information overload

How to Prevent Information Overload in the Workplace

Between gathering and verifying patient data, keeping up with new regulations and managing the day-to-day operations of your organization, there’s a good chance your staff is experiencing information overload.

At some point, important details will slip through the cracks and miscommunication will become more frequent. This can lead to under-performance within your organization, as well as an increase in mistakes and staff burnout.

Luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case for your team.

Here are five things you can do to better prevent information overload.

1. Break down your emails

Most team communication emails cram updates, action steps and requests all into one message. To point out the “main ideas,” different words and phrases within one email may be bolded, underlined, highlighted or written in a color other than black. When all these differentiators are mixed together, staff members are left having to discern what information is the most important.

This kind of confusion can be avoided if you make it an organizational standard to send clean emails. Limit the important details within one email to two or three key points – ideally, they should relate to one another.

This may increase the number of emails you send to your team, but it will also increase how well information is understood and retained.

2. Make patient data easier to manage

Another tip to ease information overload is to simplify how you gather and manage patient data. This may include:

  • Offering new patients the option to fill out forms online
  • Giving patients access to a portal with all their payment and treatment information
  • Regular staff training on coding procedures and new rules and regulations regarding patient information
  • Providing continued training on how to improve patient interactions to better get to the root of their condition and explain their role in treatment more clearly

There’s often a gap between the information that a nurse/physician writes down at the start of treatment, the information another healthcare professional utilizes during treatment and how well a patient understands their condition. Aim to close this gap by being more clear and consistent. It will transform the kind of care your staff is able to offer and significantly enhance the patient experience.

3. Create a better patient data sharing process

If you often send patient referrals to other providers, or if most of your patients are referrals, you may want to improve how you share patient data. The more effective you are at communicating patient information, the more successful treatments will be.

When miscommunication occurs between providers, it causes a costly inconvenience for patients. Individuals are left having to track down their healthcare information from various offices before their treatment can move forward. This delays care, hinders quality and can increase a patient’s risk for other conditions to occur.

But, simplifying how you share and receive patient information can make their experience much better and relieve some stress from your team.

4. Minimize out-of-work texts and calls

How often do you find yourself texting staff members to fill in for shifts? Do you have a habit of calling people on their day off?

Such communication is highly detrimental. It doesn’t give your staff a chance to unwind from their work. It makes them more likely to burn out or leave your organization.

If you have an immediate need to communicate, do so over email or via your staff scheduling portal. Calls and texts make sense during emergencies, but most of the time, they just contribute to the information overload your staff experiences every day – on and off the clock.

5. Ask for staff input

The final way to prevent information overload in your organization is to gather feedback from your team. Ask them how they feel about the current communication standards in place – both amongst the team and with patients. See what they’d like to have more training on and set aside time to come together as an organization. Staff engagement makes it much easier to eliminate confusion and to push forward new ideas. This also ensures you don’t overlook anything that needs improvement regarding the expectations you’ve set for your team and the patient data they work with every day.

Healthcare professionals are expected to provide personal, attentive care to everyone they treat, to drive innovation within their organization and adapt to industry changes. They can’t do this effectively if they’re always juggling information. Keep things clear and concise and watch how well your team – and their performance – responds.

Billing mistakes

3 Billing Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make Anymore

It’s hard to grow your business if it takes forever to process claims. The longer you wait for payments to come through, the more you have to put off investing in new initiatives like expanding your team, attending more conferences or moving to a new work space.

You need to address workflow issues and minimize mistakes if you really want to see a change in how quickly you can access payments.

Here are three billing mistakes to stop making right away.

1. Speeding through staff training

It’s hard to know which codes to put on a claim or which payer to send it to if you haven’t been properly trained. Unfortunately, this is the reality many medical billers are dealing with – especially if they’re in entry-level roles.

When billers aren’t shown how to navigate a medical office’s billing software, it’s easy for them to make mistakes. They end up taking more time than average to complete claims and often find themselves re-submitting ones they’ve sent out. The cycle continues until someone steps in to offer better training, but these mistakes can be avoided if new team members are given proper guidance when onboarding.

