By Shelly Simeone

The healthcare industry is going through a period of change, and decision makers are stuck with their feet in two canoes - one heading towards service-based payments and one towards value-based care. These competing priorities can make it difficult to know where to focus initiatives and direct employee efforts.

Growing a profitable, scalable healthcare organization begins and ends with patients. Today we'll look at two easy ways innovative health systems and hospitals can grow their patient population and increase overall revenue: by optimizing physician referrals and decreasing appointment no shows.

How to optimize physician referrals

One of a health system’s largest sources of revenue is referrals from specialty clinics and physician groups. Referral source acquisition and retention solutions enable health systems to track these referrals to better understand where they are coming from and to optimize these relationships. Streamlined communication and engagement with referring physicians and practices results in increased referrals and increased opportunity wins. Correctly managing specialty physician relationships across the entire care continuum means minimal referral leakage, higher quality patient care, and maximum incoming revenue.

While referrals are a huge driver of additional revenue for hospitals, it is only through manual engagement and communication that these referring physicians are tracked, thanked, and managed. With no ability to track referral KPIs and sub-optimal referral opportunity management processes, hospitals are left with no way to continually engage and increase the number of these specialty referrals. Organizations can use the data available in holistic provider profiles to proactively engage with referring physicians to ensure the maximum number of referrals for the maximum amount of incoming revenue. Understanding physician relationships, patient-physician communication, and referral metrics means greater overall success with gaining new and engaging existing referrals.

How to decrease appointment no-shows

As any healthcare executive knows, missed patient appointments mean lost revenue. That is why patient no-show reduction and engagement solutions are designed to help automatically fill appointment gaps and increase patient retention. These platforms automatically send emails, texts, or calls to patients depending on their communication preferences to remind them of their upcoming appointments and to ensure they are properly prepared. Minimal employee time is spent filling these appointment slots and patients are consistently ready for critical appointments or surgeries.

Often the limited amount of patient engagement prior to a procedure means patients either forget their appointments all together or show up unprepared - i.e. they haven’t fasted, they forgot to stop taking a certain medication, or they cannot get to the hospital. With intuitive healthcare CRM and live analytics, patients are engaged throughout their entire care journey, from acquisition to on-boarding to procedure. Patient populations are segmented based on predefined demographic, procedural, and socioeconomic data to ensure the correct message is hitting the right audience. Dynamic patient data, including name, appointment information, and condition status, is used to create automated and personalized messages throughout the continuum of care, effectively engaging patients at every point throughout the healthcare journey for maximum retention.

Learn more about increasing revenue and value with our newest ebook, "5 Ways to Increase Revenue and Optimize Value in Your Health System".

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