacy system was not built that way.
Lucky for you the market is flooded with feature-specific “plug-in” solutions to provide just what patients want. Well, that’s what you thought at the time.
Fast-forward a few years and now your office staff is navigating five or more application windows just to make sense of any single patient’s communication. They called when? Spoke to whom? Then confirmed what by text?
For most practices, the legacy systems used today have all the attributes of a veritable Frankenstein: texting from one source, secure chat capabilities from another. While your systems may have been adapted to allow secure texting or online scheduling, these cobbled together pieces don’t necessarily “talk” with each other. This has exponentially complicated the workflows for front desk staff and phone agents and that leads to errors and worse, a terrible patient experience.
Patient Communication Nightmares
When patients are communicating with your office via email, text, online chat and phone, the communications are fragmented across several different software applications and it gets messy quickly.
For example, a patient has been texting back and forth with your office about a prescription refill. Later, when the patient calls the office, fed up and frustrated, the poor, unsuspecting phone agent doesn’t have any visibility into the texting that occurred throughout the day. It’s even more infuriating to the patient to have to recount the exchanges that happened.
Agents and front desk staff really want to serve patients. But in the Frankenstein model, all the information they need to do that lives in multiple places, accessed through different applications. Add office location as a variable and it gets even scarier.
Upholding the Provider Rules
What’s needed is a centralized, online, single source of truth that contains every detail of the rules, protocols and nuances you have in place for patient scheduling. One that guides the scheduler through every phase of the call and doesn’t forget the important stuff. That doesn’t require memorization of a scheduler playbook. And has the ability to reflect ever-changing practice realities.
By pulling all the information into one place, a single source of practice truth, you avoid the mistakes that often lead to patient scheduling errors. Errors that waste time for providers and patients, lead to increased frustrations and ultimately make patients choose to find a new practice.
Looking From the Scheduler Side
The tremendous amount of information agents are required to memorize is not only complicated with many variables, but it’s also constantly changing. Add to that the multiple screens agents often have to refer to for patient scheduling information and we’re back to the monster.
There has to be a better way.
And There Is
What if your patients could receive accurate, personalized service on every call, regardless of who is answering the phone, text, online chat or email? Imagine how your practice would shine if your call agents could focus on loving your patients instead of fighting the process?
Today’s advanced patient communications platforms empower your front desk or call center with a single communications platform that interfaces with your EMR, captures patient communications from any channel and flows them into a single record. Enabling schedulers to deliver superstar patient experiences at every point of contact.
Schedulers are presented with every piece of information needed to accurately schedule the right patient with the right provider. Multichannel capabilities options mean patients can specify how they want to interact with your practice, and the system will make sure those preferences are followed. Guided workflows mean faster training and higher job satisfaction for front desk and call staff.
Imagine the patient’s caller ID prompts the communication to populate the agent’s screen with all the information they need to serve that patient – not a screen of empty boxes to complete. Now your schedulers can talk with patients like a next-door neighbor.
“I see you’ve had the MRI that Dr. Smith ordered for you. I am so glad you got that done. Let’s get you on her schedule so you can get the results and move forward with your care.”
Not possible, you say? Oh yes, the right patient scheduling software can pull EMR data into your scheduling dashboard to deliver a patient-pleasing experience they will tell their family and friends about. And if you pick up a few new patients along the way, you’d be okay with that, wouldn’t you?