This is true for long-time billers, too. As new regulations roll out and industry standards change, the people on your billing team are going to look to you for direction. Make sure you’re providing them with all the support they need to succeed. Consider providing quarterly training to cover new initiatives and go over the expectations you’ve set for your staff. Maybe send a few people to conferences and special training opportunities as well.

2. Duplicate billing

It’s worth training physicians and nurses in all parts of the billing process. This encourages better communication across different teams and increases the chances that someone will catch an error before a claim gets sent out. However, it can increase the likelihood of duplicate billing.

Duplicate billing hurts your business in more ways than one. First, it prolongs the billing process and causes confusion for both your staff and patients. Second, you can get fined for duplicate billing if it goes unnoticed by you, but a patient or payer fights the charges. Additionally, you risk losing patients to competitors. If someone has a negative billing experience with you, they’re likely to consider visiting other medical providers who can perform the same services.

Fortunately, you can prevent all these outcomes. The best way to do so is by establishing a clear protocol for how claims will go out. Once you identify the key people whose responsibility it is to send claims, the likelihood of others sending duplicate claims will largely decrease. You can also improve how you track claims as they’re created and when they’re being reviewed by payers.

3. Not verifying patient information – including insurance

This is the simplest billing mistake of all, but it adds up significantly. All it takes is for a patient to forget a signature or not fill in all their insurance information for your billing process to get backed up. It’s also possible that a patient’s insurance information has changed since their last visit. And even when everything looks right, your staff has to verify every single patient form they receive.

Otherwise, you risk running into a pile of denied claims to go back through one by one. This hinders the patient experience and causes a lot of frustration for your staff, too.

Luckily, it only takes one or two extra steps in your billing cycle to keep your staff from starting the eligibility and claims filing process all over. Remind your team to confirm patient insurance before an individual is received for treatment. Set the expectation of photocopying insurance during a patient’s first visit and to verify insurance when making future appointments.

There’s no way to guarantee that absolutely no billing mistakes will affect your revenue cycle. However, there are plenty of opportunities for improvement when you’re able to pinpoint the biggest blockers in your workflow. Take a serious look at your revenue-related operations and identify where you can clean things up, then get to work.

Automated workflow

From Paper to Digital: Key Steps to Take in Your Transition to an Automated Workflow

The first step in transitioning to an automated workflow is recognizing the need to move on from manual tasks. But, once you identify the processes you’d like to improve, it can be challenging to find the right fit for your organizational needs.

Take your time in choosing the vendor you’d like to work with. Establish the must-have features you’re looking for and get a demo on the products you’re interested in. Then, create a transition plan to make sure everything goes smoothly when implementing your new processes.
Here are three simple steps to follow for a smooth transition to an automated workflow.

1. Establish a plan for managing old paper records

The information on old paper records has to be added into your new system. Whether patient history is transferred to your new eligibility and claims management software or job applications are stored on your server as you get rid of paper files, one of the main goals of transitioning to an automated workflow is to have as little paper forms left as possible.

However, it’s much easier to scan a few forms than it is to transfer multiple filing cabinets’ worth of information. Depending on the volume of information you have to manage, you may need to spread out your transition plan over a few days, weeks or even months. Regardless of the timeline, having a plan in place will ensure you don’t fall behind, and it will help prevent any loss of information. Be sure to include the proper disposal of paper records in your transition plan as well.

2. Offer thorough training for your new workflow

The purpose of automated workflows is to simplify daily operations across your organization. But, this can’t happen if employees aren’t properly trained on the new systems and processes.

Training needs to be a top priority. The better you can explain the purpose of the transition and offer assistance to staff during this time, the more effective the switch will be. Your team will feel confident in the new technology and more engaged in their work, which could lead to improved retention rates.

Set clear standards about how to handle internal information. Talk through the tools and software you’re implementing as part of your automated workflow. Maybe have an industry expert offer a workshop for your team or schedule a special training for team managers to share. Also consider offering ongoing training after the transition is complete to ensure all team members are using the new workflow at its highest efficiency.

