By Paul Shorrosh, CEO and founder, AccuReg.
Healthcare consumers (aka “your patients”) have easily purchased goods and services on the Web for years and now expect that level of ease with their healthcare experience. So, what’s the problem? Unfortunately, the healthcare industry lags at least a decade behind e-commerce giants like Amazon and travel industry leaders like Expedia that set the standard for intuitive, consumer-friendly online engagement.
Now, more than ever, patients are demanding the same conveniences from their healthcare, but the specialized tools needed to deliver an excellent patient financial experience are missing from many EHRs.
The simple truth is EHRs were developed to help physicians and other clinicians manage clinical data, not promote and encourage consumerism. Currently, most EHRs are not optimized to provide the administrative, financial or customer engagement solutions needed to transform time-consuming and manual administrative and financial interaction into safe, efficient, digital information exchange. Hospitals and health systems can add a complementary system to their EHR that can easily improve the non-clinical patient experience. Incorporating digital patient engagement into EHRs is a smart investment because it can help providers address the following operational pain points:
- Patient Demand: Patients want more control over their healthcare experience, yet there is a chasm between patient expectations and what healthcare organizations provide. More than 90% of patients said they would leave providers offering an inferior digital experience.
- Patient and Staff Safety: The pandemic led patients and staff to demand safer visits and access to virtual tools that reduce contact. It’s a catalyst for consolidating disparate vendors and upgrading functionality by utilizing a single, integrated platform for patient alerts, pre-registration, eligibility verification and price estimation.
- Efficiency: Embracing digital patient engagement technology means transferring many tasks registrars perform to patients, freeing those employees to perform higher-touch patient-centered activities.
- Government Policy: Forward-thinking hospitals embrace price transparency regulations not only for regulatory compliance but also to provide meaningful price insights patients want and deserve — a better patient financial experience.
- Pricing Pressure and Volume Shifts: Patients who obtain accurate price estimates will seek care where perceived quality is equal or better and provided at a lower cost. If you’re delivering value and can demonstrate it, you’ll attract and retain patients.