What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you provide care for a patient?
Doctors agree that giving immediate and effective treatment is the #1 priority. Even better, if it is something you can prevent and treat in its early stages.
But to carry out these processes manually is exhausting.
The way we consult a doctor has changed since the pandemic broke out. While patients quickly adopted virtual consultation, several hospitals did not have the personnel or equipment necessary to do so. Most of all, they had no system to manage and oversee patients and their needs.
This brings us to the crux of this article: patient management. A patient management software can help you improve your practice’s efficiency and effectiveness. But before we get into that, let’s delve into what a patient management system does.
What is patient management system?
A Patient Management System or PMS is a tool to manage your administrative tasks and store patient records. It aims at improving your practice efficiency, delivering timely care, and improving patient experience and outcomes.
A patient management system typically performs the following functions.
- Automates appointment scheduling
- Provides e-forms or intake forms for patients to fill before admission.
- Records interactions
- Manages referrals
- Allows payments
- Maintains electronic records of your patients and their medical history
- Makes it easy for patients to access test results, prescriptions, etc. through patient portals.
These are just some of several features you can use with a patient management system. But you might wonder, why should we digitize these processes? What change can this software create in the lives of doctors and patients? To understand the benefits of a PMS, we need to know the challenges healthcare workers face.
Challenges faced by healthcare professionals
Today, patients want advanced and efficient care at short wait times. At the same time, doctors and healthcare professionals want to concentrate on treatment rather than paperwork and reports.
Below are some of the most common challenges they face due to the lack of a PMS:
- Inconsistent appointments, inefficient processes, and higher healthcare costs.
- Have to manually record information of dozens of patients.
- Lack of reliable patient history records and gathering.
- A lack of information sharing between departments or locations
- Changes in treatment are rarely communicated on time.
- Payment processes can be long-winding and involve different insurance companies.
- The patient experience worsens with long wait times and inefficient care.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the healthcare. In the meantime, patients have higher expectations of doctors and the healthcare sector.
Your prospective patients consult Google before they choose a provider. For instance, 94% of patients read online reviews when selecting a doctor or provider. Therefore, your online presence has become necessary.
Today, healthcare institutions face a tough competition online as well. Almost every provider has a website. Thus, what differentiates you are patient experience and satisfaction.
So, what can you do to meet these expectations?
The answer is—implement a Patient Management System.
The features and benefits of a patient management system
As we have seen, administrative tasks take up a lot of time, which could otherwise be spent on patients and delivering better care.
Hospitals and private practices aim at reducing operational costs to increase profitability. A patient management software is a great aid in this pursuit. Let’s look at some of its key features that automates operations.
1. Schedule appointments at ease
Appointment scheduling is an inescapable aspect of any in-person interaction. Recent research shows that:
- Around 48% of patients prefer to arrange appointments over the phone.
- In contrast, 43% prefer to book appointments online. This is a percentage that is increasing every year.
Several hospitals/clinics are yet to install online channels of communication. This can decrease your chances of patient acquisition.
A patient management system can ensure that you effectively schedule any future appointments. It can track and record information from various sources. Thus, allowing you to follow up with patients and reduce no-shows. It makes it simple to book appointments for patients as well. Patients can check the doctor’s availability and book an appointment online.
Appointment automation immensely reduce wait times and evenly distribute leads among providers. It also manages patient-to-medical-staff communication to confirm diagnostic and treatment sessions.
Some patient management systems like Healthcare CRM integrate with EHR to access and update patient information. Others collect and process critical patient data for use in the billing software.
2. Record patient information and their medical history
Providers should track, store, and access their patients’ medical records.
While both EHR and patient management system can store patient records, they serve different purposes. EHR systems are built to make heath records sharable and accessible across the healthcare ecosystem. Whereas a PMS tool ensures that you have access to all the patient interactions—even if they have consulted multiple departments.
With a PMS software and EHR, you easily get access to patient records, such as:
- Demographic information
- Vitals and personalized statistics like age and weight
- Medical history
- Drug and allergy information
- Vaccination status
- Laboratory test records and results
- Radiological pictures
- Payment details
Before selecting a patient information management system, figure out what you need. For instance, you should be able record, update, and archive critical patient data. It should take place within the system for access during future encounters.
3. Track all your patient interactions and touchpoints
The PMS keeps track of and optimizes patient contact. It carries out such actions before they even enter the hospital. Electronic intake forms are typically generated by the patient check-in software module.
These forms are for them to fill out ahead of their visit. These processes speed up a patient’s first clinic or hospital appointment while simultaneously cutting down on time spent completing paperwork in person.
Patients will check-in online once they arrive, and the system logs their wait times. The patient’s wait time information provides metrics for performance evaluations.
