Tag Archives: pcp

Attract And Retain Patients Within Your Network In Seven Simple Steps

Did you know? More than 80% of the patients rely on online reviews to evaluate patients. 8 out of 10 Americans internet users have researched topics including diseases, treatments, health insurance, a particular doctor or hospital. They do not go to the specialist just because they were referred to. Indeed patients spend a lot of time researching about the hospital and other options. Hospitals try to seek the attention of the patients through advertisements. But in this world of growing technology, ads through radios and billboards have become old-fashioned. So the hospitals are quite lost with the following questions in mind,

  • How can we reach our ideal patients at the right time with the right message?
  • How can we keep them happy and loyal?
  • If potential patients are no longer reacting to traditional advertising and promotional methods then what are they responding to?

It is through Patient Value Journey.

The way a patient chooses their health care provider shows what consumers want from a product or service. Below is the 7-step Patient Value Journey that can help practices turn patients into appointments and advocates of their practice.

The Patient Value Journey

Millions of Americans are embracing technology. From online search to wearables, they are transforming the patient journey at record-breaking speed. Google receives 63,000 searches per second on any given day and health care is the third most searched topic.

Considering the present reality, how can a practice drive more patient appointments both online and offline? The best marketing strategies begin and end with how a patient finds a practice and the process that flow after their first appointment.

1) Attaining Patient Awareness

A potential patient first becomes aware of the practice and its doctor(s) during the Patient Awareness Stage. Perhaps they have a health problem or concern, are researching a health condition and potential treatment.

In this early phase of the patient journey, the patient has a problem. The practice must present their solution while showing them what differentiates them from other practices. Potential patients can become aware of a practice in the following ways:

  • Seeing an advertisement
  • Finding the practice on social media
  • Receiving a referral from another doctor, friend or family member
  • Viewing the practice website as a search result on Google
  • Meeting at a health fair or community event

All these avenues present significant opportunities for a practice to reach potential patients both online and offline.

2) Patient Engagement

After becoming aware of the practice, a potential patient will take action to learn more of their doctor(s). After grabbing their attention, the practice must trigger them to interact with you or their social circles. Downloading a digital asset (white paper, checklist or eBook) from your practice website

There are numerous ways patients can engage with the practice including:

  • Searching specifically by name for the practice on Google
  • Visiting physician review sites to check their overall score
  • Sharing, commenting or liking one of their social media posts
  • Clicking on an ad or post that drives back to their website
  • Asking peers (online or offline) about their experience with the practice
  • Visiting the practice website

Digital marketing, social media, and website strategies are critical for bringing the patients to the subscription phase. When new visitors arrive at the practice’s website, it must impress the users in a few minutes. The site must have an eye-catching design, have killer content, and be easy to navigate. In addition to being desktop-friendly, the website must also be mobile-friendly.

3) Patient Subscription

In stage 3, potential patients will opt in to view or receive additional content from the practice. Here, a prospective patient likes what they have seen so far, but isn’t ready to commit to an appointment just yet. They are, however, seriously considering that practice for their health care needs.

What patient actions can the practice expect in this phase of the journey?

  • Joining an email list for the practice’s newsletter
  • “Liking” the page(s) on social media to receive updates in their newsfeed
  • RSVPing to attend a talk or seminar
  • Signing up for a webinar discussing a particular pain point or treatment option

There are several tactics a practice can employ to optimize patient subscriptions.

  • Keep blogs updated and post relevant content that readers can share across their social networks
  • Respond (ideally in real-time) to comments on their social media pages
  • Add social sharing buttons to their blog posts, newsletters, and general emails
  • Encourage readers to share their posts on their social media networks

4) Conversion

In the Conversion phase, the potential patient is satisfied with their research and is now ready to become a patient of the practice with a scheduled office visit. Upon entering the conversion stage, a patient will:

  • Book an appointment and schedule an office visit via the website or by phone
  • Set up a time for an in-office consultation about services
  • Not cancel the appointment

To ensure a patient’s smooth flow from subscription to conversion, the practice must make the transition easy for them.

