Four Ways to Reduce Patient Churn in Healthcare
Maximum patient satisfaction is achieved through an organization’s ability to provide effective and timely care. Healthcare staff realize that poor clinical care leads to dissatisfaction, frustration and ultimately, patient churn. To reduce patient churn, hospitals must focus on what matters the most—effective care team communication, collaboration and decision making.
Patient loyalty and positive word of mouth ensures that an organization continues to generate revenue. In this post, we will uncover four ways to increase patient retention in today’s healthcare environment.
What’s Needed to Improve Patient Satisfaction
Organizations must enhance clinical communication and collaboration (CC&C) to reduce patient churn. Enhancing both components ensures that clinical staff are on the same page, and it allows physicians to administer timely, responsible care in life-and-death situations.
Additionally, organizations must focus on four key factors to improve patient satisfaction:
- Making informed clinical decisions
- Investing in advanced technologies
- Minimizing patient wait times
- Spending more time with patients
1. Making Informed Clinical Decisions
Patients are most satisfied when they receive the right medications and treatments for their health conditions. Making informed clinical decisions establishes trust between the patient and healthcare specialist.
Authorized physicians must have access to protected health information (PHI) to diagnose the patient and provide quality care. Contextual information, such as lab results, helps physicians to better understand one’s conditions to accelerate the care process. Further, an electronic health record (EHR) integration allows for contextual, real-time mobile alerting to bolster decision making.
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2. Investing in Advanced Technologies
Legacy technology, such as pagers, fail to meet the requirements of modern organizations. Healthcare professionals (HCPs) require mobile paging services to enhance team communication and the security of staff messaging. According to a comprehensive study, “One major motivation driving the widespread adoption of mobile devices by HCPs has been the need for better communication and information resources at the point of care.”
Advanced technologies improve care delivery and reduce costs. Trending technology includes:
- Voice Assistants: Physicians can communicate with smart devices and direct them to add patient data into EHR systems. The technology replaces time-wasting, manual data entry via keyboards.
- Telehealth: Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare organizations have deployed telehealth initiatives. Telehealth uses devices and HIPAA-compliant services to connect patients with specialists. Patients can receive quality care from the comfort and safety of their homes.
- Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence (AI) allows organizations to analyze large quantities of patient data. Rapid data analysis enables providers to make better clinical decisions and administer immediate care. AI helps accelerate the development and delivery of life-saving medicines.
- Cybersecurity Systems and Training: Preventive measures ensure that security vulnerabilities are remediated immediately and effectively. Many hospitals are investing in data security training and network security systems.
Chief information officers (CIOs) in healthcare must motivate physicians to adopt and use advanced systems. CIOs need buy-in from everyone in the organization and ensure they are on board with change. Communicating the benefits and value of new technology is crucial during this process. Deploying new technology is one of the first steps to increasing patient retention.
3. Minimizing Patient Wait Times
Patient satisfaction greatly depends on how long patients must wait to see their physicians. Patients would like to get into exam rooms on time and receive quick, efficient evaluations. Prolonging the process results in disgruntled, frustrated patients.
Facilities must focus on minimizing patient wait times to reduce patient churn. Ways to achieve this objective includes:
- Gathering all relevant patient information before the patient’s visit. An EHR integration enhances patient record management with contextual real-time alerting, allowing care teams to provide appropriate treatment to patients.
- Eliminating waste or non-value-added activities in healthcare. Hospitals must automate processes and minimize time-wasting activities that do not contribute to patient care. The goal is to increase productivity, save time and eliminate unnecessary costs.
- Deploying dedicated lines with live call capabilities. Patients simply dial one number to connect with physicians on a real-time phone call. Direct, no-frills access to physicians ensures that patients receive immediate clinical care. Patients can leave voicemails and callback numbers if they cannot connect with on-call physicians.
- Adopting on-call schedules and intelligent reports. On-call scheduling is the process of creating defined times and rotations for care team members through a console or interface. Since responsibilities are rotated, the workload is balanced so alert fatigue and burnout are minimized. Physicians become well rested and motivated to provide immediate, quality care. Managers can analyze incident response time with real-time reporting and view trends to optimize workflows.
4. Spending More Time With Patients
Physicians can amplify the patient experience by showing empathy and initiating friendly conversation with patients. Providers must have the patient’s wellbeing in mind and build strong connections with them during treatment. Sound relationships ensure that individuals become recurring patients. It is also a great way to influence positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
Benefits of spending more time with patients include:
- Improving medical outcomes
- Ensuring that patients fully understand their conditions and corresponding treatments
- Building “family-like” connections and personal bonds
- Reducing anxiety and stress in patients
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How OnPage Improves Patient Satisfaction
Reducing patient churn depends on the technologies and processes that organizations have in place. Re-visiting and adjusting both components are necessary if patients are dissatisfied with the medical services they receive. The four ways to reduce patient churn, as discussed in this post, allows organizations to improve patient retention and achieve service excellence.
OnPage’s clinical communication system complements the four methods above and helps hospitals achieve patient satisfaction. OnPage delivers secure communications, mobile alerts, EHR integrations, digital schedules, direct phone lines and more to streamline clinical workflows. The system is designed to reduce patient churn and simplify complex care team processes.