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5 Reasons to Improve Your Hospital’s Pre-Encounter Process

January 25, 2016

Hospitals don’t have just one bottom line. That’s just one reason it’s a difficult job to manage health care that’s useful and beneficial for patients without running red.

During a 2012 roundtable discussion*, health care leaders said they wanted to create efficiency to promote satisfaction and financial accuracy by educating their patients. They wanted not to just educate their patients financially, but also clinically. They wanted to offer exceptional customer service. Many of the providers cited the fact that there is more competition and people are shopping for health care providers.

They wanted to reduce errors and streamline the process so the patient has a better experience. They wanted things to be patient ­friendly.

Some hospitals wanted to do it for financial clearance and simply educate the patients. Others said, “Get it right the first time. This is your first opportunity; let’s get it right then.”

Others discussed the need for centralized scheduling and, more importantly, to have everyone work towards the best interest of the patients.

Some said the collection of money and, of course, customer service being important. It should be noted that there is a fine line between asking for money and customer service.

Others wanted to obtain authorization and, finally, others said, “We need to implement a new program.”

Here’s a look at five reasons you might consider improving your hospital’s pre-encounter process:

  1. Efficiency. A more efficient system is not just useful for your team, but for patients.
  2. Error reduction. Keeping those bottom lines in black means reducing errors.
  3. Education. Patients who are educated in advance about what to expect won’t be surprised later by the bill.
  4. Financial clearance.
  5. Customer service. Patients with higher satisfaction rates are more likely to pay their bills.
    What would you add to this list?

*Answers given by attendees of NCHFMA Roundtable Discussion on Pre-Admission Procedures and Best Practices, July 2012.

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  • HFMA: Healthcare, financial, management, association
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