If a potential patient spends precious minutes on the website trying to figure out how to contact or book an appointment, they’ll just give up in frustration. The site must make it easy for patients to schedule a visit on every single page.

5) Achieving Diagnosis and Treatment

In the diagnosis and treatment phase of the patient journey, the medical team diagnoses and prescribes treatment to the patient. The patient receives immediate value in the form of a diagnosis or treatment plan following the appointment.

Depending on the condition, the patient is under observation or conservative treatment over multiple visits and monitoring.

6) Ascension

As part of their journey, patients may or may not be prescribed additional treatments. It depends on their condition and their response to initial treatment(s) in the diagnosis and treatment phase.

Some patients will receive continued treatment as needed. Some others may be referred to supplementary services in or outside of the practice. While others may require surgery and rehabilitation.

7) Advocacy

In the Advocacy stage, the patient has completed their treatment protocol and is satisfied with the outcome of their care. They are now in a position to advocate for the practice both online and offline.

Patients can share positive feedback with the world by:

  • Providing an online review or rating on the physician(s) review website(s)
  • Taking part in a video testimonial to share their brilliant outcomes and benefits with other potential patients
  • Become the subject of a case study

Patient advocates are one of the most valuable assets for a practice. Patient success stories create a connection, build trust, credibility, and interest to motivate potential patients to answer a call-to-action.

Making the Patient Value Journey Work For You

The patient-physician relationship is a symbiotic two-way relationship. The patients can provide transparent feedback which can positively impact the start of other patient journeys.

Mapping the medical practice’s goals with Patient Value Journey helps in understanding the audience’s mindset and behavior. It can hone the practice’s short-term, quarterly wins and activities that contribute to reaching their long-term goals.

Using technology to solve patient-related problems

If your practice is facing problems related to managing patient traffic, patient referrals, chronic care management, remote patient monitoring or anything at all, HealthViewX is always there to solve your operational issues and optimize the workflow. To know in detail about our solution, schedule a demo with us.

 

References

http://www.internetlivestats.com/google-search-statistics/

https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/pew-study-health-information-third-most-popular-online-pursuit

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3077086/t/more-people-search-health-online/#.W4zdVc4zbIW

https://www.softwareadvice.com/resources/how-patients-use-online-reviews/

Ten Advantages A Referral Management Software Should Provide

Referral Management Process in healthcare

Patient Referral Management in healthcare plays a vital role in treating patients. The physician identifies the need for a referral and sends it to the most relevant imaging center or specialty practice. A patient referral goes through the following steps,

  1. Referral Initiation – The referring physician identifies the need for a referral and initiates medical referrals.
  2. Insurance Pre-authorization – If the patient has an insurance coverage, the referring physician has to validate the same. The physician must do this to find the imaging center/specialist care practice comes under the patient’s insurance coverage.
  3. Finding the right provider – Depending on the treatment required, insurance coverage and patient’s convenience, the physician will narrow down the search and find the right receiving provider for the referral. Dr.Miller is a primary care physician. A patient visits his clinic complaining of chest pain. After the initial diagnosis, the physician refers him to a specialist for better treatment. The referring physician looks for the best cardiologist in the city. Considering the patient’s and specialist’s comfort, the referring physician initiates the referral.
  4. Sending out the referral – After finding the right provider, the referring physician shares the patient information and the diagnosis details with the receiving provider. The referral is sent via phone, fax, email, etc depending on the source, the receiving provider is comfortable in getting the referrals from.
  5. Following up with the referralAfter the receiving provider receives the referral, the specialist may communicate with the referring physician for missing information. The physician should get things sorted and continue with the referral. The provider should schedule appointments with the patient and follow-up with the same. The specialist should give the referring physician timely updates on its progress.

