Bedford Commons OB-GYN in Bedford, New Hampshire, had been reminding sufferers of their workplace visits by giving them a paper appointment reminder card and utilizing an automatic phone service to name them 24 hours forward of time. For annual preventative visits, workers would run a report, print labels and affix them to postcards that might then be mailed to the affected person to remind them to name the workplace to arrange a go to.
In an period when expertise is continually progressing, Bedford Commons OB-GYN realized that it was not maintaining. Lots of its sufferers didn’t examine their paper mail frequently, and when sufferers had been getting the postcard, it was at night time when the workplace was closed.
“Consequently, we had been seeing a decline in sufferers contacting our workplace to schedule their wellness exams,” stated Christina Haag, APRN, observe administrator and girls’s well being nurse practitioner at Bedford Commons OB-GYN.
“We additionally had a big variety of sufferers who would no-show for his or her workplace go to or not reply to the automated phone name to cancel their appointments,” she stated. “We felt that we weren’t reaching our affected person inhabitants in one of the simplest ways potential.”
Bedford Commons OB-GYN determined to maneuver to new, extra subtle expertise, from affected person communications and affected person engagement expertise vendor Solutionreach, to higher ship appointment notifications, conduct affected person surveys and foster an surroundings the place it might acquire extra on-line critiques.
There are numerous affected person communications and affected person engagement expertise distributors available on the market at this time. These distributors embody Casetabs, Docent Well being, GE Healthcare, mPulse Cell, Vaporstream, Weave and West.
MEETING THE CHALLENGE
The Solutionreach expertise works by offering Bedford Commons OB-GYN workers with a extra tech-savvy solution to attain sufferers.
“We will use an automatic system to ship our sufferers textual content message reminders for his or her appointments and embody issues that may make it simple for the affected person like a hyperlink so as to add their appointment to their calendar or a hyperlink to instructions to our workplace,” stated Haag. “We are also capable of e mail our sufferers if we haven’t seen them shortly and embody a custom-made observe relating to the significance of their appointments.”
Bedford Commons makes use of the expertise for “enjoyable” outreach as nicely, she defined: “All of our sufferers get an e mail with a video of our suppliers singing Completely happy Birthday To You on their birthday yearly.”
After a affected person is seen within the workplace, workers use the expertise to ship them a survey to let Bedford Commons understand how the go to went. That is exceptionally helpful to Bedford Commons in serving to it proceed to enhance affected person care.
“It additionally supplies evaluation content material for our web site and serves as an outlet if somebody had a poor expertise,” Haag stated. “Though sufferers have the choice to maintain the survey response nameless, lots of our sufferers present their identify, which permits us the chance to follow-up with the affected person if we’ve extra questions.”
As will be the case in lots of doctor places of work, Bedford Commons typically has a troublesome time reaching a affected person with essential scientific info over the telephone.
Most of Bedford Commons’ workers makes use of the communications and engagement platform. The entrance workplace affected person care representatives use it to recall sufferers for appointments, remind sufferers to convey their insurance coverage playing cards or fill out paperwork on-line, let sufferers know if one thing has been modified about their appointment (just like the supplier is out sick), and for a lot of different issues, she stated.
“Scientific workers use the platform if we’re unable to get in contact with a affected person,” she added. “Our administration staff makes use of the platform for analytics and to evaluation and reply to affected person critiques.”
Bedford Commons OB-GYN has decreased affected person no-shows by 60 %. Haag believes that is fully because of the textual content message reminders.
“We ship sufferers a textual content after they schedule their appointment in order that they will add it proper into their telephone calendar,” she stated. “As I discussed, it features a hyperlink which makes including the appointment to a calendar simple. 24 hours earlier than the appointment, the affected person receives one other textual content reminder. A closing reminder is distributed one hour earlier than the time of the go to.”
“Having critiques on our web site from sufferers and up to date every day supplies a beautiful platform to draw new sufferers.”
Christina Haag, APRN, Bedford Commons OB-GYN
In her opinion, the one-hour reminder is the one which makes all of the distinction.
“Once you’re at work or spending time with your loved ones, typically it’s simple to lose monitor of time,” she defined. “The reminder one hour earlier than the appointment places it again within the forefront of your thoughts. This easy reminder helps our sufferers get to the workplace for his or her appointments and will get them to the workplace on time.”
For sufferers who don’t use smartphones, the identical reminder system happens through e mail or voice calls. To start with, workers had been involved that they might irritate sufferers with the variety of reminders. However they’ve obtained constructive suggestions. If somebody does have a priority concerning the reminder frequency, workers have the power to customise it inside the platform for that particular affected person.
Bedford Commons OB-GYN additionally has collected 635 on-line critiques. After a affected person’s go to, the affected person is distributed an e mail with a survey. The supplier group has a reasonably excessive response charge.
“Solutionreach supplies a microsite that we will hyperlink to our web site in order that the feedback within the survey are routinely up to date on our net web page every day,” Haag stated.
“Sufferers can click on on the microsite to learn extra feedback. I do know that after I make any determination – even one thing so simple as buying batteries on Amazon – I depend on critiques. Having these on our web site from sufferers and up to date every day supplies a beautiful platform to draw new sufferers.”
If somebody had a poor expertise, the platform sends out an alert e mail to workplace managers. This enables them to comply with up with the affected person in a well timed method.
“As most healthcare places of work know, one of the best supply of latest sufferers are referrals out of your present sufferers,” she stated. “By way of the platform, sufferers are simply capable of share our workplace referral info with a buddy.”
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
It’s time to affix the 21st century, stated Haag. “The platform has given our workplace the benefit of reaching our sufferers in the best way they wish to be reached, by textual content or e mail,” she defined. “It’s a tradition change to surrender the one-on-one telephone calls, however assembly your sufferers the place they’re and the way they like to speak helps to broaden the supplier/affected person relationship.”