4 tactics to harness data analytics for patient access engagement and efficiency

As healthcare consumers and regulatory bodies push for more transparency in medical services and transactions, provider organizations are applying greater focus and resources on sustainable solutions to fragmented front-end revenue cycle processes. In this blog post, I’ll cover 4 tactics that can help you capitalize on the power of data analytics to drive improvements in engagement and efficiency among your front-end revenue teams. We’ll also discuss a few common barriers to success and how to overcome them.

If you have any follow-up questions after reading, my team and I would love to answer them; you can find contact information at the end of the post.

Tactic #1: Organize tasks and processes efficiently

Optimizing workflow is a common goal of many organizations and teams, but it takes on a new level of importance for healthcare providers—particularly in the front office. For many patients, front-office representatives are the first point of contact, and this interaction can set the tone for their experience throughout the encounter.

Data-powered worklists integrate various task sources to streamline registration processes by highlighting outstanding tasks and identifying patient progress on pre-visit requirements. Advanced analytics also deliver automation capabilities for critical steps like preauthorization and eligibility verification, ultimately reducing staff burden and improving price transparency.

Tactic #2: Track estimates from start to finish

Since the government has become more involved in setting expectations around financial communication with patients, we can expect thorough audits to follow. It’s imperative—both for process improvement and audit preparation—to have a clear view of how cost of care is calculated prior to treatment and how that estimate holds up throughout and after the encounter.

An effective analytics tool takes in information from various large data sets to deliver a comprehensive picture of how estimates are derived, how accurate they are, and where improvements can be made.

Tactic #3: Map process changes to key success metrics

Most people want to understand if and how their actions are meaningful in the workplace. Bring inspiration and motivation to your patient access teams by enabling them to see where their collaborative efforts contribute to a successful revenue cycle process and an improved patient journey.

As changes are implemented, show staff how their actions are directly connected to improved success metrics, including quality scores, collections, denials and more.

Tactic #4: Provide relevant education  

There is always room to improve, but it can be hard to pinpoint where to start and what changes will create the most positive impact on major metrics (e.g., denial rates or patient financial clearance).

Real-time data dashboards empower managers with the insights they need to identify key inflection points, assess trends, and develop salient education programs that address both individual and team-wide issues.

Now let’s talk about barriers…

Healthcare providers are up against a (mostly) shared set of challenges.

One sticking point for many providers I’ve worked with has been an attachment to outdated reports and processes, even when they are clashing problematically with new systems. In this case, working collaboratively with teams and management to review and revise these methods can help increase compatibility and drive better results.

Another common issue is technology integration. Some systems are not interoperable, which can lead to confusion, errors, and duplicative work. In cases where integration is impossible, your best move is to establish a clear order of operations and information transfer processes within and between teams.

Finally, all providers are being affected by significant growth in patient responsibility and increased plan complexity. To stay ahead of the curve, ensure you’re working with an analytics partner who is well-versed in the gamut of payer and self-pay arrangements. This partner should help you identify where you can automate more tasks to relieve stress, boost staff knowledge, and adapt processes to keep up with the latest trends.

Let’s chat! I’m part of an incredible team of product consultants, and we would be delighted to help you achieve your biggest revenue cycle management and patient access goals with smart, data-centric solutions. Join our conversation on LinkedIn.

Jennifer Rydd

Jennifer is a revenue cycle expert with a background in electronic medical record implementations, sales support and management of revenue cycle operations. Jennifer combines career expertise in revenue cycle, health information management, patient registration and EMR documentation with strong professional skills in workflow and operational analysis to offer incredible leadership and consistent support to our clients.

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