Patient access technology: how it creates better patient experiences

Published: March 18, 2024 by Experian Health


Patient expectations of their healthcare providers have changed. Today, patients expect providers to offer the same convenience as their favorite e-commerce site, with intuitive self-service options that put them in the driver’s seat. It’s a brave new world for healthcare providers, who know the patient experience is about more than providing quality care—it’s also about opening a digital front door with patient access technology.

What do patients want from their healthcare providers?

Experian Health’s State of Patient Access 2023 survey shed light on what healthcare customers want:

  • 76% want online scheduling from their favorite mobile device.
  • 72% want an online payment option that is mobile-friendly.
  • 56% want more (not fewer) digital options for managing their health.

Outdated manual workflows do more than bog down backend healthcare teams; there’s evidence this also frustrates patients. One study showed that 85% of patients believe technology can improve communication with their providers. Beyond the convenience of self-scheduling and improved communication, there is also evidence that patient access technology improves patient safety.

Most people hate paperwork, and patients are no exception. Providers can digitize many of these manual tasks. Streamlining the patient access experience online could include:

Today’s patients have grown accustomed to the immediacy of online shopping thanks to vendors like Amazon. That expectation transfers to healthcare, where administrative and financial tasks can be repetitious and frustrating. Technology can improve engagement with healthcare consumers, from patient intake to bill payment, while lowering the administrative burden on medical staff.

How can patient access technology make healthcare convenient?

Digital technology can transform the healthcare experience into a more accessible and patient-centric model. For example, 24/7 online scheduling lets patients book appointments at their convenience from their favorite online device without lengthy phone calls or complex scheduling processes. These solutions reduce wait times and patient frustration. Providers benefit from improved call center efficiency, lower no-show rates, and higher patient satisfaction.

Digital patient portals are an easy conduit to better communication and faster access to healthcare information. Patients can fill out forms, get price estimates, check test results, and update insurance details. Providers benefit from more accurate patient data, not to mention more satisfied patients.

Mobile-friendly tools enable on-the-go access to patient health information. From viewing test results to communicating with healthcare providers, mobile apps empower patients to actively engage in their healthcare journey. Secure messaging platforms enable patients to interact with healthcare providers by email and text, when they want, on their chosen device.

Patient access technology also streamlines labor-intensive administrative processes with digital registration systems. Patients experience reduced wait times, as these technologies expedite check-in, contributing to a more efficient and hassle-free healthcare experience.

Ultimately, these tools make life for patients and providers easier. Manual healthcare workflows cause bottlenecks and mistakes that lead to increasing claims denials. Patient access technology automates many labor-intensive tasks for patients and providers, including prior authorizations, which, if declined, can delay care and negatively affect patient outcomes. Tools like Experian Health’s Patient Access Curator can check patient coverage within just a few seconds, speeding up reimbursement workflows from registration through payment. The software is particularly helpful for self-pay patients, helping providers identify a clear path towards financial accountability at the beginning of the encounter.

Can automation improve patient engagement?

Automation technology does more than improve human workflows in the complex service delivery world. These tools engage patients across their healthcare journey, a crucial component of effective, patient-centered care. Patient engagement refers to the active involvement of individuals in their healthcare journey, and automation can play a pivotal role in facilitating this process.

Patient data allows technology to personalize each encounter. Automated systems can deliver timely and tailored messages to patients, reminding them of appointments, medication schedules, and preventive care. Automated patient access technology lets patients know that their chosen healthcare provider is looking out for their well-being. These solutions help patients stay informed and create accountability for adhering to treatment plans.

Behind the scenes, sophisticated analytics provide valuable insights into the health of various patient populations. Healthcare providers make data-driven decisions that can guide any intervention before issues escalate.

Automation can streamline administrative tasks, allowing healthcare providers to focus more on direct patient care. Digital platforms handle appointment scheduling, prescription refills, and routine inquiries, reducing the burden on healthcare staff and patients. Automating routine processes allows healthcare professionals to spend more time on meaningful patient interactions that build stronger long-term relationships.

Improve patient access technology and improve patient experiences

A recent Accenture study shows healthcare consumers are willing to switch providers if their needs and preferences are not met. Millennial and Gen Z populations are six times more likely to switch providers. The study also showed patient access was the top factor when choosing to stay or leave their healthcare provider.

The increasing level of consumerism in healthcare should be incentive to change for any provider with legacy technology and outdated administrative processes. Experian Health’s automated patient access solutions improve the patient’s experience at each point in their encounter with their provider. To find out more, speak to the Experian Health team.

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