5 Mindful ways to Improving Patient Access
Access is a significant concern in the United States and all over the world when it comes to patient care. We all know that the patients have to wait for months to get the physician they want, and a good doctor has more patients than they can manage. The patients waiting for months to get the physician surely lead to delayed treatment and also can jeopardize their health and their life. On the other hand, it will certainly reduce the patient satisfaction scores for the doctors and the medical service providers.
As these scores have to be shared with third parties such as pharmaceuticals and drug companies as well as the insurance companies, managing the scores is extremely significant for the doctors.
So here are a few ways that you can make sure your patients are not sitting and waiting for you to give them an appointment for half a year.
Step 1: Learn how to Measure
The first appointment available is a valuable commodity. So make sure that you have a good system to call people who are on the waiting list. Not just the first appointment available, but the second and third appointments available can also be prescheduled. You should inform the patients that are on the waiting list that they can be called in for a consult at short notice. When a person is coming up for the next available appointment, you can inform them that they are next on the list. That will allow individuals to prepare for showing up without feeling like it was impractical to ask on such short notice.
Call people up or have a reminder system in place that will inform people on the list when they are next on the list of first appointment available. There are many openings happening every day, and placing then effectively can reduce overextended waiting lists considerably.
Step 2: Denied Appointment Requests
The patients who were denied an appointment is also a crucial list that needs to be monitored closely. There are many reasons that a patient is denied care, and those reasons should be listed clearly. If there is no appointment available or the appointment is not given for another reason, the reasons should be listed. That process will allow the nurses and administration to solve the problem and will allow them to develop a system that reduces denied appointments.
Step 3: Implementation of the Data
The main focus of all of the points mentioned above is to have a system that focuses on developing data sheets on appointment schedules so that you can decide how to have a more productive appointment culture.
Here are a few steps you should take in the implementation process:
● Ask your administration about how they feel that they are being pushed too hard in the appointment process.
● Develop a severity scale of the patient’s complaint in the form of a questionnaire. The patient will answer the questionnaire on the phone, and the nurse or staff can decide how urgently they need to see the doctor.
Step 4: Effective Ways to Problem Solving
Find effective and simple solutions that will increase patient access on a daily basis. A few and simple tips on the matter are as follows:
● Have four backup appointments for every day that the patients have already been informed of. That way, the patient can simply come in if another patient cancels their appointment, and they will already be prepared for it.
● Patients on their second consult or with small concerns can come and see the doctor while the first patient is getting their physical.
● If there is a list of symptoms common in the specialty of the doctor, then nurses can provide that list to the administrator. If a patient complains of these symptoms, then they will be called in by the nursing staff on an urgent basis.
● Avoid letting worthy patients go to waiting lists for chronic complainers. Patients who have a tendency to over complaint can be seen and managed by the nursing staff.
Step 5: Execute
Now, all it is left is to reorganize these concepts and make sure that they are implemented effectively. You will see amazing results with a small number of initiatives.
We are here for any ideas that you want to discuss. We are experts in the field.
Share your experiences with us in the comments section, and we would love to get back to you!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ms. Pinky Maniri-Pescasio is the Founder of GoHealthcare Consulting. She is a National Speaker on Practice Reimbursement and a Physician Advocate. She has served the Medical Practice Industry for more than 25 years as a Professional Medical Practice Consultant.