As experts in the healthcare industry, we’re all acutely aware of how our health system falls short of consumer expectations. And the gaps in the industry aren’t new – health systems and medical providers have long spent a significant amount of time and resources addressing the barriers to patient access that cause people to fall behind in follow-up and preventative care.
For many patients, today’s healthcare experience is marked by several gaps: gaps in access, gaps in communication, and gaps in control. These disconnects are often coupled with weeks-long wait times for appointments, unnecessarily complicated payment processes, and care that seemingly operates in a silo, separated from other parts of the care experience.
This starkly contrasts with what most people (and health providers) desire in terms of care. People want their healthcare experiences to mirror their consumer ones marked by frictionless, 24/7 access, self-service, and on-demand support. They also want to feel in control of their care, evidenced by Salesforce data stating that 71% of healthcare consumers feel responsible for managing their health. However, only 23% of those respondents said they completely trust the healthcare industry has the technology to enable them to manage their own care—another gap.
While the U.S. healthcare system is a complex puzzle with many pieces, further overlayed onto a pandemic landscape, technology is one element that has the potential to effectively revolutionize care, expand access, and improve the entire patient journey. There are three core areas where healthcare providers should focus today to solve persistent gaps:
One way to mitigate a care gap is to invest in smart scheduling solutions. Solutions that offer centralized scheduling that leverage a rules-based workflow help improve patient-to-provider matching by utilizing provider preferences, sequential scheduling, and automated waitlist management. In addition, offering a self-scheduling solution to patients provides them with greater accessibility, convenience, improved efficiency, and a better user experience for both provider staff and patients. By reducing barriers to appointment scheduling, you make it easier for people to make and keep appointments which boosts patient outcomes.
Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the healthcare industry has had to adapt to closures, adopt automated processes and utilize telehealth more than ever before. Providers have been inundated with patient messages, phone calls and payments; in need of mobile-first solutions and custom workflows.
Relatient, a SaaS-based patient engagement company, helped University Physicians’ Association (UPA) to revamp its patient billing process for medical practices across East Tennessee, streamlining revenue cycle management (RCM) operations and extending a patient-friendly financial experience to patients and caregivers. The result was a 43% increase in patient payments with mobile-first billing.
Flexibility is key to meeting patient needs, and Relatient granted UPA the ability to extend self-service tools like mobile payments to the majority of patients who want this kind of access without neglecting those who still prefer to interact over a phone call. In addition to Relatient’s work with UPA, there are many other simple, practical ways to improve the patient experience.
Relatient is passionate about assisting healthcare organizations with patient-centered engagement.
By helping organizations automate patient-centered outreach and messaging, Relatient helps practices, hospitals and health systems facilitate more compliant, and ultimately healthier, patient populations.
Our co-founder and CTO Kevin Montgomery began tinkering with an email and text appointment reminder service for a local medical practice during a family health crisis to keep his mind busy. The first software was finished late one night at a hospital bedside, but it wasn’t until two years later that Relatient was officially formed. The core idea of automating patient engagement through consumer-like technology tools hasn’t changed. Since then Relatient has expanded on that simple idea and now automates text, email, and voice to improve administrative, billing and clinical aspects of medical practices and hospitals.
In late 2017, we announced the appointment of Michele Perry as CEO. In her new role, Michele is helping Relatient achieve its next phase of growth and realize our company’s vision to bridge the communication gap between patients and providers. Earlier in 2017, Michele joined Relatient’s board of directors, concurrently with an investment from Elsewhere Partners, where she serves as an operating advisor.
Since joining, Michele has added fuel to Relatient’s marketing and sales teams, including the recent addition of a SVP of sales and business development in order to advance our direct sales strategy.
First, we believe that practice and office managers are the unsung heroes of healthcare. Unfortunately, despite the rise of technology, ambulatory office personnel have workflows that are still largely manual and inefficient. For example, most practices have to manually go through payments collected throughout the day and post them to the system so that the doctor gets paid. This process usually happens after office close every day. Many practices also still mail patient reminder postcards via the postal service – licking stamps and all. We aim to alleviate and empower these heroes with modern patient engagement software.
Second, patients are consumers. They’re also becoming the new payer. Their behavioral expectations and financial power is driving physician practices to modernize. According to Black Book’s 2017 Revenue Cycle Management Report, consumers are facing a 29.4 percent increase in deductible and out-of-pocket costs. Moreover, 71 percent of today’s patients say mobile pay and billing alerts improve their healthcare experience, citing the billing process as their No. 2 customer satisfaction metric, just behind patient care. Relatient’s solutions help patients get to the doctor on time, check-in with ease, and pay their bills with consumer-like convenience.
Who are your competitors?
We bump up against a variety of patient communications solutions in the market, like Televox and Solutionreach, that offer singular patient reminder or messaging solutions. Other patient engagement companies focus on hospitals and health systems, but at Relatient, we specialize in ambulatory practices with five or more physicians.