How is Software Improving Patient Satisfaction in Healthcare?
Patient satisfaction is the cornerstone for success in healthcare organizations. Improving patient satisfaction is at the center impacting clinical outcomes, patient retention, and reimbursement claims.
Software that improves patient satisfaction makes a healthcare provider’s job easier. From more efficient scheduling to the training of surgeons, there are many direct and indirect benefits for patients and providers alike.
Today, more healthcare providers are utilizing software for tasks that historically were a drain on time and resources to improve their patients’ satisfaction while reducing the administrative burden on staff.
Did you know that according to a DrFirst survey, 91% of 200 U.S. respondents would rather communicate via text with their care team?
Reliable, simple communication across all levels and areas of care is invaluable. It leads to improved patient satisfaction and better health outcomes. Using texting you can streamline your communications with your patients while saving time and improving patient retention.
SMS software between healthcare providers and patients has come a long way in recent years. It offers a HIPAA compliant method of communicating with patients for a variety of functions, including sending automated appointment reminders and rescheduling cancelled appointments.
Scheduling is one of the common pain points for healthcare systems. Waiting days or weeks for an appointment can be a frustrating experience for patients. Oftentimes, when a patient needs care, they need it right away.
Moreover, cancellations, no-shows, and late arrivals create gaps in providers’ schedules, leading to unrealized revenue. Using software to manage an automated waitlist can help fill cancelled and no-show appointments. Immediately rescheduling patient no-shows increases the likelihood they end up coming in for a later appointment and offering those open slots to patients who would like to get in sooner improves patient satisfaction.
RELATED: Definitive Guide to Patient Access
Access to Information
The use of paperwork in health systems and most healthcare facilities is becoming a thing of the past. Storing, updating and sharing of information is fast and secure.
Electronic health records, practice management systems, and healthcare information systems enable improved data management and patient outcomes. Plus, there are solutions tailored to every speciality – from dental offices to radiology.
How does this improve patient satisfaction? This is because patients have far easier access to their information than ever before. For instance, medical portals give patients 24/7 access to important health data, such as:
- recent visits
- medication doses
- allergy lists
- lab test results
- discharge summaries
Providing patients with this access helps give them a sense of autonomy over their health outcomes. Through the ability to access their data, patients can become fully knowledgeable of and engaged in their treatment plans.
In essence, the patient becomes another caregiver who’s able to keep themselves safe. However, some patients aren’t aware that under HIPAA they have a right to full access to their data. Ensure that all of your patients are aware of their rights, and encourage them to utilize their medical portals.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average patient generates about 80 megabytes of data each year. Health Systems are now able to store immense amounts of patient records as well as x-rays and CT scans.
Big data gathers all this raw data and converts it to knowledge. Healthcare providers are able to study insights that they may have otherwise missed. This knowledge is invaluable, and it can include:
- faster identification of adherence shortfalls
- evidence-based care
- comprehensive sharing of data with insurance providers and other stakeholders
- understanding of chronic conditions
- boosting self-care
- avoidance of costly treatments
Without big data, all of the data gathered and the insightful knowledge derived from it would be wasted.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
AR and VR solutions are already widely used in medical training. Instead of standing back and watching a surgery take place, students can train by simulating an operation through VR. Surgeons are also able to wear VR cameras and live to stream their surgeries to students.
This kind of training is invaluable because patient harm through medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
These solutions lead to better trained, more knowledgeable healthcare practitioners. This directly improves patient satisfaction. Moreover, these technologies are also used to provide the patients with a VR tour of their medical condition, such as a gastrointestinal test. This has a great impact on patient satisfaction. With greater understanding for the patient comes a greater sense of control over their own health outcomes.
Is Software HIPAA Compliant?
HIPAA compliance for software determines whether you’ll even consider using new software in your organization. This is a complicated issue, but it comes down to what the software application is being used for.
An app collecting personal data doesn’t need to be HIPAA compliant. This is because it’s for the exclusive use of that patient. Personal data is considered Protected Health Information that needs to be HIPAA compliant if information is shared between medical professionals, insurance companies, and other HIPAA covered entities.
Software developers are required to have three types of safeguards to protect patient data: administrative, physical, and technical.
This means that you should seek software that prioritizes security through:
- Tracking – The software needs to be able to track every user’s actions. It also needs to be able to track patient authorizations and when they’re about to expire.
- User Roles – You should have the ability to categorize user roles, and define who sees what depending on what is necessary for their job.
- Physical Security and Encryption – The software needs to be able to encrypt information, with security at the data centers themselves.
- Backups – ensure that the software developer has mechanisms in place to keep old information safe.
Improving Patient Satisfaction through Software
Improving patient satisfaction through software comes in many forms throughout your healthcare organization. It starts with before a new patient ever walks through the door. Smart use of software is critical to keep up with the quickly evolving healthcare industry.
Improving patient satisfaction should be one of your primary goals. Social media, search engines, and websites provide a wealth of data and patients are more aware than ever before of the care quality providers are offering. They expect convenience, transparency, and collaboration as the standard.
Patient satisfaction begins with how quickly you’re able to get them into the office. Interested in improving your health system’s efficiency by automating scheduling? Request a free demo from QueueDr today to see how.