3. Keep up with industry shifts

This step is ongoing. As you continue to grow your business and make your operations more efficient, changes to healthcare regulations and consumer needs will occur. Your workflow should be adaptable to these changes as they’re announced and implemented.

Most of the time, your healthcare IT vendor will make adaptation easy to do. They’ll adjust their software as-needed or inform you about the impact of an industry shift before the change begins. But, it’s best to keep an open line of communication with your vendor and to do your own research on industry trends.

Make it a point to look for new optimization opportunities as well. Transitioning from a paper to digital workflow is only the first step in improving organizational efficiencies. You need to keep building on the tech-savvy tools and processes you already have in place, or are looking to implement, in order to realize the highest benefit of automated work.

outsourcing operations

Outsourcing Operations: 5 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Vendor

You’ve decided it’s time to lighten up your workflow and invest in outsourced processes – now what?

First, you need to clearly identify what pieces of your workflow you want to automate or have a vendor handle for you. Next, you need to establish a plan of when/how you’d like this change to happen. Finally, you need to find the ideal vendor.

Here are five questions to ask a vendor when you begin outsourcing operations.

1. What level of access will my team have to patient information?

This is the most important question to ask. Whether you’re looking to automate parts of your RCM cycle or you’re interested in improving the quality of care your team provides, your team should have access to all the information they need.

It’s hard for billers to manage payments or nurses to understand a patient’s condition if they’re constantly having to dig for the claims and codes they need. The whole point of outsourcing is to simplify your workflow – and that means making sure access to important information becomes more available, not more complicated.

2. Will your company train my team to use your product?

You need training just as much as you need proper access. It’s not every day you change how things are done in your office. Team members will need time to adjust to the change, and they’ll also need someone to guide the way.

Taking on the training yourself leaves practically no room in your schedule to handle other aspects of the business, and you risk missing key details. Bringing the vendor in to walk your team through the process is much easier. It establishes a strong working relationship with whom you’re outsourcing, and it encourages a positive reaction from your team to this new way of doing things.

3. How knowledgeable is your staff about my industry?

It’s one thing to know how a product works and another to understand the industry problem it solves. Make sure the vendor you’re working with has a deep understanding of your business. Their team needs to be highly educated in industry standards and regulations. They should be aware of any major shifts going on and prepared to answer any questions you have about how they affect your outsourced workflow.

4. Do you offer any additional services?

The only thing better than improving one part of your workflow is improving multiple parts. One vendor may be able to do that for you, but you won’t know until you ask.

Chances are, if they can help you create more clean claims, they can also help with resubmitting denied claims. The same goes for vendors who specialize in staff management/training or ways to enhance the patient experience.

5. How are performance reports generated?

The final thing to ask a vendor is how they manage performance reports. Some vendors will offer regular reports for their products. This provides customers the data they need to better understand how a certain tool/service is impacting their organization. Other vendors leave performance reporting up to the consumer. They have a more hands-off approach, which can put a strain on the customer experience.

And ultimately, a negative experience is what these questions aim to avoid. To get the best results possible, you need to find the best vendor to fulfill your business’s needs. Mentioning the points shared above will guide you in the right direction.

manual tasks

How to Maximize Cash Flow and Minimize Manual Tasks

How much of your team’s workflow involves manual tasks? Are you constantly running into issues like denied claims, scheduling conflicts or coding mistakes on patient forms?

These are just a few of the things that slow down your team. From verifying patient eligibility to coding treatment information to creating schedules and setting company-wide performance indicators, operating manually doesn’t allow much room for growth. It increases the risk of making mistakes and splits your staff’s focus. However, supporting your staff with tech-savvy tools can help them work faster and smarter to create better results.

The following is a closer look at the impact of manual tasks and how switching to an automated workflow can benefit your bottom line.

Understanding the impact of manual tasks

Consider all the manual tasks involved in your revenue cycle alone. If your team creates claims on paper, sends them out via standard mail, then repeats this process when claims are denied, you’re missing out on a substantial amount of money that could be appearing on the books much faster.

