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R1 RCMNovember 9, 2020

Navigating the Digital Patient Journey: What a Typical Care Visit Looks Like in 2020

Patient checking into appointment using mobile device from car.

If you’ve visited a practice or hospital since COVID-19 hit, chances are you’ve noticed significant changes both prior to and after your appointment such as: receiving a text or email inviting you to complete pre-registration work or a digital COVID pre-screening questionnaire, checking in with your phone from your car or filling out an online survey post-visit.

 

All these actions illustrate how in a matter of months, the tedious, paper-based healthcare experience has been replaced by highly efficient, digital processes leaving patients and providers asking the following questions regarding what’s next:

 

  • While this new way of interacting with providers undoubtedly offers convenience and ensures safety, what other advantages are being offered?
  • Now that in-person interaction is being kept to a minimum, and all administrative work is being handled digitally, what does a typical care visit entail or look like for the patient and provider?

 

For answers to these questions, providers need to look at solutions like R1’s Patient Experience platform, which is empowering patients to have more choice and control. The platform gives them the tools needed to easily engage with providers and ensure all the right resources come together at the right time so they receive necessary care much more quickly. This blog walks through the four main phases of a patient’s care journey to show how R1’s Patient Experience platform enhances each touchpoint.

 

Phase 1: Scheduling an Appointment

The patient experience platform gives patients the ability to self-schedule at any time, at any location across a health system’s network using their internet-connected devices. For example, if it’s time to schedule an annual service, such as a mammogram screening, the patient can quickly schedule an appointment at a time and location that’s most convenient. In the case of a physician order, such as for an MRI, as soon as the physician enters the electronic order it triggers a text or email to the patient with a link to easily self-schedule the appointment. Alternatively, the physician office staff can book a follow-up appointment with an in-network provider while the patient is still in the office to ensure patients never leave a care setting without next steps in hand.

 

The patient experience platform takes critical factors into account on the back end that can ultimately impact when and where a patient receives care such as:

  • Availability for necessary providers and resources
  • Financial requirements and insurance specifications
  • Patient’s preferences for location, date and time
  • Key clinical or procedural aspects

 

Another way the platform makes life easier for patients and providers is that it can trigger automated pre-service clearance when an order is received. The electronic order is ingested and run through the appropriate network and eligibility checks, member benefit determinations, and prior authorization requirements to clear the patient as quickly as possible, often within minutes. This ensures the rendering provider receives everything they need to proceed, thereby reducing errors, omissions and care delays. For more on how order management can be streamlined with the R1 Patient Experience platform, read our Five Ways Digital Engagement Can Elevate the Provider Experience blog.

 

With the patient experience platform, administrative work such as scheduling and pre-clearance that typically would have required an extensive back and forth process has been replaced by a straightforward digital process that is extremely easy to navigate.

 

Phase 2: Handling Pre-Registration Work 

Before the actual visit can take place, patients need to complete pre-registration work to ensure their medical history and insurance details are captured. With R1, the entire pre-registration process starts before the patient arrives for the appointment, allowing them to complete the various tasks from the comfort of their own home or on the go using their preferred devices. A few days before the scheduled appointment, the patient will receive a text or email reminder message with a link inviting them to pre-register online and complete tasks, such as:

  • Uploading their insurance card and photo ID
  • Electronically signing necessary digital forms, such as consent
  • Filling out COVID or other screeners
  • Acknowledging necessary legal paperwork such as: notice of privacy practices, bill of rights, safety letter, etc.
  • Reviewing an estimation for the cost of services.

 

The platform also prefills data previously provided by the patient, not only making the pre-registration process quicker, but also reducing the chance of missing data that could result in denials or billing issues further down the road in the revenue cycle process.

 

In addition to increased convenience and efficiency, R1 clients have also seen a 50% reduction in front desk/administrative activities through use of our patient experience platform. In-person contact can now be reduced – meeting new needs of COVID-19 and allowing staff to allocate more time toward serving more complex patient needs. A faster, more efficient pre-registration process also helps providers stay on track with their busy schedules and decreases delays.

 

Phase 3: Finishing Check in and Completing the Visit

Similar to how they had to complete pre-registration work once they arrived for their appointment, patients also had to finish the overall check in process the same way. Now when a patient arrives, the patient experience platform allows them to check-in from their personal device:

  • Patient receives a text and simply clicks on a link upon arrival. If the patient has any outstanding items, the front desk staff will be notified, and the patient will receive concierge-level service focused on completing those open tasks.
  • After completing check-in, the patient waits for an alert saying they can enter the facility.
  • The patient enters the facility and the staff takes the patient directly to a treatment room.

 

Phase 4: Post-Visit Follow Ups 

Once the visit is over, the patient must make sure follow-up appointments are scheduled, wait for the final bill, ensure its paid on-time, and take any necessary next steps required for their treatment plan.

  • The patient experience platform makes the next phase of a patient’s journey less overwhelming by allowing them to complete the following tasks immediately after the visit takes place:
  • Easily self-schedule necessary follow-up appointments online, from any device –if the provider has not already done so.
  • View results and care reports summarizing the patient’s visit.
  • Review EOBs, pay bills online, set up automated payments for subsequent visits and discuss financial assistance options if needed.

 

The platform also allows providers to conduct valuable follow-up and help patients stay on track with their treatment plans. With the R1 Patient Experience platform, providers can:

  • Send customized post-visit surveys to collect valuable patient feedback that can improve overall patient satisfaction and care outcomes.
  • Set up timely medication and treatment reminders, and accurately track and measure patient reported outcomes (PROs).
  • Monitor ongoing patient progress through PROs and data brought into their EHR.

 

The days of relying on manual handoffs, waiting on hold for an eternity and feeling overwhelmed are over. With solutions like R1’s Patient Experience platform, providers can now offer one consistent digital resource that patients can utilize across their care journey that will shield them from the complexity of the revenue cycle, make administrative processes much simpler and, most importantly, allocate more time toward receiving valuable care.

 

 

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Register for our upcoming webinar session , "Optimizing Digital Patient Experience - 10 Point Checklist for Success" featuring  Dr. Ronald Hirsch, MD, FACP,  CHCQM, VP of Physician Advisory Solutions at R1 and Joe Polaris, MBA, SVP of Product & Technology at R1.