Today’s healthcare providers know that exceptional clinical care and quality outcomes are not enough—patients expect more when it comes to their healthcare experiences. With patients increasingly bearing more of their healthcare costs, hospitals and health systems need to take steps to ensure that a patient’s financial experience meets or exceeds expectations. Often, patients wish their healthcare experience could be as simple as their interactions with other industries such as checking in for a flight, paying a credit card, or even making a dinner reservation online.
Accordingly, innovative healthcare providers are partnering with R1 to guide them on a digital transformation journey focused on improving the healthcare experience for patients. The overall goal is to provide patients with self-service scheduling for their appointments, allow patients to complete pre-registration where and when they want on their digital devices, receive accurate out-of-pocket payment estimates, and set up and manage payment plans. This consolidated experience increases functionality, effectiveness, and efficiency and truly exceeds patients’ expectations as measured by survey results.
While many people may assume that not all patients are open to digital healthcare experiences, a 2014 study by McKinsey & Co. found that more than 75 percent of all patients expect to use digital services in the future[i]. Patient surveys conducted by R1 have also found that 76 percent of patients want to use digital services to reduce wait times and simplify their experience, and that older patients are twice as likely to provide positive net loyalty scores as those of younger patients if provided with digital services.
Digital self-service platforms are applications that allow a patient to obtain information or complete a business transaction on a computer or device that has traditionally required the help of a human representative. By enabling digital solutions such as online scheduling, mobile access, pre-registration, and check-in arrival stations, patients will save time and enjoy increased convenience.
Overview of Patient Experience (PX)
R1’s digital self-service platform, The R1 Patient Experience (PX), won the 2018 Most Innovative New Product award from HFMA, the industry’s leading association for healthcare financial executives. R1 PX is a digital self-service solution that enables patients to manage their data in a single easy-to-use environment, from appointment to appointment, thereby markedly improving patient satisfaction. Health systems who deploy R1 PX can standardize the patient registration process, free registration staff to focus on the patient experience, maintain optimal wayfinding to their destination, and ensure a smooth check-in process that enhances the overall patient experience.
Last year, R1 rolled out R1 PX to a number of hospitals within Ascension Health – one of the largest health systems in the United States. R1 PX has been extremely well-received by patients and patient satisfaction surveys have indicated that 89% of patients rated their patient financial experience as good, very good or excellent!
Through these satisfaction surveys, R1 has received valuable patient feedback on R1 PX. One 70-year-old patient, who admitted to being technology challenged, said he couldn’t believe how easy using the R1 PX kiosk was and that the new check-in process got him where he needed to be much more quickly. Another patient told us the check-in process was much more efficient, and remarkably better than the previous antiquated process where patients had to sign in and sit in the waiting room for an extended period of time only to be called up to the front desk to answer more questions. A hospital employee also told us that PX has been a great addition to her center, and that one of the great features of the R1 approach is that there is a nearby registrar on staff just in case patients need any assistance when using the new process.
The Digital Self-Service Impact on Patient Financial Experience and Hospitals’ Bottom Lines
Patient feedback and data from R1 customers make it clear that digital self-service solutions, such as the R1 PX platform, are personalizing the financial experience and significantly reducing the amount of time and focus spent on administrative tasks upfront.
In addition to helping patients, healthcare organizations can also benefit from digital self-service by decreasing the cost and time spent resolving errors, increasing collection rates, reducing the number of missed appointments and creating a sense of precision and accuracy with internal processes that allows these groups to scale.
Simply put, digital self-service technologies provide a way to fully align revenue cycle with the patient experience. Healthcare organizations should be looking to partner with vendors who can provide this type of technology and implement it in a way that compliments and enhances their current RCM processes and systems.
To learn more about R1 PX and other digital transformation solutions from R1, including how they can help improve business outcomes, click here.
To watch a video that illustrates how the PX platform works, click here.
[i] Stefan Fiesdorf and Florian Niedermann, “Healthcare’s digital future,” 2014.