The referral process is quite demanding for the physicians. Communicating and giving timely updates is not easy with the current workflow. Considering the complexity of referral networks, an effective Referral Management Software is the need of the hour.

Ten Advantages a Referral Management Software should Offer

The current process of referral is very time-consuming and tedious. It has no tracking system or cannot give periodic updates to the referring physician, patient, and the receiving provider. An updated electronic referral management system is required to streamline the referrals. It would enhance the overall experience of the PCP and patients, curb referral leakage and patient no-show rate. A Referral Management Software reduces manual intervention and makes the process simpler. It should offer benefits that will improve the physician-specialist equation, improve hospitals’ operational efficiency and increased revenue. The hospital must consider the following benefits before choosing a Referral Tracking Software,

  1. Multichannel Referral Consolidation – The receiving provider gets multi-channel referrals through sources like FAX, online forms, direct messaging, email, virtual print, direct walk-ins, etc. An Inbound Referral setup must have a Referral Management software that consolidates all referrals into a single queue. After the first step of multi-channel referral consolidation, it is easier to process the referrals.
  2. Reduced Referral Leakage – Referral Leakage is the single huge problem faced by high referral inbound setups. Referral leakage for any health system is between an average 55% to 65%. This, in turn, leads to high revenue loss. A Referral Management Software should ease the processing of several referrals on time. The Referral Tracking Software must help in finding the right specialist and also make sure that no tests are repeated. The Referral Management Software must make the patient documents available to both the referring and receiving physicians. Scheduling patient appointments and following up to see if the patient completed a referral visit will reduce the referral leakage.  
  3. Increased Operational EfficiencyIt is the efficiency of hospital staff to manage referrals and check the progress of the treatment. A Referral Tracking Software must make the process simple by reducing the time spent on referral initiation. The software must make referral information available to both the referring and receiving physicians. Multi-channel referral consolidation, specialist smart search and increased referral tracking will improve operational efficiency.
  4. Automated Scheduling – The Referral Management Software must support an inbuilt scheduler. It schedules automated appointments with the patients and gives prompt reminders to the patient and the physician. This will never let a patient or physician miss their appointments thus reducing patient no-show rates. It helps the physician manage all their appointments on time. It thus leads to reduced patient referral leakage.
  5. Improved Referral Tracking – Manual referral tracking is a tedious job for hospitals. The referring physicians are least informed about the progress of the referral. This affects referral completion and referral loop closure. The Referral Management Software must always keep the referring physicians informed about the referral’s progress.
  6. Referral Completion – 25 to 50% of referring physicians do not know if their patients actually visit the specialist. Referral loop closure is very important for the referring physicians. Referral completion cannot happen when the referring physician is not informed about the progress of the referral.  The Referral Management Software must aid in referral completion by providing a secure platform for the receiving and referring physicians to communicate. Referral tracking and feedback for the referral from the receiving physician aid referral loop closure.
  7. Streamline the Flow of Referral – A Referral Management Software must streamline the flow of referral. It should consume less time for each step with minimal efforts of the patient, receiving and referring physicians.
  8. Enhanced communication between PCPs and specialists – The primary care physicians and the specialist find it difficult to communicate about referrals. The physicians may need to communicate for missing referral information, referral tracking or referral completion. The referral tracking software must have inbuilt messaging, audio and video calling features to enhance the communication between the primary care physicians and specialists.
  9. Improved Patient Satisfaction –  The patient faces difficulties in acting as a bridge between the referring and the receiving medical care physicians. This leads to patient dissatisfaction and patient referral leakage. Timely response to referrals, minimal diagnosis, and full insurance coverage improve patient’s experience with the referral. A Referral Tracking Software must cut down patient waiting time, improve the relationship between PCPs and specialists and the overall patient satisfaction. Improved patient experience directly results in increased revenue.
  10. Complete Referral Analytics – The Referral Management software should give complete data of the referrals flowing in and out of the network. Visualized data in the form of graphs, tables, charts, etc help in tracking the referrals in the pipeline. It helps in scheduling patient appointments with available documents. It gives a comprehensive data of the number of patients with various referral status and follow-up reminders for a day. The physician can customize the dashboard to show the preferred receiving physicians, the average revenue generated per patient referral, etc.

