A referral management system, also referred to as the patient intake management system, is of great importance in the healthcare environment. While its primary goal is to facilitate communication between healthcare specialists, primary care physicians, and healthcare providers involved in a patient’s journey, an efficient patient referral management system is also a crucial driver of new patients and improved revenue.
It also helps healthcare providers keep track of their patient referrals, boost transparency, reduce operational inefficiencies, and improve existing processes for healthcare organizations of all sizes, thereby offering complete care.
If you constantly put aside the idea of investing in a patient referral management system, here are three benefits you are missing out on.
Benefits of Streamlining Your Patient Referral Process:
- Minimizes Referral Leakage
Patient referrals are common in the healthcare industry. However, mismanagement of patient referrals can result in referral leakage.
Referral leakage is when a patient seeks healthcare services outside a hospital’s network. This can be due to a communication gap between doctors and patients or the patients simply forgetting to show up for the referral appointment. Nonetheless, the problems arising from referral leakage are far-fetched—from significant annual revenue losses to reduced continuity of care.
An efficient patient referral management system can solve all these issues by streamlining communication and referral workflow. This is where EHR comes in, but what is EHR in healthcare?
The abbreviated form of Electronic Health Record, EHR, automates the referral workflow process. Meaning everything from sending the patient an invitation to book an appointment to reminding patients of their appointment and reducing wasted resources happens in the system without human involvement, allowing staff to focus their time and energy on more important things.
- Better Care and Health Outcomes for Patients
A patient referral management system frees physicians and other healthcare specialists from routine administrative tasks. Meaning they now have more time on their hands to care for patients. The more time healthcare providers spend with patients, to the better extent they can improve the patient experience.
Furthermore, an EHR ensures that healthcare providers are on the same page when it comes to accurate information about the patient. This way, the ability to diagnose diseases can be improved and medical errors prevented. This will, in turn, help healthcare providers improve patient outcomes, bag more referrals, and increase revenue in the long run.
- Ease in Completing Patient Forms and Insurance Verification
Whenever a patient is referred to a different specialist, they have to go through the hassle of completing various patient forms. With a referral management system, they can receive digital forms, fill them out wherever they feel convenient, and submit them electronically upon completion.
The ability to fill out patient forms without physically being present at the hospital makes healthcare more accessible. Particularly, patients with cognitive disabilities can show up for appointments with an extra layer of confidence, knowing that the paperwork has already been taken care of. Furthermore, offering patients the ability to complete forms prior to arrival shortens their time spent in the waiting room.
Similarly, automating the insurance verification process online for every referral will ensure that healthcare specialists never have to cancel or reschedule due to insurance ineligibility again. In addition, this will help your patients be confident about your practice as they don’t have to worry about paying out of pocket.
Connect With Your Patients
In the present world, communication and time are crucial. Competition is quite intense in the healthcare scenario, and technology adoption is increasing.
Like in every other industry, technological innovations like a patient referral management system can smoothen your healthcare organization’s processes and make operations more efficient. It also brings with it added transparency and reduced inefficiencies, meaning better communication with patients and improved relations within the network.