Bringing The Value of Omni-Channel to Healthcare Providers
In recent posts we discussed the importance of interactive communications between healthcare providers and patients – whether by online electronic forms or by video interactions. These channels, digital in nature, augment the patient’s physical visit to the clinic resulting in a true omni-channel patient journey and experience, which healthcare providers can leverage to create more value both for themselves and for their customers.
Healthcare providers are concerned with providing more value measured by outcomes and patient satisfaction, while reducing costs. We believe omni-channel healthcare can help providers in achieving all these goals.
Engaging with patients is not a uni-directional task (book an appointment, gather or send information); it’s all about promoting and involving patients in a true patient-centric approach. A bi-directional interactive channel engages patients and enables care teams to focus on outcomes.
A winning strategy for optimizing patient outcomes and experience must also include managing the costs, and that's where the operational value of omnichannel healthcare is demonstrated. An omni-channel approach empowers healthcare providers to do more with less; on top of productive communication tools, in addition to the productive communication tools there is also an option to change workflows to be more self-service oriented.
A good example of an efficiency-driven, interactive workflow is an optimized patient administration process in which visit registration, billing and insurance eligibility confirmation is done by the patient via self-service kiosks, or by pre check-in via online portals. This self-service oriented workflow replaces or reduces the need for assistance by the clinic receptionist, which when used can increase waiting times and degrade satisfaction.
Patient discharge workflows: discharge letters, patient survey feedback and scheduling the next appointment, can be also handled by patients via self-service kiosks, thus further reducing the care teams’ workload.
The omni-channel approach in which the physical and digital channels are entwined can help healthcare providers restructure workflow frameworks for triage nurses, physical patient visits, patient-related back office tasks and case management that involve communication with patients. This approach is useful in automating these workflow frameworks and considers the patient to be an active user. The result is less paperwork, less manual tasks, and less manual allocation of resources, thus increasing utilization efficiency and reducing patient waiting time. Doctors, nurses and other care givers are not bogged down with administrative tasks and EHR documentation.
Operations and costs go hand-in-hand with revenue efficiency. Shortening the length of stay may yield revenues sooner, but at the cost of higher readmission numbers.
Communicating with patients via various channels such as IoT wearables, online medical devices, online forms, video sessions, texting and patient portals, while having actionable workflows based on this inbound data, is of great value to the patient wellbeing and is conducive to a healthy bottom-line.
In summary, providing healthcare providers and patients with more interaction channels complements and enhances each channel, while improving the overall patient outcomes and provider performance.
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