Patient management software keeps track of:
- Exam room availability and the progress of each exam.
- Users can take notes immediately within the system
- Patient diagnosis and health concerns.
- Tracks the medical provider’s performance and care.
Patient engagement tools are another great asset to your PMS. Most engagement tools are features within the software.
Hospitals, medical offices, and other institutions need to meet healthcare consumer expectations. Most patients expect medical professionals to provide excellent personalized care. They want their providers to:
- Show compassion
- Acknowledge their needs
- Communicate quickly
- Provide easy access to relevant information.
Patient engagement tools make it easier to urge patients to take an active role in their care. It promotes the development of a collaborative patient-doctor connection. It eventually helps improve patient satisfaction and experience.
4. Medical transactions and billing software for seamless invoicing
Nobody likes to talk about money in healthcare, yet it’s an unavoidable part of the profession. Billing features in patient management systems help to relieve the strain of invoicing. Additionally, Research estimates the CAGR of medical billing software to grow at 5.1% from 2020 to 2027.
This feature in a PMS keeps track of all previous and existing payment details. Along with this, it records prescription details for patients. Hospital billing features validate insurance eligibility when a patient checks in.
This ensures that everybody is aware of co-payments and insurance coverages. PMS automates the revenue cycle after contacts, prescriptions, procedures, or other services. This is to standardize every patient’s bill and revenue received. Some advanced systems even allow buying prescribed medicines from the network pharmaceuticals.
The software also sends out automated payment reminders when payments are due. In a nutshell, a patient management system:
- Keeps track of claim status
- Manages patient accounts
- Automates the billing process
- Sends payment reminders
- Allows online payment
Another benefit of the payments module of patient management system is it automates reminders through SMS, email, WhatsApp, etc. Thus, you won’t have to check accounts and remind patients to fulfil payments regularly.
5. Predictive reports and improved patient relationship management
Patient progress reports assist you in predicting what your patients might require. The predictions can be based on their:
- Actions and lifestyle
- Medical and genetic history
- Hereditary conditions and allergies
- Current health and existing illnesses
The software helps predict future health concerns after analyzing such factors. It helps you boost patient retention rates. Also, it enables patients to take efforts to avoid preventable diseases. Most doctors will agree that it’s far easier to overcome any illness when you curb it in its early stages.
Along with predictive reports, PMS helps you create meaningful doctor-patient relationships. Most patient management systems integrate with a CRM tool or are healthcare CRMs.
Patient relationship management is an essential aspect of hospital management. It helps you identify and close gaps in the treatment journey.
A PMS does this by providing speedy actionable insights about patient needs. For instance, imagine prospective patients leaving the health system following a consultation. This is a signal that you may need to reconsider your engagement plan.
Having access to these data will enable you to create well-informed engagement. This makes patients feel heard and involved, thereby enhancing your patient retention efforts. Patient management software raises the bar in terms of delivering care. It helps medical facilities of all sizes to:
- Provide personalized patient care with the help of analytics.
- Reduce patient wait times through the accurate distribution of patients to available providers.
- Schedule appointments based on availability and patient needs.
- Improve revenue cycles by digitizing billing processes and linking up with insurance providers.
By now, you must have realized the benefits a PMS can bring to your practice. Perhaps, the next question in your mind would be—which is the best patient management system?
Well, we’re here to answer that.
The best patient management software for your practice
You’ll find several tools for the healthcare industry. But remember to implement software that is user-friendly and reliable. HIPAA compliance is a must for security purposes when it comes to a PMS.
Patients worldwide expect total confidentiality, and doctors provide the same. This can get tricky when you add a patient information collection tool.
The most popular tool for managing patient profiles and relationships with them is the healthcare CRM software. The global healthcare CRM market is expected to reach $37,624.0 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 14.1% from 2021 to 2030. The growth is due to the range of services and tools it provides for automating patient journeys and improving communication between patients and providers.
If you’re on the lookout for a secure and efficient healthcare CRM, try LeadSquared!
LeadSquared CRM is a HIPAA compliant patient relationship management software. It allows you to:
- Automatically distribute appointment requests and other inquiries. You can do this depending on your specified criteria within the CRM. (you can include criteria such as age, gender, location, etc.)
- With account management, group members of one family together as a unit.
- Personalize communication at each phase to improve patient involvement and communication.
- Build multiple journeys (automated workflows) for the types of services you provide.
- Access all patient demographics, social profiles, and behavioral data.
- Collect post-appointment patient feedback
“We’ve roughly doubled the amount of leads we’re able to manage. A lot of that is due to the time-saving factor of working with LeadSquared. We’re able to cut down our turnaround time responding to inquiries and reach out to and communicate with many more leads.”Tamara Young, Director of Marketing, PSYCHē
Click here for a quick demo!