With the shift to value-based care, it has become necessary for providers to focus on patient engagement and access. They need to ensure that patients are able to easily and affordably engage in their own healthcare and achieve optimal health outcomes.
Wondering how to make this happen?
It is necessary to first understand the challenges patients face when seeking treatment for different health conditions and then employ the best strategies to mitigate those issues:
- An effective method of improving patient access is to look at how the providers can make themselves available to the patients. This can be done through digital communication strategies and even appointment scheduling protocols.
- Providers also need to keep in mind the demands of their patient population. This includes offering them treatment access in ways that are convenient for the patients. When the health industry’s landscape changes, providers can consider new service offerings to their patients such as tele-health.
- It is very important to implement a method to monitor as well as measure patient access and workflow. As a provider, you should know how long a patient can wait before getting an appointment at your practice. Making a monthly log and recording the available appointments can help in this regard. It is also important to monitor the number of cancellations, rescheduling, no-shows and appointment denials that your practice has experienced. With this data you can make necessary adjustments to your operations.
- It is important to schedule a staff meeting at regular intervals and implement an action plan. Once the potential solutions have been discussed, it will become easier to devise a plan. It is necessary to have someone in charge of each solution in the plan so that multiple objectives can be achieved within the same time frame.
- Lastly, it is essential to measure as well as monitor the results to see what is working and what is not. Evaluation is vital in improving patient access. Only when each program has been evaluated, you can ensure if it has had a tangible positive effective on the health system.
There are several other effective ways to improve patient access in your healthcare system. You just need to be willing to take the initiative and remain structured in your approach for the same. By improving patient access you will not only benefit the processes at your practice but also benefit your patients and physicians.