When you also consider verifying patient eligibility for every appointment on your schedule, emailing shifts to staff each week and/or processing patient payments by hand, the impact of manual tasks becomes much more apparent.

Manual tasks delay your operations. They increase the likelihood of making mistakes, which then causes staff members to repeat tasks they’ve already done. Working manually also provides little visibility to your organization as a whole; it’s much harder to track things like employee engagement or patient satisfaction if you don’t have the means to gather and make sense of relevant data.

The pitfalls of manual tasks outweigh the benefits. An automated workflow allows your staff to focus on what they do best – whether they’re a biller, nurse, physician or caretaker – while giving you the peace of mind that your organization is operating efficiently.

Moving from manual to automated work

Creating an automated workflow doesn’t happen overnight. There’s a lot of thought that goes into choosing the right systems to implement, as well as identifying which manual tasks you’d like to phase out.

Maybe it’s time to implement a staff scheduling software rather than relying on email to assign and change shifts. Maybe you need to establish a better way to track the rate of patient falls in your nursing home or infection occurrences in your hospital.

You can also explore the option of using a claims management system that can store and retrieve patient history at the click of a button. Or, try sending online claims out in batches versus one by one. Consider how you set and achieve organizational goals, too.

When you’re ready to set automated workflows in motion, focus on getting the most ROI possible. Think of your investment in terms of time as well as money. While your bottom line will benefit from the value of automated systems and tech-savvy tools, you also need to make the most of your staff’s time.

The synergy between the two will create the healthy cash flow you’re looking for. As your staff starts to put their talent into more effective tasks, your patient satisfaction will also increase. These efficiencies will lead to revenue growth both in terms of how much you’re able to bill and how quickly claims hit your books

 

medical billing outsourcing

Is Medical Billing Outsourcing Right for You?

It’s no secret that you need an efficient medical billing process to succeed. However, just because the process you currently have in place is working, it doesn’t mean there isn’t room to improve.

Imagine what your workflow would look like if you had more time to train your staff and engage with patients rather than sitting in front of a screen filing claims for hours on end. Think about all the revenue currently slipping through the cracks in the form of denied claims and partially-paid claims.

These are just a few reasons to consider medical billing outsourcing.

Keep reading for more signs it’s time to make the switch and an overview of the benefits available once you do.

Signs it’s time to invest in medical billing outsourcing

The easiest way to tell if medical billing outsourcing is right for you is if your current billing process is giving you more problems than you’d like to admit.

Here are a few problems you may be facing:

  • You have a low percentage of clean claims
  • You’ve been letting low-value claims go unpaid
  • You have trouble keeping up with compliance changes
  • Your billing staff is overworked
  • The average lifespan of your revenue cycle is much higher than industry standard

Why allow such issues to continue if there’s a better way to manage claims? Medical billing outsourcing can fix these problems and do a lot more for your business!

The top benefits of billing outsourcing

Whatever your reason for investing in a tech-savvy billing system, you’re sure to enjoy many additional benefits after implementing this change to your workflow.

Three of the top benefits available are:

1.     Fewer billing errors

If you keep filing paper claims, you’ll keep running into time-consuming errors. If you start working in a billing portal that can catch errors before you submit claims, your workflow will become much more efficient.

With medical billing outsourcing, the chance of encountering billing errors is much smaller. You don’t have to worry about submitting claims without all the necessary patient information or think twice about which payer you’re sending claims to. You can rely on your billing program to notify you of these errors and many others that may occur – and even the best staff members can’t do that 100% of the time.

2.     More time to focus on patients

As much as you need to handle the logistical aspects of your business – like billing, staff training and growth projects – the most important responsibility you have is taking care of patients.

That’s the whole purpose of working in healthcare. But, you can’t give your patients all the time and attention they deserve if your day is consumed by other things. Thankfully, implementing a faster billing process can give you a lot of time back in your day to focus patient care.

Having more time to focus on patients means you can build stronger relationships with them, offer more in-depth treatment and create a better patient experience overall.

