Improve the patient experience with digital patient intake

Published: August 19, 2020 by Experian Health

Imagine if every time you wanted to sign up to buy groceries online, book a vacation, or apply for a job, you had to fill out a paper registration form. For 21st century consumers who are accustomed to sleek digital and self-service experiences in industries such as retail, travel and banking, such an antiquated and cumbersome process seems unthinkable. Unfortunately, when it comes to healthcare services, we don’t have to use our imagination. Too often, we’re still required to fill out time-consuming, repetitive and tedious forms before accessing services.

For providers who want to stay competitive, the long waits and wasted time that arise from paper-based registration system do nothing to win consumer loyalty. And on top of the disappointing patient experience, manual intake processes often lead to delays and errors that can disrupt the billing cycle, costing time and money further down the line.

In fact, up to half of denied claims occur because of issues around the point of registration, such as identification errors, sub-standard data analytics and inefficient workflows. And at a time when patients and staff are trying to minimize face-to-face contact due to COVID-19, manual registration seems like an unnecessary extra touch point.

Is it time to say goodbye to paper-based paper registration?

Reimagining the patient intake experience for the digital age

During registration, patients can be asked to provide personal details, submit their medical history, and confirm payer information. They may also need to schedule appointments, organize billing, or sign up for care management programs. It’s often a patient’s first glimpse of how a provider is going to look after them, so making the registration experience as stress-free as possible is a great way to build customer loyalty from the start.

As the competition for consumer business heats up, providers should look for ways to give patients the virtual and mobile-friendly experience they desire, with as little time as possible spent in waiting rooms filling in forms. By letting patients tick off their registration to-do list online or via a mobile device – before even coming into hospital – providers can improve patient satisfaction, while using automated workflows to drive down costly errors and increase revenue.

Here are two examples of how healthcare providers have embraced self-service registration and automated pre-registration workflows to benefit both their consumers and bottom line:

1. Schneck Medical Center used automated pre-registration to double their productivity

For the patient access team at Schneck Medical Center, getting the correct patient information in a timely manner during registration was a challenge. By introducing eCare NEXT®, they were able to automate pre-registration workflows so the majority of manual, repetitive patient tasks could be completed automatically, freeing up staff to focus on patients who needed specific attention before being cleared. With Registration QA added to the mix, they could track and correct errors and spot opportunities to improve performance in real-time, for a better patient experience and more efficient operations.

Skylar Earley, Director of Patient Access and Communication, said that by using Experian Health’s patient intake solutions, “we were able to make some fairly minor workflow changes, but double our pre-registration productivity on a daily basis and then repurpose some labor to different areas in patient access.”

2. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital (MLKCH) used automated registration to reduce claim denials

Seeing that a large portion of claim denials were originating during patient registration, MLKCH introduced an automated registration workflow to eliminate unnecessary manual tasks and increase the accuracy of the data being collected.

For Patient Access Manager Lori Westman, the results have been impressive:

“We get fewer denials because we’re getting true verification data, and our patient volumes continue to increase. So the fact that we can take off at least two to three minutes on half of our registrations is speeding up the work for the team, and the turnaround time is much better for the patients.”

By reducing paper-based tasks and introducing automated pre-registration options, these providers were able to make life easier for patients while slimming down their workflows. Is it time for your organization to do the same?

Download our free eBook to find out more about how automated patient intake workflows could help you create a seamless, more efficient patient registration experience.

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