In modern healthcare, there are a broad range of healthcare channels that serve patients. Primary care offices. Independent and public clinics. Urgent care locations. Hospitals and emergency departments. And when a patient needs help, getting attention as quick as possible will drive the decision of where to go. Often, a quick decision is made to go to the emergency room, which by definition, is there to serve those with unplanned challenges in the most efficient and fastest manner possible.
For healthcare executives and practitioners, the emergency department is a vital component of a broader network. But the emergency department is often the most costly to manage and operate in comparison to other channels that might be available for issues that are not as critical. Patient issues that are not considered life-threatening perhaps should be considered at an urgent care location or a clinic or even a primary care office, given that these channels can effectively treat patient needs efficiently while still being more cost-effective both for the patient and for the healthcare system.
Therein lies a big challenge – and opportunity – for healthcare systems. Even with uninsured patients and cases that are not reimbursable by payers, healthcare executives have a significant opportunity to manage patient populations and continue providing needed care while also reducing the burden associated with more costly channels.
An example. A emergency department episode of care may cost the healthcare system $1,500 for a routine exam. That same exam can be scheduled and completed in an urgent care location for $750, or in a primary care office for $250. In this example, the system saves between 50% and 80% of costs that may otherwise not be recouped. Multiply that by thousands of patients, and the fiscal impact becomes very material to that healthcare system.
And while data analysis is essential to understand where these opportunities exist, the real key to executing on such a plan involves one critical effort: patient communications. A proactive, well-scripted outreach from the healthcare system to a targeted patient population will have a significant impact on overall system performance while also creating awareness and opportunities for patients to continued to be served through other appropriate channels in the system.
Staff resources can certainly manage a patient communications program, but is that approach really the best use of their time? Doctors and nurses alike should always be focused on current patients, especially those in the hospital or those in the clinic or in an office visit. A better way is to partner with trained professionals that can augment the efforts of staff resources to proactively contact patients through phone calls, emails and text messages.
That’s where PREMEDEX can help. Our team connects with thousands of patients every day on behalf of leading hospitals throughout the United States. Using custom scripts developed with our partner clients, our clinical staff and non-clinical representatives interact with patients seamlessly as an extension of client healthcare systems.
PREMEDEX can start quickly with a pilot program to let you experience the value of this approach which will also help with patient satisfaction and loyalty. Contact PREMEDEX today to learn how to get started.