3.     More value for the cost of billing

A faster, more efficient billing process puts more money in your pocket as well as more time in your day. And if you compare the cost of outsourced billing versus a fully in-house process, the value of outsourcing is clear.

Whether you have just one in-house biller or a whole billing department, you’re spending significantly more money on filling and training these positions each year than what an outsourced billing process costs. You may also need to invest in new equipment and certifications as industry regulations change. However, this overhead is taken care of for you if you work with a billing vendor.

Investing in this resource frees up your time and money, speeds up your revenue process and cuts down on delays in your revenue cycle. If you’re still asking if it’s right for you, imagine the value it would bring to your organization.

workplace culture

The Key Pillars of a Strong Workplace Culture

Can you list your company values off the top of your head? Do you know anything about your team members beyond their name and what they do at the company?

If you answered “no” to either of these questions, your company culture is in trouble. Culture is the driving force of your organization. When it’s healthy and inclusive, your team produces amazing results. When the team is disengaged, they’ll do the bare minimum, make more mistakes and may even search for another job.

In order for your team to show up excited for work every day – to be fully engaged in their role, communicate well with others and push new ideas forward to make the organization better – you need to prioritize building a strong workplace culture. Start with a focus on these three things:

1. Appreciation

It’s one thing to understand the need for all team members to feel valued, but another to make a habit of expressing employee appreciation. It’s time to put a recognition process in place that works for everyone. It doesn’t have to be grand or time-consuming, but it should be effective and easy to engage with.

Maybe this means you set a daily or weekly all-team meeting for everyone to touch base. You can use this as a time to cover progress since your last meeting and open the floor for people to recognize their colleagues. Maybe you start a “high-five” communication channel within your scheduling platform or via another system. This can be a place for individuals to recognize one another at any time during the day.

In addition to an all-team effort, make it a personal commitment to appreciate your people more. Do walk-throughs in your place of work and stop to check in on people and personally thank them for their good work. Ask how you can be of service to them, too.

2. Enthusiasm

No matter what aspect of healthcare you focus on or how big your organization is, you should feel excited about the work you’re doing – especially if you’re a leader within the company.

Your work ethic sets an example for others. If you’re not engaged in meetings or taking ownership of your work, it makes people think they can act in a similar manner. But if you show up with a passion for work every day, you’ll instill that passion in others. Your workplace culture will naturally become stronger; individuals will start to communicate better, work harder and create more impressive results.

To make sure everyone is as excited about work as you are, go a little further. Create a unique company saying or a tradition/habit for everyone to enjoy. There’s no limit to what this could be, just make sure it gets the message across loud and clear that your organization is a great place to work.

3. Opportunity

Team members at all levels need to know there’s a next step for them. Otherwise, they’ll start looking elsewhere to advance their career.

As such, it falls on organizational leaders to make sure there’s a clearly communicated path for growth. Growth does vary among different positions and individual interests, but there are still certain things you can do at a general level to make sure everyone knows new opportunities are available to them.

Talk through company-wide goals with the team(s) you manage. Explain how a person’s work contributes to bigger initiatives in one-on-one meetings or when offering that personal note of appreciation mentioned above. Get involved in individuals’ goal-setting processes if you have the time available.

The more you invest in your team members, the more they will give back to you. It’s that simple, and it plays a critical role in the strength of your workplace culture.

improve employee engagement

Employee Engagement and You: What Leaders Can Do to Motivate Staff

No matter the kind of healthcare organization you run, you can’t do everything on your own. But to rely on your staff to perform at their best, you must establish a strong, consistent level of employee engagement. Each person on your team should show up to work excited for the shift ahead of them. They should feel a connection to their purpose within the organization, a sense of comradery with other staff members and be comfortable to speak up when necessary.

If you’ve been dealing with consistent tardiness, dropped shifts or frequent mistakes, your staffing challenges are likely more serious than you think.

Here are five ways to elevate employee engagement.

1. Share organizational goals

It’s easy for an individual to become disconnected with their work if they don’t understand the role they play within the group. As such, it’s the responsibility of organizational leaders to make everyone feel valued.

