As a provider of healthcare, keeping up-to-date with the latest innovations in the sector is crucial to ensuring the continued success of your practice. In order to do that, it’s important to follow industry trends and evolution. The rise to prominence of a feature like the patient access service is one such facet of the healthcare world which simply cannot be ignored.
If you’re hesitant to transfer to this system, it would be prudent to take heed of this list – as we break down five key benefits for using the service for both you and your patients.
1. Higher Satisfaction Rates
Ultimately, as a practice your primary focus is to provide a level of care which leaves your patients feeling as highly satisfied as possible. The basic overarching aim of the patient access service is to do just that – making things as easy as possible for all involved.
With a system which allows them to carry out a wealth of different activities to meet their needs, it’s probably not much of a surprise patients are left feeling considerably more content after dealing with the electronic system.
- Book appointments
- Change their address details
- Send secure messages to practices
- View medical records
- Order repeat prescriptions
All this makes for a very happy set of users, who will be able to reach out and contact the system on a 24/7 basis without needing to take practice hours into account. Better satisfaction rates reflect in the amount of people signing up with your practice, and also goes a long way to helping you stand out as someone people feel they can trust and rely on.
2. Less Administration
Admin will always be slightly manic in practices – at least until we develop technology where everything is taken care of by a series of high-functioning automated devices. Right now, the patient access service is the closest thing we have to that, with a large proportion of duties taken out of the hands of the staff themselves.
With patients able to do a lot of the nitty gritty themselves from the comfort of their own homes, it naturally leads to a drastically decreased list of constraints and roles for admin staff to worry about. The patient access service means there are far fewer:
- Phone calls to the practice to monitor
- Prescriptions needing to be taken care of
- Clerical information entered or passed on via letter or over the phone
While it’s only natural not all patients will transfer from using a regular phone service to the newer online system immediately, there will be a significant number who do decide to make the leap. Even if that turns out to be as few as 10-20% of people on your register, it’ll still serve to take some considerable strain away from your desk staff.
3. Boosted Efficiency
It stands to reason therefore your surgery will experience a noticeable boost in efficiency levels. With attention taken away from the phones – or rather, massively lessened – it allows your staff to focus more attention on the patients who are still choosing to call up via the more conventional method.
These patients will receive a much higher level of dedication and care. With the demand for healthcare growing every year (owing to an increasing global population), it’s becoming a necessity for practices to be able to deal with the extra questions, queries and appointment bookings they’re receiving.
Right now, the patient access system is without question the best way to deal with that dilemma. The service allows staff to:
- Take more phone calls
- Reply to emails more promptly
- Manage their time better as a whole
- Provide more dedicated service to people not using the patient access system
In the meantime, the patient access users are themselves kept happy via the range of fantastic features we covered above. Effectively, with your efforts divvied out, you’ll find far greater efficiency across the board.
4. Time-saving for Everyone
It’s not just your staff who save time however, with patients themselves also finding a significant decrease in the amount of time it takes to make contact with a practice and find their needs met.
Phone users will receive a much quicker service thanks to the reasons stated above, while users of the patient access service itself will also find their time used far more economically. Minutes and hours will be saved:
- Booking appointments – with patients able to instantly find a free slot and book themselves in at their leisure
- Ordering prescriptions – rather than wasting both their own time and that of staff, patients can check their most recent prescription and apply for a reorder
- Viewing records – there’s no need to have staff chasing records, with patients able to instantly find a full list of their history
It may also escape immediate notice, but in the exclusive case of patients it’ll also save both time and money for them when it comes to travelling to the practice. This might not have a direct impact on you, but it serves to boost that all-important customer satisfaction rating.
5. Better Understanding for Patients
Unlimited access to their personal medical records will also serve to hand patients a considerably more detailed understanding of their own needs. This will have several benefits to a practice, with just some of them including:
- Allowing patients to make more informed decisions of when they do and don’t need to contact the practice
- A seriously reduced need to be making regular calls to a practice owing to the amount of basic info which they’ll find online
- Better overall satisfaction and comfort levels for patients who might otherwise have panicked if they couldn’t get through
- Less cancelled appointments, thanks to the fact patients themselves will be the ones attempting to schedule meetings with their GPs
An increased knowledge of the medical world for patients only serves to bring everything into some sort of harmony – where the gulf between GPs and the people they treat is, at least partially, lessened. A better understanding of all things medical can only be good for all involved in the long-term.
If you’re a practice who feel they could utilise their time more efficiently, or are being bogged down by a series of calls which you feel could be dealt with via the click of a button, patient access services are the way forward for you.
Why not check out the amazing patient access service Premier Patient Line offer? Having spent years working to make surgeries as productive as possible, we know what we’re talking about when it comes to boosting practice efficiency and satisfaction levels.