Updated on January 13, 2022
COVID-19 has changed how healthcare is delivered, from the way patients book appointments to how those appointments function. If you are a healthcare provider, you know how rapidly the market has transformed due to the pandemic.
Although it can be difficult at times to keep up, patients have been wanting these changes for years. In a 2017 Virtual Visits Consumer Choice Survey, which included over 5,000 patients across the country, 77 percent said they were open to virtual care.
A 2017 Stax Inc. study commissioned by Healthgrades found that about 80% of patients prefer a physician who offers online scheduling, across both primary care and specialist physicians
The data shows that patients want better, easier, and faster access to healthcare. Although it’s unfortunate that a pandemic had to force the hands of many institutions to make drastic digital changes, there’s never been this much potential to discover new ways to better serve your patients.
It's time to get creative with your services, offerings, and processes. Doing so will ensure you provide every patient with a quality experience, while ensuring your healthcare organization runs at optimal efficiency.
Below are 6 ways we have seen healthcare providers get creative to better serve their patients, employees, and their bottom line.
#1 Use Digital Forms and Signatures
In a contactless and touchless world, your patients and employees expect the convenience and safety of a digital experience. Your patients don’t want to show up 30 minutes early and have to be around sick people. It's more essential than ever to take your forms and signatures digital.
There are a lot of use cases for patient-facing and internal digital forms. For patients, all of your intake forms can be placed on your website or behind a hyperlink in an email. All a patient needs to do to submit their intake paperwork is hit enter.
In the video below, Joel provides a quick demo of how to easily create a digital, contactless patient registration workflow completely online.
Internal digital forms can be used to automate workflows and approval processes for billing and insurance verification. They can also be used for compliance forms, finance sheets, surveys, new hire paperwork, and incident reports. The possibilities are really endless.
Learn More: The Anatomy of a Paperless Patient Onboarding Process
#2 Create Parking Lot Waiting Rooms
Parking lots aren’t just for parking. Plenty of people kill time out in their cars before appointments. Take advantage of the socially isolated and confined space of an automobile and have your patients complete touchless check-in or intake forms on their phones from their vehicle.
Some healthcare providers are using a QR code on their door that will pull up the check-in form on the patient’s phone. Once the patient submits the check-in form, the office will get notified that the patient is in the parking lot. A nurse will come out and do their vitals in their car. Once the doctor is ready, the patient will get a call to come inside.
Innovation in Action: See what organizations from around the world are doing to quickly adjust to the challenges of COVID-19.
#3 Score and Automate COVID-19 Screenings
COVID-19 screenings are incredibly important to running a safe practice. Many healthcare providers are setting up digital COVID-19 screenings before a patient ever enters their doors. It is a best practice to keep documentation of all your COVID-19 screenings.
By emailing the form, making it available on your website, or putting a QR code on your front door, patients have access to the screening form without needing to walk through your door. Once completed, the results can automatically be scored and send appropriate messages to the patient and the office on how to proceed.
BlueDoor does this with a dynamic form that automatically scores answers and gives instructions.
Related: Ready-to-Use COVID-19 Emergency Response Forms
#4 Create a Digital Front Door
In a phrase borrowed from Summer Knight’s article, she talks about the importance of “establishing and maintaining a digital connection with patients and consumers” and defines the digital front door as “a broad range of digital features that keep patients and care teams connected throughout the care journey.” Patients expect both a quality and digital experience.
Improve patient experience in order to create patient loyalty and drive business growth.
Here are some additional ways our customers have created part of that digital front door:
- Online triage forms
- Virtual health assessments
- Automated medication management and refill requests
- Surveys that measure and improve the patient experience
- Automatically sending care management and discharge documents to patients
#5 Eliminate Tech Waste
Now is a good time to do a full sweep of your systems to see where tech waste is hiding. Healthcare orgs often adopt different tools that do the same thing, which makes one system obsolete. If you find a lot of redundancy in your solutions, then it might be time to consolidate them into one platform that can solve all of those challenges.
Formstack gives you the benefit of HIPAA compliant one healthcare solution for all of your form, document, signature, and workflow needs. Performing an audit of your tech stack can give you clarity on areas that need improvement, tools that overlap, and where budget could be better used or cut.
#6 Improve Hiring and Onboarding
If you are a healthcare provider that is doing a lot of hiring, then it's vital to make the onboarding process quick, easy, and effective. Getting new employees onboarded quickly is key to ensuring your organization keeps running efficiently.
There’s no time to deal with physical paperwork, confusing email threads, or multiple spreadsheets. Simplify your employee onboarding process by using one tool to run all aspects of the new employee experience. Formstack’s powerful platform can do just that for your human resources team.
With Portals, you can group onboarding forms together, provide deadlines, and send automated email reminders. With our document generation tool, you can use employee data to generate offer letters and benefits sheets. And with our digital signature product, you can collect signatures for any of those documents or forms quickly, digitally, and securely.
Read Next: How to Improve Employee Onboarding
Welcoming a New Era in Patient Care
We are in a new era in patient care that is breaking down legacy processes and making many organizations reevaluate how they provide care.
With the rapid deployment of digitization, healthcare organizations around the world are finding new ways to reimagine their world of work with powerful technology. As your organization continues to evolve its products, processes, and systems, keep these three questions in mind:
- What is the cost of a poor patient experience?
- Are you set up with a flexible tool that can adapt as regulations and processes continue to change?
- How much time does your staff currently spend managing paperwork and other inefficient processes?
The time to innovate is now. If you would like to discuss how your healthcare organization can use digitization to improve patient care, we're here to help.