PRM Takes Center Stage in Improving Patient Experience and Revenue
For the last several years, patient engagement and consumerism of healthcare have been hot topics in publications and events across the industry. In 2015, HIMSS conducted a study confirming that the majority of providers felt patient engagement was beneficial and should be part of their job. At the same time, providers said that lack of time and reimbursement were the biggest barriers.
One possible solution?
Patient relationship management (PRM) technology automates many patient communications while allowing those interactions to be personalized, customized, and targeted. PRM software can also provide options for two-way communication, online scheduling, online reputation management and more, adding more access and convenience for patients without adding work for staff.
The State of PRM Survey asked over 700 healthcare professionals if they use PRM software and how it has impacted their organization. The results showed some clear trends. First, there was an overall theme that PRM technology addresses the main priorities and challenges organizations have related to patient engagement and experience. And, second, it does so in four key ways:
Some of the key insights from this report that show how patient relationship management software is helping healthcare organizations include:
Who was surveyed?
A variety of staff from dental, medical, and vision offices took the State of PRM survey.
Patient Engagement Priorities and Challenges
There were two clear things that the respondents said they wanted to address through the use of patient relationship management for healthcare organizations of all types. Those two top priorities were reducing no-shows and improving patient communication.
Respondents were asked about their perceived challenges to using PRM technology. From three top challenges, the majority of people identified lack of budget and lack of time as their main concerns.
The survey showed that PRM can help with each of these priorities while also addressing the perceived challenges.
Trend 1: PRM Improves Patient Communication, Experience, and Outcomes
Nearly one-third of those surveyed listed improving patient communication as their top priority. Overall, 83 percent of those who use some kind of PRM technology in their organization say that it facilitates better communication with patients. As a result, those practices saw other benefits as well, including improved patient engagement and outcomes. The majority, 62 percent, said patients were more engaged. In addition, survey participants responded to specific questions about how different aspects of PRM improved patient experience and outcomes.
Trend 2: PRM Reduces No-Shows and Cancellations
Thirty percent of the survey respondents said that reducing no-shows was their top priority. This issue was listed by the most people as the top issue for their organization. With no-show rates ranging from 10 to 30 percent on average, it makes sense that this remains such a high priority for many.
Reducing no-shows and increasing confirmations is an area where PRM software can have a measurable and immediate impact.
The lowest no-show rates are a result of using a proven cadence of reminders along with patient preferences for delivery method. A recent analysis of over 20 million reminder and confirmation messages showed that a message sent three weeks ahead, followed by a message sent three days ahead and one three hours ahead increased confirmation by 156 percent. The use of email and text messages contributes to this success. According to the National Institutes for Health, 75 percent of patients want their appointment reminders via their mobile device.
Trend 3: PRM Helps Increase Revenue
Since PRM software reduces no-shows for most organizations, it stands to reason that it also increases revenue. No-shows cost healthcare organizations tens, and even hundreds, of thousands of dollars a year. For the average medical provider, no-shows cost over $300,000 a year in lost revenue. For a dental provider, the loss is just under $150,000 a year, and for an eye care provider it is over $230,000 a year.
Reducing a provider’s no-show rate can have a significant impact on revenue. For each of these specialties, reducing the no-show rate to 10 percent from the current average no-show rate would result in the following increase in revenue:
But reducing no-shows isn’t the only area where PRM can help improve revenue. Sending ASAP wait list messages can help fill late cancellations. Essentially, these are texts or emails to patients who have asked to be alerted to earlier appointments and are on the practice’s wait list. In addition, emails and texts with links to reschedule can be sent to no-shows to ensure they are scheduled for another appointment time.
Beyond improving revenue around scheduled appointments, PRM software also helps automate recall outreach. Recall outreach, or recare, is very time consuming when done manually. Not surprisingly, this survey showed that practices that don’t use PRM technology are far less likely to have a recall program in place. Thirty-nine percent of those respondents do no recall outreach at all.
That number is much smaller among organizations that use PRM technology. Only 17 percent of respondents using PRM software don’t have a recall program in place.
Of the other 83 percent, 55 percent say their recall program generates $5,000 or more in additional revenue each month (or $60,000 per year). Fourteen percent say it adds over $20,000 a month (or $240,000 per year).
Trend 4: PRM Saves Staff Time
Healthcare staff are pulled in many directions at any given time. Phones are ringing, patients are checking in and out, and other staff need information. A healthcare organization is a busy place. And now patients want the same customer service experience in healthcare that they get in retail. So, staff need to spend less time on the phone, or distracted by other employees, and more time focused on the patient experience in the office.
PRM technology can help with this problem as well. Respondents who use PRM software reported that their staff spends less on time on the phone.
PRM Addresses Common Challenges
All healthcare organizations face challenges around time and budget when it comes to patient engagement. However, those using PRM technology are able to mitigate that by:
• Reducing no-shows
• Increasing recall revenue
• Decreasing time spent on the phone
At the same time, they are also able to increase and improve:
• Patient communication
• Patient experience
• Patient outcomes
It’s clear that PRM technology can help healthcare organizations improve both patient engagement and their bottom line.