Digging into patient data to improve patient relations and revenue

To successfully transition to a value-based care model, healthcare providers must abandon the conveyer-belt mentality of “fee for service” that often leaves patients feeling as if they were no more than a forgettable name attached to an insurance plan.

Indeed, the demands of value-based care make effective patient engagement more important than ever to a provider’s revenue cycle. As consumers pay more out of their own pockets, they expect better and more personalized service from their healthcare providers. If they don’t get it, they’ll simply find a provider who gives them what they want.

Healthcare Finance News  talked with several medical professionals about the importance of connecting with patients in order to build trust and establish a relationship.

Maureen Harding, a nurse with Barnabas Health System in New Jersey, said “One of the things that we do to help with improving the patient experience is to really coach our employees to engage with the patient, and make sure they're connecting with them on a personal level.”

However, Harding cautions, patient engagement is a mindset that must start from the top and permeate the organization’s culture.

"If you don't have leaders who are mentoring their employees, it's not going to help," she says. "You need to make sure your leaders are passionate about this, and buying into it, and leading the way."

While patient engagement essentially is about focusing on people, the process can be enhanced with analytics, according to Thomas Lee, MD, a primary care practitioner at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and chairman of the board at Geisinger Health System

In monitoring their progress, Brigham and Young looked at the data, analyzing records from every patient, not just the few required by regulators. The emphasis is on driving improvement rather than fundamental quality assurance.

By improving patient engagement, providers can increase the likelihood of a patient to recommend a particular hospital or practice, according to Lee.

"From a business perspective, high ratings on this variable suggest that patients are likely to stay with the provider, and encourage others to go there -- thus preserving or growing market share," he says.

In addition to data and analytics, online and mobile tools also can boost patient engagement and health outcomes, thus saving money and improving patient satisfaction.

Revenue Cycle Insights features a number of articles and resources designed to help providers boost patient engagement.

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