The quality of a patient’s care journey is incredibly important. It will impact how they feel about the healthcare organization and what they will say about it going forward.
However, many factors will ruin a patient’s care journey. Long wait times, a confusing process, and a generally uncomfortable experience will stick out in a patient’s memory. This will reflect poorly on the care center.
This is why proactive management is necessary. Most people would agree that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The same is true when it comes to managing a healthcare organization. Proactivity effectively removes problems before they have a chance to reflect negatively on the institution. Keep reading to learn how.
Patient Discharge Processes Have Problems
In general, the patient discharge process has too many problems. There are unnecessary delays, capacity is strained, and the amount of work involved hurts margins. These problems make the patient experience worse and cost the organization money. They may be disastrous in the long run if they remain unaddressed.
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When most people come to a healthcare center, they expect to spend most of their time speaking to healthcare professionals. However, in most cases, much of their time is spent waiting. This is because of the large number of administrative tasks that are required, especially before patient discharge.
The reasons behind these delays are varied, but technical problems and process inefficiencies are significant contributors. Fortunately, these problems don’t have to exist. Many of these issues can be automated or streamlined through new technologies that will shorten or eradicate delays.
Many healthcare organizations also face the problem of strained capacity. Many institutions do not have enough workers to handle the work that needs to be done, a situation that is made worse when a large number of patients come in at once.
Strained capacity is particularly troublesome because it exacerbates problems that already exist, like the delays we talked about earlier. However, when a large influx of patients comes in at once, this already moderately sized problem becomes much worse and can lead to worker’s burnout..
Many problems with the patient discharge process could be fixed by hiring additional staff. After all, having more people working would clear out backlogs much more quickly. Places could even designate specific employees to work on administrative tasks or have them waiting to jump in when capacity is strained.
However, pressured margins make this effectively impossible. It simply costs too much money to hire additional staff. Margins are already thin in most places, especially due to the pandemic, and stretching them even further won't help. Healthcare organizations must seek out solutions that do not further strain finances.
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Internal Issues Create Reaction-Based Responses
Each of these problems are already bad on their own; delays, strained capacity, and pressured margins are all troublesome to deal with. However, these organizational issues have the potential to compound each other and create reaction-based responses.
In these situations, a problem will force a healthcare organization into suboptimal decisions. Rushing administrative tasks to save time often leads to more errors, and rushing time with patients may prevent proper diagnosis and treatment. In these cases, problems create more problems that will continue to build off each other. It is a vicious cycle that needs to be stopped at the earliest possible point.
How Hospital Leaders Can Improve Patient Management
Problems with the discharge process and other internal issues are certainly troublesome, but there are methods that can help. A healthcare organization can overcome problems by taking a proactive approach before they arise, an effort that can reduce or even eliminate the issues altogether.
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Technology is an incredible asset in improving proactive patient management, and has the potential to positively reform the entire healthcare experience.
Artificial intelligence (AI) presents one such opportunity. Modern healthcare programs can use AI systems to automate and manage several different tasks, including sorting and recording information, contacting patients, and triaging. Artificial intelligence has a proven positive impact on managerial activities.
Time is freed each time a task is offloaded onto an AI. This allows healthcare organizations to improve their margins, hire fewer workers, and improve the patient experience all at once.
Making use of technology is an important part of making improvements to a healthcare facility. However, technology doesn’t work on its own, and saving time from it won't help if that free time isn't put to good use. This is where operational intelligence comes into play.
Operational intelligence involves integrating advances and improvements into existing systems. This can take place in several different ways and result in several different outcomes. For example, a computer program that automatically enters patient information will free up time for the provider, so they can help other patients in need.
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Proactive Patient Management
Maximizing employee efficiency through technology and operational intelligence isn’t the only way to save time. After all, in many cases, healthcare organizations are waiting on input from patients before they can act. Luckily, this process can be improved through proactive patient management.
Technology can help here, as well. Artificial intelligence systems, like those offered by Clearstep, can triage patients and check their symptoms before they even come in to seek care. This way, the healthcare organization has an idea of what to do with them before they even arrive.
Management problems within a healthcare organization can be disastrous. That is why proactive patient management is necessary. New efficiencies can be attained by taking advantage of technologies like Clearstep to improve operational intelligence. It helps patients be seen and discharged faster and more effectively, which improves the quality of their care and the experiences they have. It also tends to improve the bottom line for the healthcare organization. In the end, everyone ends up winning!
Did you know you can improve patient care journeys through technology? Find out how Clearstep does it right here!