Patient registration software to improve patient intake

Published: April 15, 2024 by Experian Health


Time is not on the side of patient intake personnel. Getting bogged down with complex manual data collection isn’t ideal when a worried family member or a sick patient is in the registration seat. Yet this is a familiar problem, punctuated by the tapping of keyboard keys and the scratch of a pen on a clipboard. The pressure to process patients quickly via these manual processes often leads to errors that carry through to claims administration. Given the prevalence of claims errors and the high rate of denials, patient registration is a step in the healthcare journey that could benefit from automation and self-service. Patient registration software can improve the experience and reduce manual errors. These tools can set the stage for a better patient journey, greater staff efficiency, and faster provider payments.

What is patient registration?

Patient registration is collecting and recording essential information about individuals seeking healthcare services from a medical facility or provider. It is typically one of the first steps when a patient interacts with a healthcare organization. From the provider’s perspective, patient registration is also the beginning of the revenue cycle.

Patient registration gathers pertinent demographic, medical, and payment information to create a comprehensive and accurate record for each customer. Healthcare personnel must capture:

  • Personal information, such as the patient’s name, date of birth, gender, address, contact details, and emergency contacts.
  • Medical history details, such as previous illnesses or surgeries, allergies, current medications, and family health predispositions.
  • Insurance or payment details, including primary and secondary providers and policy numbers.
  • Consent and authorizations, which are critical for regulatory compliance.

Patient registration may also include the sometimes-difficult workflows where provider staff ask for co-pays or other self-pay requirements. It can be a challenging collection point; some patients may need education on the upfront, out-of-pocket payments their policies require.

For providers, the registration process can serve as the baseline for patient payment accountability. It’s an opportunity to provide the patient with cost estimates for their procedure. Despite federal requirements to provide these estimates, only 29% of patients report receiving this information before their procedure.

Why is patient registration important?

Patient registration serves several important functions:

  • Establish the patient’s medical record, which healthcare providers reference during diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care.
  • Ensure administrative and billing details so the provider gets paid for the services they render. The registrar can also facilitate communication between the healthcare provider and patient regarding appointment scheduling, reminders, and follow-ups.
  • Manage compliance with various legal and regulatory requirements for patient privacy and healthcare documentation.

Patient registration is a critical step in healthcare delivery, ensuring that providers capture the necessary information to deliver high-quality, personalized care while facilitating administrative and financial processes. The problem is the rate of manual errors during this process; one study showed providers frequently miss even the most basic details of patient identification. These errors cost healthcare providers $17.4 million or more annually in denied claims, but more importantly negatively impact patient care.

Providers can improve the intake process by adopting better patient registration software.

How can patient registration software improve the registration process?

Patient registration software can significantly improve the healthcare intake process by streamlining workflows, enhancing accuracy and efficiency, and improving the overall patient experience.

Streamlined workflows

Experian Health’s Registration Accelerator solution eliminates the scanning, faxing, and filing of patient forms. Automated patient intake also eliminates the need to call patients (and call again) to verify their data.

With automated workflows, data captured with Registration Accelerator via the eCare Next® platform seamlessly flows into other Experian Health products, such as Eligibility for real-time insurance verification. It’s a single source of truth for staff bogged down by multiple system logins. Training workflows improve with easy-to-use interfaces and automation to lessen the tedium and repetition of manual intake.

Registration Accelerator integrates well with other Experian Health tools connected to the eCare Next Platform to streamline to streamline intake workflows. These applications can automate up to 80% of the pre-registration process.

Enhanced accuracy and efficiency

The “waiting room experience” often frustrates patients and their families. Experian Health’s patient registration software captures financial and health information electronically, eliminating the need for paper forms Patients access the link from their favorite personal device to answer questions, sign forms, upload documents and scan their insurance cards. The data goes straight to Experian’s eCare NEXT platform to be validated against information already held in the system, reducing the risk of paperwork errors that lead to claim denials.

Anthony Myers, Director of Patient Access at West Tennessee Healthcare, described their patient registration as “cumbersome” before leveraging Experian Health’s Registration Accelerator. He says, “We wanted to not be a bottleneck. People were waiting on us. We set the stage for the entire admission. We partnered with Experian, and the metrics went up every month,” for online registration. Capturing accurate patient data electronically from a card scan at the front end of the healthcare visit decreases the risk of a claim denial later on.

Registration Accelerator eliminates the repetitive tasks often associated with intake paperwork that frustrate patients. Patient registration starts with one link sent via text. Authorization and consent forms are e-signed, turning the registration experience into an intuitive, efficient online process without clipboards or paper.

Improved patient experience

Providers say their patients want more digital tools. More than 80% of patients prefer an online experience. The State of Patient Access 2023 survey showed the most important digital services that improve the patient experience include: mobile device scheduling, online payments, and more digital options for managing healthcare.

Experian Health’s entire line of patient access software products is devoted to providing these experiences to patients while improving providers’ efficiency and revenue cycle. Registration Accelerator is a patient-facing, mobile-friendly digital registration tool that improves customers’ experience from the beginning of their healthcare journey. Intake teams can spend more time building patient relationships, answering questions, and setting the stage for a better experience throughout their encounter.

Healthcare organizations seeking streamlined workflows, greater accuracy, and an improved patient experience at the point of registration—or throughout their journey—should contact Experian Health to discuss their options.

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