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Why Streamlining Appointment Scheduling is a Win-Win for Patients and Clinicians

Doctor showing a woman data on a tablet

Often, care coordination between patients and providers starts at the appointment desk, but an imperfect or overly complex system means a breakdown in communication can also happen here. The cost of insufficient care coordination can quickly snowball and hurt both patients and providers.

Poor Care Coordination Can Be Costly

A recent study published in the American Journal of Managed Care found that insufficient patient care coordination could increase the average costs of chronic disease management by more than $4,500 over a three-year period. The same study also noted that patients who received services from a higher number of providers were more likely to experience a lower quality of care, including gaps in treatment and even preventable hospital admissions.

Not only can this be an expensive misstep for healthcare providers and discourage patients from staying with a facility, but it’s even more detrimental to the 50 percent of Americans who suffer from some form of chronic disease. In providing care to those chronic patients, a typical primary physician interacts with as many as 229 other healthcare personnel across 117 practices. For doctors and patients, that requires a great deal of focused coordination.

Plus, with inevitable breakdowns in communication, human error in care coordination, and fragmented systems, the relatively simple act of appointment scheduling can become convoluted and inefficient on both sides.

Providers Can Benefit from Healthcare Consumerization

In this new era of consumer-focused healthcare, patients are simultaneously demanding and expecting more of their healthcare providers. As patients seek more control over their health, healthcare systems must in turn find creative and appealing solutions to meet their needs.

The rise in innovation launched by healthcare consumerization benefits more than patients—although that’s certainly a desired component. It also helps the nurses, physicians, and staff working in any given healthcare environment do their jobs better and more efficiently.

That’s why enabling healthcare systems to deliver more sophisticated care coordination can be a win-win for patients and clinicians. With more streamlined care protocols and scheduling capabilities, patients can be kept compliant and avoid unnecessary visits, while providers can schedule follow-up appointments or upcoming procedures across the patient’s chain of care.

4 Ways Appointment Scheduling Benefits Providers

Appointment scheduling through YourCare ContinuumTM offers the following simplified and streamlined benefits to healthcare systems and patients:

  • Minimizes time and effort. Sophisticated care coordination allows providers and consumers to immediately schedule and request services across the healthcare cycle. This makes the appointment process more convenient and efficient for patient and provider.
  • Reduces follow-ups. Patients with more fragmented care have more than twice as many PCP visits as those with better care coordination. Also, insufficient care coordination routinely results in patients who fail to adhere to recommended protocols, which negatively affects compliance.
  • Prevents patients seeking out or being referred out of network. As patients receive more efficient and effective qualities of care, the likelihood of patient leakage decreases.
  • Increases revenue. By keeping patients within a single system of care, healthcare systems can expect to see increased revenues follow as a result.

The ability to integrate a more refined appointment scheduling system not only can create a more efficient patient experience but also eases the workflow and administrative burden for hospitals and clinicians.

YourCare Continuum currently offers users the ability to schedule hospital and clinic visits, allowing the option to send referrals to physicians or another hospital or clinic for service. Other upcoming additions to this service include the option to request surgery appointment times from hospital to hospital, the ability to facilitate transfers from one facility to another, and even the option for patients to put themselves into emergency department waiting queues at the hospital of their choice

To learn more about the benefits of streamlining the appointment scheduling process, click here.

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