Patient access centers are one of the first points of contact not only for patients but also for providers and the broader communities in which health systems operate. COVID-19 has accelerated the need for focused investment in areas that support an integrated, seamless experience across multiple channels and devices. The availability of multiple, connected points of exchange is essential to providing services that balance an irreplaceable human touch with a digital experience.
We recommend focusing on the following five investment areas as you look to enhance and optimize your patient access functions:
The provision of such a holistic consumer experience decreases inefficiencies by streamlining administrative tasks and connecting otherwise disparate pieces of information and access points (e.g., physician ratings, organizational news, scheduling, patient portals, virtual care, and test results).
While hospitals and health systems continue to address an array of complex issues, the value of investing in patient access functions and capabilities lies in the extent to which your organization is prepared to deliver seamless, frictionless patient experiences—taking pressure off both patients and your staff.
A digital front door is the very definition of this value proposition, supporting patient engagement across care settings, helping them assess their needs, and offering useful information and guidance at each and every point along their care journeys, outside of face-to-face or telephone interactions.
Whether your organization is ready to set up a digital front door experience or is simply looking to increase patient access functions with a few additional capabilities, the development of a cost-effective multi- or omni-channel experience has never been more important. With the need for telehealth and other digital capabilities expected to continue even as the health crisis subsides, investment today in digital-led experiences can quickly translate to cost savings, improved patient acquisition and retention, reduced burdens on access center staff, and better overall health outcomes.