Optimizing Patient Access: A Strategic Approach to Enhance Healthcare Efficiency
Addressing patient access issues is a complex challenge for healthcare provider groups. While recognizing the need for improvement, many struggle to navigate the intricacies beyond just provider availability. Merely increasing staff or providers can be costly with minimal returns. Effectively managing touch points and schedules is essential for coordinated service access. To drive meaningful improvements, provider practices must engage their teams in establishing operational consistency and prioritize patient access goals.
At Coker, we collaborate with healthcare organizations to implement sustainable solutions for patient access concerns. Common issues include no-shows, cancellations, schedule management, and slot utilization. Our approach focuses on empowering employees to enhance provider schedule management and patient touch points, reducing wait times and filling available slots. Establishing accountability with clear goals and metrics is crucial for the success of these initiatives.
Accurate and consistent reporting of service access metrics remains a challenge for many organizations. Despite possessing the data, disseminating and utilizing it effectively for operational decisions often falls short. Prioritizing data integrity is essential, and while challenges exist, the right metrics can offer directional insights into patient access and performance monitoring over time.
Our advisors employ a data-driven approach to formulate strategies and solutions for improving patient access:
- Engage physician leaders to consistently manage patient access across the organization.
- Enhance provider scheduling efficiency with standardized criteria and protocols.
- Utilize scheduling resources/personnel effectively to manage provider schedules.
- Minimize un-booked appointment slots and gaps in provider schedules.
- Establish consistent policies and processes for managing practice closures.
- Standardize Advanced Practice Provider (APP) utilization and protocols.
- Mitigate the impact of no-shows and cancellations.
- Align patient access goals with value-based care arrangements and strategy.
By adopting these measures, healthcare organizations can navigate the complexities of patient access, fostering improvements for both patients and providers within the health system.