Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Conference Preview: A Look into Centralized Scheduling: The One-Stop Shop

Session Title: A Look into Centralized Scheduling: The One-Stop Shop

Presenters: Beth Bragalone, BS, CHAM, CRCR, CRCS-I, CHAA, Revenue Cycle Training Specialist Integrity Coordinator at Middle Park Medical Center.

Learning Lab: Series 3 (Panel)

Date/Time: May 5, 10:15 a.m.

Healthcare today is the consumer market. With more hospitals offering services that help provide pricing transparency, patients have a vast opportunity to shop around and locate services that fit their lifestyle, most importantly their budget and time. Alongside hospitals providing better pricing transparency, patients have access to obtain information on physicians, hospital ratings and the quality of services. These facets make it truly a patient’s market giving them greater opportunity to locate cost-effective services with quality experience and care. 

A decentralized scheduling model within a hospital or hospital system can create inconsistencies across departments in processes, organizational structure, physician experience and, most importantly, the patient experience. These factors can cause scheduling confusion, scheduling errors, and a multitude of phone transfers that leave the patients and physicians dissatisfied. 

A decentralized model can also restrain a hospital’s ability to track data and key performance indicators (KPIs). Having an inability to track data and KPIs makes it harder to pinpoint bottlenecks in services and poor processes that should be addressed for better patient experiences and hospital ratings. With decentralized services in centralized scheduling, you are at risk of not capturing a piece of the consumer market for hospital services. Patients and physicians can choose other hospitals due to dissatisfaction and experience. 

A centralized scheduling “one-stop shop” model can increase customer service satisfaction, standardize processes within the hospital and afford ease of access to change alongside the healthcare industry. It can be an opportunity to provide patient education regarding services, insurance, and financial assistance all in one phone call or setting. Having the multitude of services centralized will provide consistency and quality among departments and help reduce wait time for patients. Financially, you could see an increase in hospital reimbursement and reduction in denials. Having a centralized scheduling model expands the ability to implement a quality assurance program that follows NAHAM’s key performance indicators, helps track metrics and allows to implement changes when needed. 

Why is this topic so important to the world of Patient Access today? It is both the frontline and usually the first point of contact for consumers inquiring about services or scheduling services. Providing the patient the best experience in one phone call or setting alongside great patient care will bring consumers back for follow-up service and future care.

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