Make an effort to share high-level goals with all your staff members and cater the messaging to specific departments, if not to individuals. This will help every single staff member connect to their role. They’ll take on more ownership of their duties and have more pride in their work – two things that do wonders for employee engagement.

2. Encourage feedback from individuals at all levels

Just as you need to share your thoughts with everyone on your team, you should be asking for their input. Staff members rarely offer unsolicited opinions, which means it’s on you to remind each person they have a voice and encourage them to use it. Make it clear that comments and criticisms are welcome and valued by the team. This sounds simple enough, but far too many people keep comments to themselves which can lead to resentment and lack of motivation.

3. Praise in public, criticize in private

There’s a delicate balance between developing professionals with praise and with accountability. While it’s crucial to do both, it’s even more important to understand when each one is appropriate to give.

Always save criticism for private interactions. Don’t single out individuals within a group or place blame on them. Rather, pull them aside and turn a mistake into a coachable moment. Praise can be shared in private or in public. When offering either form of feedback, be as specific as you can about a person’s actions and their outcomes.

4. Remember personal details

One of the most effective ways to make your team members feel valued is to treat them as people, not assets. Make it a point to establish a healthy personal connection with the men and women on your team. Remember their birthday and work anniversary. Talk to them about their family and personal accomplishments, too.

This will increase the level of respect between you and each individual, and may lead to stronger staff relationships as well. When people start to see their colleagues as friends, they work harder and smarter together.

5. Implement an employee appreciation program

As you start to see engagement levels rise, keep the momentum going with an appreciation program. It doesn’t need to be costly or large-scale. It can be as simple as adding a shout-out feature to your scheduling program or spending five to ten minutes of a regular group meeting to share special recognition.

If you’re interested in bigger appreciation initiatives, create a company award for individuals to work toward or run team competitions throughout the year. Whatever you do, make sure it’s received well. You want your efforts to feel genuine and create effective engagement results long-term.

Boosting staff engagement should be an ongoing responsibility rather than a one-time effort. Ideally, you want your best people to stay within the organization for years, and you want good medical professionals to become the best they can be. This begins with you and how you position your team for success.

Patient Needs Are Changing: Here’s a Closer Look at the Impact

If you’re looking to attract new patients, you can’t rely on old tactics. Although there are some things that can stand the test of time, there’s no denying the need to adapt to ever-changing patient desires – especially as the largest population of American adults are coming of age.

Millennials have either recently come off their parents’ insurance plans or they’re about to. They’re learning how to open insurance policies and manage healthcare payments in a time when patient payment responsibility is growing and putting more pressure on consumers. This causes young adults to either not have any insurance or avoid seeking medical treatment even if they are insured.

As a medical provider, you can see this as a challenge or an opportunity. You can fight the change and keep wondering why patients aren’t coming in your doors, or you can learn how to better meet the needs of patients today.

The following is a closer look at three major shifts in how patients are taking care of themselves and the effects they have on medical providers.

More patients are taking preventive care into their own hands

Millennials who choose to go without insurance or primary care aren’t throwing their health out the window. Rather, they’re focusing on preventive care measures like working out and healthy eating to decrease their likelihood of needing medical services.

But, at one point or another, these health-focused individuals will still find themselves in need of a medical provider. And when they do go in for treatment, they want personal, attentive care. They want to be educated about what caused their condition and how to prevent it in the future.

This is your time to shine. It’s your opportunity to show these young adults why having a primary care doctor is so important, and to make them realize the value of being a patient of your organization as opposed to others. If you establish a relationship with these patients, they are more likely to return the next time they need care.

Convenience has transformed the consumer mindset

A recent study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that about 1/3 of American adults don’t have a primary care provider. Millennials comprised the majority of this population.

This is partially due to confusion around health insurance and increasing financial pressures, but the other reason primary care rates are dropping is convenience.

Patients are more concerned about how they feel in the present moment versus how they may feel in the future. This has shifted the patient mindset from “I need to have a regular primary care doctor I can rely on” to “I need a doctor (any doctor) to treat me right away.”

