Patients are demanding more from healthcare professionals today. They want high-quality, whole-person care and the assurance that their doctors and nurses are really there for them. Insisting on better quality of service and improved outcomes puts pressure on clinicians to go beyond only taking care of their patients’ basic needs.
Proper patient management is key to helping patients achieve positive outcomes. Let’s explore what patient management really means so you can determine the potential benefits to your healthcare organization and learn how to implement a patient management software program—otherwise known as a Patient Relationship Management program (PRM) or practice management software—for optimal results.
What is patient management?
Patient management is the set of activities that healthcare practices use to manage and deliver on patients’ rising expectations. It’s an approach that focuses on fostering strong patient relationships instead of just treating illnesses.
This patient-centered shift in the healthcare space lets patients know their physicians see them as individuals with thoughts and feelings. Healthcare providers understand that patients want to be treated more like consumers than sick people. Patient management leads to better overall health for patients and, ultimately, better patient satisfaction with your healthcare organization.
Why should I use patient management software?
When patient management is done well, your organization can integrate everything a care team needs for a smooth and successful process. Things like appointment history, diagnoses, lab workflow, inventory management, business analytics, billing records, prescriptions, and other vital medical practice and patient information can all be organized in one place for seamless, efficient transitions from one stage of care to another. This comprehensive approach leads to fewer mistakes and elevates patients’ perceived value of care.
Patient management will also increase your staff’s accuracy (minimized chance of errors), which benefits your healthcare organization’s bottom line in direct and indirect ways.
When patients are happier and healthier, they will trust your healthcare organization with their health journey. They may also tell their friends and family about their great patient experiences with your organization as well. And with the ideal system and tools in place, your organization will have the ability to scale patient acquisition and still provide top-quality care. More patients coming to you for care means a higher profit.
Unlike electronic medical records (EMRs) and electronic health records (EHRs), patient management systems help clinicians provide value-based care by improving patient engagement and nurturing patient-provider relationships.
Having a good patient management platform can also ease overburdened staff with automation (which may lead to higher staff job satisfaction), ensure care is always delivered in a timely fashion, and make day-to-day operations more streamlined. Don’t expect to handle all of this on your own, though—you need technology to make these benefits possible.
Benefits of using patient management software
Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of using patient management software solutions.
Think about all the various moving parts involved in delivering excellent patient care. Endless responsibilities need to be carried out, and there is a nearly impossible amount of patient data for any one individual to keep track of. Your staff is often busy with patients and simply does not have extra time and resources to spare for administrative tasks.
From the moment patients reach out to your healthcare organization, multiple teams are involved in patient care. The medical office staff takes care of paperwork. The clinicians update health information in the patient’s record. Your financial services staff take care of billing. Your goal is to keep processes moving, eliminate holdups, and make sure that quality is never compromised.
When you use an effective patient management software program, your healthcare organization may reduce costs by automating tasks, cut out wasteful or redundant steps, and even prevent downtime or lawsuits that could stem from errors.
Follow-up appointment reminders, schedule appointments, and medical billing can be automated for ease and convenience on both the care providers’ and patients’ ends. A survey from Accenture reported that 74 percent of people prefer receiving reminders via text or email, and up to 82 percent said electronic capabilities are important to them.
Additionally, you may end up with fewer mistakes due to improved communication—not to mention the ability to empower patients to take more of an active role in their health. You will also help free up valuable time and resources so staff can reroute its attention to continuity of care for patients.
Now that you understand some of the biggest advantages this type of technology can create for your healthcare organization, you will need to know how to evaluate which is the best choice for you. Luckily, we can help.
What should I look for when choosing a patient management system?
Several patient management software options are available on the market today—but not all are created equal. So, how can you determine which one to select for your organization? When choosing the best patient management software service, one of the biggest areas you need to look at is compliance. HIPAA-compliant digital tools are not optional—be sure that the platform you choose strictly adheres to HIPAA rules and regulations.
Additionally, make sure the application employs secure encryptions, comes with backup plans or disaster recovery solutions, offers plenty of space to store—and analyze—all the patient data you might need, and is user-friendly, so your staff’s already busy days aren’t spent dealing with an onerous learning curve.
Ensure the system you choose also offers multiple communication channels, real-time touchpoint tracking, easily recorded and retrievable patient records, and fast medical record transfers. These key features encourage patient communication and help build that crucial patient-provider relationship.
In fact, in the same Accenture study mentioned earlier, 82 percent of patients said they wanted quick access to reliable medical records. Out of those people, almost half felt that easy access to their doctors—via online communications—is very important.
Implementing patient management tools at your healthcare organization
You’ve heard some of the data and now understand what patients want from their care. Your patients have very similar goals to your employees—to streamline communication and clinical systems for the best patient outcomes possible. Remove extra costs, time, resources, and frustrations for both parties with an all-in-one patient management platform.
You want happy workers and elated patients so that people come back to your healthcare organization and new patients come in at rates that will propel you to the next level.
Reach your full potential and make life easier for all involved—put the optimal patient management software into practice. To learn more about how to create a patient relationship management strategy, get your FREE copy of our powerful ebook How to Create a Patient Relationship Management Strategy TODAY.