Summary: A patient-centered focus will provide optimal care for the patient which will in turn drive revenue.
Do you remember the movie “Field of Dreams”? The basic premise was if you build a stadium they will come. We can adapt this adage to healthcare as well. So many organizations become so focused on the bottom line and don’t realize that if patients aren’t satisfied, they will not return to your facility, they will relay their bad experience to all of their friends, and you will lose revenue.
So let’s look at how a patient-centered focus can generate revenue.
Readmissions/Controlling Length of Stay and Patient-Centered Focus
Want to avoid readmission penalties? Then concentrate on providing the best possible patient-centered care. This means treating the patient in the right setting with the right level of care to ensure the best outcomes. Many times, patients are “herded” in and out of the hospital setting whether it is in the Emergency Department or another department. There is an impetus to ensure that Medicare guidelines in particular are followed as it relates to length of stay. Medicare guidelines are set in place to ensure the average length of stay provides the maximum reimbursement possible. Currently, this benchmark is set at about 7 days. 7 days is considered the optimal time period to ensure the patient is treated, stabilized, examined, and cleared medically and/or psychologically for discharge. Medicare believes this is the time period that is optimal for patient care and outcomes. During this time period, patients are evaluated, medications and/or other treatments are administered if applicable, education is provided, patients are stabilized, and finally they are cleared for discharge. Generally, this process cannot be completed in a day or so. Releasing patients before they have been truly assessed and reassessed is a plan for disaster. Ensuring the right care is administered in the right setting reduces to the potential for preventable readmissions which adds to your bottom line.
Quality and Patient Satisfaction and Patient-Centered Focus
Patient satisfaction has certainly become a buzz word, and rightfully so. As mentioned above, without patients, there is no revenue. Patient satisfaction is about providing services that are of value as perceived by the patient. Excellent customer service is now not something strived for but is becoming the norm, at least if you want to stay in business. Many healthcare organizations are really in a dueling match to outdo one another. At the end of the day, patients need to be on the receiving end of the “wow” effect. If that means stopping in periodically to see if there is anything the patient needs, then that should be done. It is important to keep in mind that the patient experience goes beyond patient care and extends to anyone with whom the patient comes into contact. It means the housekeepers need to be friendly and helpful as well as keeping the room clean and safe from obstacles. It means the cafeteria staff should be friendly and courteous. It means the maintenance crew should ask how the patient’s stay is going and if anything is needed. Anyone with whom the patient has contact has the potential to affect the patient experience. Not only is a patient-centered focus the right thing to do, but reimbursement to hospitals is now partially based upon customer satisfaction scores. Providing excellent customer service really does drive revenue.
Teaming up with Primary Care and Patient-Centered Focus
Hospitals that have a Patient-Centered focus after discharge will flourish. It is important to communicate with the patient’s primary care physician upon admission and through discharge. The sharing of medical records will assist with the hand off to primary care for follow-up. Many times, patients are given instructions as to what the next steps are post-discharge. If this is all that done, it is very likely the patient will be back as a readmit. Education is needed from both the hospital and primary care sides to ensure that the patient knows exactly what is expected. Additionally, making that follow-up appointment with primary care is crucial. From that point, it is important for primary care to follow-up with the patient as to progress, any questions, and to ensure the patient does show up for after-care. Education and smooth transitions in which everyone is on the same page will lead to greater revenue opportunities.
These are just a few instances in which providing the best care for the patient will increase revenue streams and most importantly do what is best for the patient.
To find out more about a how patient-centered focus can lead to quality outcomes and boost your organization’s revenue, please visit:
BHM Healthcare Solutions – www.bhmpc.com
Call us – 1-888-831-1171
Email us – firstname.lastname@example.org