What is Patient Management and How Can it Improve the Healthcare Experience?

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Almost 85% of the Australian population sees a GP at least once each year, and patients have growing expectations around the quality of their care.

They want their healthcare journey to feel more personalised and customer-like. If it doesn't, it has a big impact on patient engagement and satisfaction.

To remain competitive and keep patients happy, practices need to prioritise the patient experience. One way to do this is through effective patient management.

Collect better patient data to personalise your patient experience with our  guide: "How to Craft the Perfect Patient Satisfaction Survey"

What is Patient Management?

Patient management is a set of tools healthcare providers use to effectively manage patient expectations, provide care, and foster strong relationships with patients. Effective patient management is patient-centric and enables care to be delivered seamlessly.

This often involves using patient management software with combined capabilities. These can include storing patient information, managing appointments, and sending patient communications.

In the past, technology in the healthcare sector has been highly fragmented. Most healthcare organisations hosted their applications and data on-premise. These solutions need significant investment and can be a huge liability when it comes to security and connectivity.

To allow for quality patient care, healthcare providers are shifting to Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms.

These platforms have advanced security features so it's easier to protect customer data. They can automate or streamline processes to improve the patient experience and are scalable to hold varying amounts of patient data. They also have intuitive interfaces that are easy for practice staff to use.

Features of patient management software include:

  • Managing paperwork
  • Storing patient data
  • Sending patient communications
  • Digital bookings and scheduling

The 5 Benefits of Patient Management Software

1. Streamline Appointment Booking

Booking, rescheduling, or cancelling appointments can be difficult when patients have busy schedules or unconventional work patterns. Patient management software allows practices to provide a service that fits around their busy lives with 24/7 booking. Users can choose which channel works best for them whether that’s online, using a mobile app, or via phone call.

63% of patients prefer booking online rather than over the phone. This can save staff lengthy phone calls and time-consuming admin. It can also help to deliver a more efficient patient experience

2. Telehealth

Nearly a fifth (17%) of GP consultations were over the phone in May 2021. When these services are available, both patients and GPs report high rates of satisfaction, so it’s a great way to engage patients in their healthcare. Patients can book telephone or in-person appointments using patient management software. They can also request repeat prescriptions at a time that suits them, making it easier to replenish medication when they need it.

3. Simple arrivals

Rather than wait in a queue and potentially miss their appointment, practices can implement patient check-in software for patients to use. Patients can carry out multiple functions more quickly than checking in at reception, and staff can set custom arrival rules via a dashboard.

Kiosks also have language translations to make checking in easier for non-native speakers.

4. Improve communication

Patient management software allows practices and hospitals to minimise costly no-shows by sending automated SMS and email reminders. As 59% of patients consider good pre-and post-appointment communication key to their loyalty, it’s important for practices to perfect these communication basics using automation.

It also allows practices to communicate with patients through check-in kiosks and via email and SMS. Practices can send surveys or communicate specific campaign messages. For example, practices can send a stop smoking campaign for smokers or a sun-care campaign in the summer.

5. Gather more data

Getting to know your patients is crucial to delivering the best care for good patient outcomes. It also helps practices to personalise the patient experience.

With patient management software, practices can collect and analyse patient data. This could be through patient surveys at check-in kiosks or via email, mobile app or SMS. Surveying patients can help to improve their experience and satisfaction as they feel heard.

What’s in it For Practices?

Using comprehensive patient management software helps to deliver an excellent patient experience. Features like personalisation, communication, data collection, and data analytics allow practices to go above and beyond for their patients and improve healthcare outcomes.

So, what is patient management? It's the secret to success in your practice.

How to craft the perfect patient satisfaction survey

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