Whether you’re running a small clinic or a large-scale medical business, you know how much time it takes to execute everyday administrative tasks.
In fact, a study from the Annals of Family Medicine proved that clinicians are spending up to 2.5 hours on clerical and administrative work rather than patient care.
No wonder patients have lost trust in doctors. Many are missing that one-on-one care that they used to have before, with much of the paperwork occupying every patient care session.
Luckily, with the healthcare industry becoming more tech-savvy, there are now digitized solutions to the tedious, repetitive tasks in your medical facility!
Jessica A. Walker, CEO and Founder of Care Sherpa, knows her way around task automation as she runs a patient engagement service company that assists hospitals and healthcare providers in managing their consumer leads for conversion.
In this article, she shares with us her top tips on automating medical office tasks to grow your business and better serve their patients.
Tasks You Can Automate in a Healthcare Setting
Office task automation is a growing essential in every healthcare business.
Not only will you save your staff’s time and effort, but you’ll also reap your patients’ loyalty and overall satisfaction.
Automated tasks go beyond improving patient experience and optimizing productivity in the workplace.
A study from the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that increased task automation also results in a reduction of costs, complications, and deaths in patients.
To improve service and ensure patients come back time after time, Jessica suggests that providers should outsource and automate the following tasks:
1. Direct scheduling for appointments
Just like groceries, food, and other service-oriented activities, patients want to schedule their doctor’s appointments right at the moment they think about it.
Giving busy patients the ability to book their appointment when it is at their top of mind ensures engagement.
The time and the labor involved with having someone answer the phone to book the appointment is so inefficient and typically only happens weekdays, during office hours (8-4 PM).
When we ask patients to first ask permission to do business with us with such a large gate in their way (making a phone call, only M-F, 8-4 pm, etc), it is no wonder they are not timely with their healthcare needs.
Use Online Scheduling
Relying on your patient’s phone calls to schedule appointments is an inconvenience for both your patients and your staff.
Rather than being on the phone all day, employ an online tool to schedule your patient’s appointments.
This will save you both time and money in the long run.
When you offer an automated system to take care of your schedule, everyone wins.
Your staff will no longer be interrupted by constant phone calls, and patients can book available appointments on a 24/7 basis.
2. New Patient Intake
What is your new patient experience? Many practice groups require their new patients to make a phone call first.
7 out of 10 times when someone calls a practice to get set up as a new patient, they go to a voicemail and wait for hours to be called back.
This process delays the new patient intake, as well as setting the relationship off by saying “I don’t have time for you”.
Think about this as if someone puts a $100 bill down on a counter to pay you and your response is…No, I am not ready.
You have one shot to make a good first impression and convey the trust and confidence needed to convince someone to work with you on their medical needs.
Working with a dedicated partner that is focused on capturing and managing every new potential patient ensures you can grow and set the relationship off to the right start.
Use Digital Fill-Up Forms
Asking your patients to download, fill-up, and submit a form should be a thing of the past in your practice.
Instead, add automation to your process by using digital intake forms. These forms can be sent before their scheduled appointment to fast-track the intake and integration of their data to your system.
Digitalizing new patient intake benefits both healthcare providers and patients. With the form in hand, your healthcare professionals can prepare before seeing a patient.
They will also assess your patients better and validate insurances to avoid issues when it comes to payment.
3. Setting Appointment Reminders
In the field of healthcare, patient no-shows are a growing problem.
Whenever patients are asked why they were unable to go to their appointments, many blame forgetfulness and poor notifications by the practice.
Appointment no-shows present an issue to both the patient and the healthcare company, according to a study by the University of Wisconsin.
When patients don’t show up to their appointments on time, they’re receiving poor patient care which can ultimately affect their treatment outcomes and quality of life.
To provide the best service to your patients, appointment reminders are necessary, even though it can be a tedious task for your healthcare staff.
If you’re not already automating your appointment reminders, it’s time to start now.
Nearly all healthcare organizations (88%) send automated appointment reminders to patients, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).
Using Automated Softwares for Appointment Reminders
With today’s technology, your practice doesn’t have to rely on low-tech ways, such as handwritten slips or phone calls.
There are now countless appointment systems that contact your patients in different ways — all in one click of a button!
Look into investing in an automated appointment reminder software to eliminate this task.
This aspect of office automation allows you to focus on the activities that reflect more on patient care.
Not only will productivity thrive in your practice, but your patients will also be more satisfied because your front office staff will have more time to focus on their unique needs.
4. Automate Patient Satisfaction Surveys
How do you improve the way you serve your patients in your medical business?
The best way to do so is by sending out surveys to gauge patient satisfaction. Asking for feedback alerts you of your practice’s shortcomings and commends the good practices.
Patient satisfaction surveys have been vital for many medical organizations. In fact, 86% deemed it to be essential to measure the practice’s performance.
Although a powerful tool, handing out a survey after every patient’s visit can be laborious and time-consuming.
Using A Patient Satisfaction Survey Software and Chatbots
If you want to get as much feedback without overloading your office staff, consider investing in a software that will automate patient satisfaction surveys.
Depending on the system, the survey can be digitally filled-out after a visit or sent through email.
Patient satisfaction survey software ensures a perfectly-timed HIPAA-compliant survey is sent, without burdening your employees at the front desk.
5. Building Your Reputation
A patient that received above-and-beyond care would likely share their success stories with other people.
Review sites and social media have become the best outlet for patients to share their experiences and give feedback on their healthcare providers.
The first step to building a good reputation online is to set up your company profiles on these sites.
However, it doesn’t stop there. It’s the management of multiple channels that can take so much work for any healthcare business.
Using Social Media Automation Tools
Social media and review site management requires a lot of attention. You want to be able to address any comments and issues in a timely and respectful manner.
Doing it manually might be a good solution at the start, but long-term you will need something that sorts out and organizes all these channels for you.
If you want to be proactive about your reputation online, you should start scouting for social media automation tools.
These programs are designed to boost productivity, so your front office staff can accomplish more each day, without sacrificing quality.
Automate Your Office Tasks To Provide Top-Notch Care
As healthcare becomes digitized, automation is key to optimize your staff’s productivity and provide a better patient experience.
Automating everyday tasks, such as appointment setting, new patient intake, surveys, and feedback, has become essential in every healthcare office setting.
Rather than spending hours on this routine work, you can get automation programs to manage smooth, efficient processes that attract and satisfy new patients.
If you’re interested in improving your patient support services, Care Sherpa has the solutions to make it easy for potential patients to do business with you.
Are you ready to automate and make your healthcare business more efficient and up-to-date?
Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!