HealthViewX Patient Referral Management solution features

HealthViewX Patient Referral Management solution has features that best suit a hospitals’ Referral Management System.

  1. Seamless communication – HealthViewX solution has an inbuilt audio calling and messaging application which is secure and enables faster communication
  2. HIPAA compliant data security – The solution is HIPAA-compliant and offers secure data exchange. It supports almost all formats of files and keeps the patient documents safe.
  3. Referral history – The timeline view provides the history and current status of the referral. A status helps in knowing the referral progress.
  4. Data Analytics – A comprehensive dashboard helps to track the number of referrals in the queue and shows the number of referrals in different statuses. This helps in knowing how fast the referrals are getting closed.
  5. Report Consolidation – The data regarding the referrals and timeline view can be printed as a report anytime in pdf/excel form.

With HealthViewX Patient Referral Management solution in hand managing a referral life cycle is very easy. A 30-minute demo with our team will help you know how effective our solution can track and manage the referral life cycle. To know more schedule a demo with us.

 

Reference

https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/08/uy/2011-hcctd-full.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3160594

Referral – What a PCP and Patient need to know!

Communication is a critical aspect of healthcare. Most healthcare providers across the country have some system, process, and procedures implemented to ensure smooth flow of communication, but such innovations are largely focused on improving in-facility communication. However, the communication between facilities for most parts remains crude.

The ability to send and receive information between facilities can not only improve the patient healthcare outcome but also enhance healthcare efficiency. A referral management software would simplify the procedures between primary care physicians and patients and helps PCPs to closely monitor the progress or the outcome of the patients who are referred to a specialist.

Problems With Conventional Referrals
1. Physician refer patients but cannot follow up
2. Lack of communication between primary physicians and patients
3. Patients not meeting the referred specialist
4. It is impossible to send follow-up information

Above listed are major issues of the referral. Complexity in the referral procedures starts at the physician’s practice because they are the ones who initiate a referral.

Here are some key points that PCPs are expected to validate before sending out a referral to a specialist.

Get to Know Your Patients More

Knowing a patient is as important as knowing about the problems they have. The patient outcome should be foreseen before a referral is made. A patient visits one PCP whom they trust to a great extent, so when the referral does not qualify their expectations the patients may just walk away.

In some cases, after getting suggestions from a specialist, patients get the second opinion from another physician which is usually a reverse process but this tends to happen often. This shows the importance of PCP in the referral cycle and it is the responsibility of the PCP to ensure patients’ smooth transition and get the required care.

Do Patients Really Need Specialists?

Once a patient selects their PCP they don’t want to see any other physician or specialist unless there is a need. Here PCPs are the generalists who take full responsibility for their patient. Before getting a patient to step into the specialist’s office they must identify a clear need for the specialist’s visit.

Also, general practitioners could solve many of the patient’s problems without the need for a specialist’s help. Only in some cases, physicians require additional visit (maybe twice or thrice) to identify the problem by giving alternative medicines. Even after multiple visits and when they cannot diagnose the problem they will send patients to a specialist at the time of need as they are primarily liable for their patient’s care.

Managing the Referral

To avoid any delay in patient diagnosis some physicians make referrals frequently. But referring more does not always mean it is the right approach.

Mostly referral happens within the network. Physicians send patients to specialists who are known to them and these specialists are easily accessible to them to follow up which helps in closing the referral loop. When this process does not go well as planned then the PCP will stop referring to that particular specialist as referral closure is very important to identify the patient health status.

Key points a patient must be aware of:

1. Referral is an important process in healthcare

2. Referral success partially depends on patient cooperation

3. The referral will require some patient-related data transfer and some methods of data transfer are safer than others.