The current general market environment (doctor and workforce shortages) is a huge challenge for the private healthcare sector. Growth may be hampered by the significant additional costs of recruiting and retaining lower value-added clinical staff (reception, client services). Continuous staff turnover makes it difficult to maintain a consistently high quality of service. This problem is a general feature of the life of the institutions and there is no prospect of a positive change in the short or even medium term, but rather the opposite.
Our discussions have shown that these problems have become a daily issue in the lives of our partners and it is legitimate to ask: what is the solution? How can we keep the escalating costs under control? How can we keep the workforce and reduce turnover?
In our opinion, there is no perfect solution, however by automating and standardizing processes, administrative costs can be significantly reduced and the training time of new colleagues can be radically reduced. In the following, based on the experiences of our partners, we have mapped the key points where significant improvement can be achieved.
- Habits: "the way we do it"
In almost all our personal visits to clinics, we have encountered some of the poor and inefficient processes that are taken for granted in clinic life – processes that, by automating, can do a lot to make work more convenient and faster, while increasing staff satisfaction.
We see that by changing these "bad habits" we can achieve immediate efficiency gains. We also see that there is a lot of "human resistance" at the beginning, because we are trying to renew an old habit, but in a short time, experience shows that everyone is much more satisfied.
Periodically review your internal processes and operations!
Ask Medio's experts for help and request our free process audit service! our free process audit service!
- Implementation and optimization of online booking
In a modern clinic, it's hard to imagine making appointments over the phone. It's easier for the patient to plan ahead, and the receptionist's life is less stressful if the phone isn't ringing off the hook and she's focused on the patient.
However, the existence of online booking does not automatically mean that it works optimally.
These challenges are effectively addressed by Medio, which has been developed from the outset with an approach to provide the perfect user experience and maximise booking conversions, thereby significantly reducing indirect administrative costs.
In a survey following the launch of Medio's online booking system, 92% of respondents said that our system had simplified and speeded up their work. And where there was no online booking, online penetration averaged 20% within 2 weeks of implementation.
Once online booking is optimised, the next challenge is to automate notifications. In many cases, we see that the reception manually sends a confirmation email to the patient, calls, sends them an SMS, etc.
This is where it really takes significant man-hours,(up to 1-2 hours per person per day) away from the tasks that actually require a human being. In addition to the wasted man-hours in manual notification handling, there is also the potential for error (typos, wrong recipient, etc.)
And in the case of semi-automated systems, communication between different systems causes disruption, inconsistency and consequently extra work.
Medio automates the entire notification workflow for its partners. For medium sized clinics (over 25 doctors) with multiple receptionists, they save up to one working day a week just by using notification automation.
- Reception and patient management
Once the patient has arrived at the clinic, the first person they meet is the receptionist. As soon as you have recorded your details (if this is not handled digitally) you can return to work, you may have had 3-4 missed calls in the meantime, and then a patient with a complaint comes in. These things reduce the attention you pay to the patient, which can result in negative feedback.
The receptionist job is not an easy one, and due to the wide range of activities and the many manual processes involved, it can often be extremely stressful for employees. The main risk here is patient dissatisfaction (e.g. if the patient does not receive enough attention), or that the receptionist quitting. Given the staff shortages outlined earlier, this is not a situation any clinic would want to face.
Relieving the receptionist's workload and managing patients is therefore of paramount importance and definitely a process worth addressing.
Imagine an ideal world:
The patient arrives at the clinic, scans the QR code on their phone, the receptionist and doctor are informed, the system arrives, assigns the patient a number and directs them to the clinic.
Medio can help with this by automating the entire check-in process. This can be complemented by a custom mobile app or Medio's general app, which can also realise the above ideal world for our partners.
- Document management
Almost all our partners have receptionists who manually handle the delivery of documents (invoices, outpatient sheets, medical records, etc..) to patients. This generates hours of wasted work every day, not to mention the risk of errors.
In fact, a large proportion of complaint assessments can be traced back to the patient not receiving a bill or an artifact in a timely manner. Automating document management is a difficult task, as these documents contain sensitive data that must be handled with special care, also because of the GDPR.
Medio provides its partners with a simple solution for this high-priority process, as all documents are immediately synchronised and forwarded to both the care manager and the patient in the case of a type 3 medical system integration.
Patients can access their documents related to current and previous bookings through the dedicated patient portal and mobile app after 2-factor authentication.