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How Healthcare Systems are Preparing for the Future Through Patient Access Leadership

February 21, 2024


Record Retrieval Solutions

Improving patients’ access to healthcare has always been a significant challenge for healthcare systems. Prioritizing a patient’s preferences for appointment times and initial visit expectations, is a crucial first step towards building trust and ensuring patient loyalty. Streamlining the patient access process is key in removing obstacles to timely care delivery. Leading institutions understand that the patient access point serves as the gateway to the healthcare system, shaping the entire patient experience. A positive initial encounter can set the tone for a seamless patient journey, while a negative one can lead to dissatisfaction and hurdles down the road.

This is why many organizations are placing emphasis on appointing a patient access leader to enhance the patient experience throughout their healthcare journey.

“Having a Vice President of Patient Access signals both internally and externally that the organization is committed to treating patient access as a strategy, not simply a transaction.”  According to the article Assessment of time-to-Treatment initiation and survival in a cohort of patients with common cancers. “It allows the perspective of access to have a seat at the table when setting organizational priorities. Historically, the focus began with the patient when they were sitting in the chair. [However,] the reality is [that] the journey to getting into that chair is filled with challenges, both driven by changes in consumerism as well as consolidation of networks.”

A patient access leader can help your organization by implementing strategies to improve patient satisfaction, streamline appointment scheduling processes, and enhance overall communication with patients.

Shifting Focus
Leading facilities are recognizing that Patient access represents the front door to the health system. When a patient schedules their first appointment, it is usually their first encounter with the health system, and it has the power to shape the entire experience. If this process is unpleasant, it can create significant challenges in terms of patient satisfaction throughout the rest of their journey. 

By empowering a leader in Patient Access, your organization can address quality, safety, growth, competitiveness, communication, and capacity management from the perspective of the enterprise. A Patient Access leader help your organization: 

Reduce Patient Leakage 
Patients have more options than ever before, and their preferences and expectations play a significant role in determining their treatment path. “Competitiveness: Patient choice has a major impact on the ambulatory enterprise; the leader understands the impact of consumerism – and recognizes that the health system cannot effectively compete without a convenient, frictionless entrance to the ambulatory enterprise.”

By prioritizing patient access and providing a seamless and hassle-free experience, health systems can attract and retain patients, gaining a competitive edge in the market. Getting patients in the door sooner and having all their medical history available for that first appointment will build the trust and loyalty needed for long-term retention. Having a strong leader overseeing Patient Access will reduce leakage and promote a patient-centric approach far earlier in the patient’s journey. 

Increase Potential Revenue 
Creating standardized, efficient access workflows across the enterprise can result in a lower cost, more effective entry into the healthcare system. “Because the ambulatory setting establishes an opportunity to manage patients in a convenient, low-cost manner, access represents the front door to the health system.”

One effective approach to improving the patient’s experience is providing fast access to comprehensive medical records. This not only helps the care team prepare for meaningful appointments, reducing the likelihood of missed or follow-up appointments, but also promotes transparency regarding the patient’s medical history, enabling faster and more effective treatment plans and a decrease in duplicate testing. Another effective strategy is streamlining operational workflows, which can enhance patient flow within the health system. 

Decrease Time to Treatment 
Patient access leadership roles can serve as a catalyst for enhancing patient care by implementing innovative approaches that improve the registration process, minimize wait times, and ensure timely and effective delivery of necessary care to patients. This improvement in the patients’ access to care can significantly improve outcomes in many cases.

Let eHealth Technologies be your trusted partner.
Investing in patient access is investing in patient satisfaction. As healthcare systems navigate resource constraints and cost challenges in a turbulent environment, this raises the need to find innovative avenues for expansion, which is crucial for success in an industry facing staff shortages, burnouts, and rising expenses that require alternative approaches to care and service. Additionally, it empowers hospitals to remain dedicated to prioritizing patients over administrative tasks. 

eHealth Technologies offers an advanced technology solution that is designed around the unique needs of your practice. We’re trusted by the top healthcare systems throughout the United States and have helped make a difference in hundreds of thousands of patients’ lives every year. Learn how we can assist you with record acquisition and organization to deliver superior patient access experience that supports greater patient satisfaction and growth.

Every patient deserves faster access to care

Interested in seeing how our health-tech solutions can benefit your healthcare system? Request a demo today and one of our experts will be in touch to show you our technology in action.