Influencing the Patient Experience Starts at the Front Desk
Improving the total patient experience is on the agenda of most healthcare organizations today. A newly published white paper suggests that customer service—throughout the revenue cycle—plays a vital role in the patient experience.
According to the whitepaper, The Revenue Cycle: An Essential Component in Improving Patient Experience by The Beryl Institute, good customer service—at each step of the revenue cycle process—is often more recognized by patients than quality healthcare; and good customer service often leads to increased patient satisfaction.
A typical revenue cycle in healthcare includes coding, insurance verification, third-party payers, financial counseling, billing, payment, or follow-up and collection. The white paper suggests that every step of the revenue process impacts the patient experience—beginning with the patient’s first interaction with the organization in scheduling his/her appointment, to discharge and communications with the finance department.
Here are four suggestions, noted in the white paper, for healthcare organizations to improve customer service at every step of the revenue cycle process:
1. Establish patient loyalty as an organization-wide goal
2. Educate employees on the new initiative
3. Train employees on essential interpersonal and soft skills
4. Ensure outsourced business providers also understand the new goals
The white paper’s research stems from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) annual survey. The HCAHPS survey is the first national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care.