How to stop revenue leakage with effective patient scheduling

With the rise of the demanding consumer in the 21st century, effective patient scheduling means self-scheduling.

As featured on Healthcare IT News on 04-28-2021

Rick Halton, VP of Product & Marketing

Patient scheduling can be a complex and time-consuming task. Schedulers working the phones to line up patient visits take an average of eight minutes to nail down each appointment. A full-time worker dedicated to this task might schedule around 50 appointments a day.

With the rise of the demanding consumer in the 21st century, effective patient scheduling means self-scheduling. Patients are ready for this shift, most have already experienced self-scheduling and most prefer that their provider offers this option. For many patients, the ability to use patient self-scheduling may even be the deciding factor in choosing a doctor.

Thankfully, self-scheduling automation technology has arrived, promising less time-consuming ways to schedule, allowing patients to schedule on their own time conveniently. This approach means you can dedicate more of your employee’s time to focus on serving new patients or complex, multi-part appointments rather than chasing existing patients who need a simple follow-up appointment.

Ensuring you automatically nudge your existing patients to self-schedule at the right time along their care journey keeps them coming back on the right path and boosts patient satisfaction – all in all, this approach assists effective patient scheduling that reduces revenue leakage. A simple self-scheduling revenue calculator can be used as an easy way to work out just how much revenue leakage you can avoid.

Moreover, for the care journey and self-scheduling to be effective, they must be orchestrated together.

Six patient self-scheduling use cases that stop revenue leakage

Below are six use cases that reduce revenue leakage and illustrate the importance of thinking about self-scheduling as part of an effectively orchestrated care journey:

  1. 1. Referral self-scheduling: automatically assist patients by self-scheduling in-network referrals such as routine vaccinations, health assessments, prostate exams, or pap smears. Patients failing to set up their referral can be a significant source of revenue leakage.
  2. 2. Ancillary service self-scheduling: automatically trigger patient self-scheduling based on an EHR order message, ensuring appropriate tests are completed before the visit. This not only prevents ancillary service revenue leakage but also helps reduce late cancellations.
  3. 3. Follow-up self-scheduling: automatically prompt patients to book follow-up appointments during their care journey. Without easy access to appointment self-scheduling, patients may delay or forget to schedule follow-up care, such as a specialist review or rehabilitation, causing providers to miss out on appropriate reimbursable visits.
  4. 4. Rescheduling: automatically nudge patients to reschedule immediately after a canceled or missed appointment — a significant source of revenue leakage. Ensuring patients reschedule promptly will help increase appointment revenue and clinician utilization.
  5. 5. Discharge self-scheduling: automatically trigger primary care self-scheduling upon hospital discharge for in-network patients, ensuring fast and timely follow-up care. Research shows that lack of primary care follow-up after discharge is a leading cause of readmissions and penalties.
  6. 6. Recall self-scheduling: automatically request patients to self-schedule a recall for a routine screening procedure like mammography, endoscopy, or prostate examination. Patient self-scheduling for recall ensures timely screening and reduces revenue leakage.

As you can see, self-scheduling is a vital slice of a larger care experience pie that requires orchestration to be effective. The ideal self-scheduling solution is one that offers this orchestration and integrates with the provider’s EHR, ensuring the sequencing and automatic triggering of scheduled events, thus keeping the patient on track with appropriate appointments.

Stop revenue leakage and orchestrate your patient care journey here.