The result? More patients are going to walk-in clinics or bypassing primary care and going straight to a specialist. They expect to be seen immediately and they want fast solutions. Waiting a week for an appointment isn’t an option in their mind and having to come back for a follow-up visit isn’t ideal.

Connectivity is a must, not an option

How can providers keep up with the fast pace that a convenience-centered market demands? By implementing tech-savvy applications, such as an automated bill pay system, to help enhance your patients’ experience.

Simplify your communication process for setting appointments and receiving patients in the door. Your patients should be able to contact you with a quick online search and the click of a button – and they don’t want to show up for an appointment only to wait and fill out paperwork. Rather, it’s better to let them fill out forms ahead of time via a patient portal. After their visit, many patients prefer to pay online, especially if they have ongoing payments to make.

It isn’t necessary to completely transform your office’s workflow, but it is worth exploring what a few simple changes such as ABILITY SECUREPAY™ can do to better serve your market.

patient experience

4 Unique Ways to Enhance the Patient Experience in Your Organization

No matter how advanced medical tools and treatments become, human interactions will continue to play an integral role in healthcare. Patients will still need real people to provide eye exams, at-home care, mental health services and everything in between. Technology can make these things more accessible and easier to manage, but it can’t replace personal care.

This doesn’t mean pat­ient care will continue to be what it always has been, though. As new advancements make the role of medical professionals more efficient, it becomes the responsibility of providers to offer more than basic medical services. They now have to focus on enhancing the patient experience in every step of the care cycle.

Here are four things you can start doing within your organization to take the patient experience to the next level.

1. Treat people, not medical conditions

As much as patients want to find solutions to their medical problems, they also want to feel heard and empowered whenever they seek treatment. They’re taking ownership of their healing process, not looking for a band-aid solution.

This means your staff needs to make more time to listen and express genuine concern. Try to explain conditions and treatments a little more in-depth than you normally do and make it a point to show interest in patients beyond their health. Talk to them about their families and their hobbies. Remember their birthday and congratulate them on life accomplishments they may mention. Strive to be a friend and a medical professional, not just a signature on a prescription.

2. Give patients the maximum value for their healthcare dollars

Patients can Google one-size-fits-all answers. They’ve become accustomed to self-assessing their conditions and even treating certain health issues on their own without seeking any professional treatment.

When they do make a medical appointment, they’re looking for in-depth information. They want to know how to prevent the issue they’re currently dealing with from happening again. They want to get to the root of a problem to stay out of the doctor’s office as long as possible.

This may sound like it’s bad for business, but it would actually do you well to adjust to this shift in patient mentality. It can create better brand value and recognition for your organization and lead to more patient recommendations. And since more people are researching different providers before they make an appointment, it’s in your best interest to make a good name for yourself by going above and beyond standard care practices.

Such a strategy will help you capture new patients as they shop around for medical care and keep current ones coming back when they need more than at-home treatment.

3. Simplify patient payments

Patients have enough trouble understanding their insurance coverage; they don’t need to experience more financial stress when paying the fees they’re responsible for. Thankfully, you can make this payment process much easier on them by offering online bill pay options, like ABILITY SECUREPAY™. Instead of limiting patient payments to cash or check only, online methods give healthcare consumers the access they need to stay on top of payments. They allow people to conveniently pay for their medical services via a simple, easy-to-use portal. They also provide the option to save credit/debit card information for future payments and set up automatic payments.

4. Continue the conversation

Whether your patients come in regularly, every few months or sporadically, you should be continuing the conversation with them beyond one visit. Specifically, focus on providing better post-visit instructions in terms of medications to take and suggested lifestyle changes.

You can also use post-visit interactions to gain insight from your patients about what you can do better. A simple survey asking patients to rate your performance and provide feedback can do wonders for your organization. It helps you understand their needs/desires at a deeper level and catch things that may have slipped through the cracks in your workflow or staff training.

At the end of the day, the more you put into the patient experience, the more your organization benefits. It’s time to change the way you think about your duties as a medical provider and go beyond what you’ve ever done before.