The Healthcare Provider’s Secret for Increasing Revenue…Without Adding More Staff
We’ll get right to the point: increasing revenue is as simple as increasing patient volume. What gets complicated is attempting to manage a heavy patient load in the traditional “first in, first seen” manner.
And therein lies the million dollar question: how can providers give existing patients the time needed to receive quality care while continuing to accept new ones?
The answer is: reduce the time patients spend waiting to receive this care
That’s the “secret”!
Well, almost. It’s hard to shrink the time patients have to wait when you don’t even know who will walk in the door next. Which is the day-to-day reality of most urgent care centers, ERs and many other walk-in healthcare services.
Providers can get a handle on this in two key ways
First, they can offer online appointment booking and confirmation. This gives walk-in clinics an advance idea of who will soon be arriving, helping them plan which resources, such as staff and exam rooms, will need to be available. (In another revenue boosting benefit, online confirmations also tend to decrease the number of “no shows.”)
The second part of the equation focuses on after patients arrive. Traditionally, providers have processed all incoming patients the same way—the first one in is the first to be seen. But because patients have different needs and levels of urgency, this can be a major contributing factor to bottlenecks that lead to patient dissatisfaction and entrenched practice inefficiencies.
So how can providers prioritize more patients by their unique needs, without making any wait an excessive amount of time to receive care?
One highly effective approach is to utilize workflow “dashboards.” Among other features, these dashboards use color-coded service levels to draw staff attention to unacceptable wait times at different points in the care continuum—whether the lobby, an exam room or a post-discharge instructions window.
In the immediate, staff can then be reallocated to where they’re needed most. In the longer term, analytics reveal where more (or less) resources should be directed on an ongoing basis.
Such decisions have a direct impact on revenue; indeed, many providers often discover they’ve actually been over-scheduling certain staff in an effort to accommodate unpredictable walk-in volume. With accurate trends analysis in hand, now they can schedule the right mix of administrative and clinician staff.
Want to find out more ways to increase revenue? Check out part one of this two-part series on increasing revenue by creating a superb experience that wins patient loyalty…and your reputation as a true “convenient care” provider.
This article was originally published on Jellyfish Health and is republished here with permission.