Your revenue cycle management (RCM) and patient experience go hand-in-hand. If you have proper practices put into place to handle your revenue integrity, your patients won’t have to be vulnerable due to any errors from your side. That also means that you and your patients can focus completely on their outcomes, and you can ensure that they’re happy with all your services, which results in more patient loyalty and profits that can be invested back into your RCM.
On paper, this all sounds simple, but many healthcare organizations are still not able to increase their patient satisfaction because they can’t get their revenue cycle management on track. Because revenue teams have so much access to patients from the moment they walk through a hospital’s doors, it’s important for these organizations to get their RCM systems correct the first time around because they only have one chance to make an exceptional impression on the patients.
Hospitals Need to Be Honest About the Patient Disconnect
Because RCM is very multifaceted, it’s easy to see why it’s difficult for hospitals to keep up, especially if they’re still using manual processes. The issue here though is that if they’re not making any efforts for improvements, they can’t expect to make the progress with patient satisfaction they’re wanting.
Before a hospital can even start to implement changes, they need to be honest about what they’ve done wrong within their workflow processes and take note of all patient problems relating to RCM. By having these down on paper, you’ll be able to see the true state of your hospital and can put it into perspective for your staff so you can all be on the same page once changes start.
4 Ways to Improve Your RCM for More Patient Satisfaction
Update Any Inefficiencies in Your Systems
One of the first steps you should take in transforming your revenue cycle management is a system audit. This will allow you to identify any errors that may exist within your systems. Once these have been identified, make sure to modify and update those inefficiencies in your systems that might be causing patient billing discrepancies.
Increase Training for Staff
It goes without saying that great communication and engagement both go a long way. In terms of healthcare, that means that a hospital’s staff not only needs to be well-versed in the software and workflows used to maintain revenue integrity, but they also need to be trained to have those difficult conversations about patient billing.
The main thing patients want is clarity when it comes to their services, so your staff needs to know what they’re talking about, how to get the right information, and how to convey in a way that shows patients that they’re your priority. While training, you will need to be honest about your staff’s gaps so they understand how they’re really affecting patients – and may not even realize it!
Implement Automated Solutions
Automation within healthcare is something to marvel at – not to be intimidated by. With the number of people seeking healthcare services every day, hospital staff can’t keep up with all the data and paperwork on their own. With so much for them to do, blunders are inevitable. This is where automation comes in to prevent those costly mistakes.
Automated processes are created to be long-lasting, precise, and strategic. Any new software you implement into your hospital will be able to quickly discover discrepancies and provide solutions long before your staff even starts to notice any errors. It will also make any updates and changes very easy for you and your staff to follow, so no one falls behind!
Outsource to a Third-Party Vendor
Outsourcing has become very popular for healthcare organizations because back-end operations will never cease to exist. In fact, they’ll just keep growing for hospitals, and if you don’t have that extra assistance, your staff will constantly have to play catch up. This will only result in you losing revenue and the resources you absolutely need.
When you find the right vendor, they’ll be able to help you with many aspects of your RCM including coding optimization, denial management, claims reviews, ensuring software efficiency, and much more. They’ll be able to keep you updated on the business side of your organization while you and your staff work to provide quality care.
Patient Satisfaction Should Always be the Goal
There is a plethora of revenue cycle management advice out there but it’s vital for you and your organization to remember that patient satisfaction should always be at the forefront of your priorities. Just by making the right changes to your RCM, you’ll be able to see an increase in patient loyalty, revenue consistency, and even health outcomes.
From a timing standpoint, the longer you wait to identify gaps and make changes to your RCM means the longer it will take to fix your systems enough to even start being able to focus on patient satisfaction. By starting now, you’ll be able to achieve future goals and ensure that your organization is prepared to give patients the best care possible.