Extending an Improved Patient Experience Beyond Hospital Walls

    

Part 4 of Access’s Improving your Hospital’s HCAHPS Score Strategy series

Last week, we explored how to create a positive, knock-on effect at your hospital by improving the patient experience, which in turn boosts HCAHPS scores. It’s a strategy with revenue implications, when high scores can equal a bonus of up to 2% of your total Medicare reimbursement. But as profound as switching paperwork for eForms and electronic patient signatures can be within the four walls of your facility, the promise of going paperless can be extended further into patients’ homes.

Patient-hospital communication comprises 70 percent of each person’s overall HCAHPS score. Face-to-face communication is much easier. What happens when you need to continue the dialogue outside the hospital?

A better patient experience starts at home

In an age when you can order your morning cappuccino with an app, hire a personal grocery shopper directly from your phone, and book a table at the best restaurant in the city without needing to sweet talk the maître d’, we’ve all come to expect a high level of instant convenience. And yet, there are still situations in which the exact opposite is true, and we’re still dealing with outdated, paper-heavy processes.

One example is the scheduling process at a hospital or doctor’s office. Patients are often asked to arrive at least 20 minutes early so they can tackle an intimidating stack of paper forms—some of which they’ve likely filled out previously—before their scheduled care begins.

Imagine how much easier it would be if, as a patient, you could just arrive at the time of your appointment, have your procedure, test, or exam—knowing all the while that your care provider has all the information they need to know about you. This isn’t some utopian fantasy, it’s a reality when healthcare providers choose to kick cumbersome paper to the curb and replace it with an efficient electronic forms and patient signatures solution.

E-forms and eSignatures can be integrated with the hospital’s or physician practice’s existing patient portal to serve up forms in a digital format as needed. Certain demographic information can be pre-filled, speeding completion even more. Patients can easily complete the required documentation in minutes from the comfort of their home using their device of choice.

Paperless perks post-appointment

Patient electronic signatures and eForms can also improve post-visit patient communications. Whether it’s corresponding with the care team about prescriptions, scheduling a follow up appointment, or asking questions about discharge instructions, digital documentation can be integrated with a portal like Epic MyChart to simplify and expedite interactions with the patient.

When hospitals use paperless forms technology to bookend hospital visits, it can help transform the patient experience within and outside your facility walls. With this more complete approach to forms completion, patients are more likely to give your facility higher HCAHPS scores, which increases the possibility of earning that coveted reimbursement bonus—and avoiding up to a 2% penalty for low scores.

Creating an end-to-end positive experience also increases the likelihood a patient will return next time they need care and pass along referrals to their friends and family. This is another crucial factor in maintaining or increasing revenue in a healthcare market that’s become increasingly competitive.

By making electronic forms and patient signatures part of your comprehensive HCAHPS Score Strategy, you have a simple yet powerful way to impact patient satisfaction and ensure the best possible feedback when it matters most.

 

About The Author - Cody Strate

For more than 10 years, Cody has helped healthcare organizations worldwide eliminate the costs and risks of paper through e-forms and e-signature solutions. In addition to helping others achieve their paperless goals, Cody finds time to put his biochemistry degree to work in the kitchen testing out new recipes on his unsuspecting family.

Feel free to email me here.