Over the years, people’s attitudes towards healthcare have evolved. Thanks to technology and changing consumer needs, there are so many new opportunities for hospitals and practices to optimize their processes and explore new ways of improving care.
That said, here are some major challenges facing the healthcare industry today:
1. Invoicing and payment processing
Payment processing is a tedious but essential step in ensuring a practice runs as smoothly as possible. Inconsistencies in your payment procedures will not just cause inconvenience to patients, but also slow down your cash flow
Providing patient-friendly billing statements and payment protocols is critical to increasing the speed of your collections. Invoices must be clear and readable. Consider offering paperless statements, too so patients can view their bills anytime and anywhere. This will also minimize the risk of invoices getting misplaced and patients making incorrect payments. Like other consumer brands, healthcare providers must also start offering a variety of payment options in their online patient portal.
However, setting up these advanced payment systems take time and money. Healthcare providers must also shoulder the ongoing maintenance and security costs of using such technologies. Nevertheless, the improvement in revenue and patient experience will make the investment worthwhile.
2. Tight competition
Thanks to the internet, patients can easily research about various healthcare options before booking an appointment. That said, competition has gotten fiercer. If you don’t have an engaging online presence, you risk losing potential customers.
One way to stand out from the competition is to create a comprehensive digital marketing plan. This can help you boost brand awareness and connect with patients in need of your services
Digital marketing begins with building a memorable website. Think of it as your online home base where customers can access all the information they need, including your contact details and service rates. Additionally, having a website can help build trust and credibility with patients. Many healthcare providers are also leveraging social media to promote their services and build long-term client relationships.
Without digital marketing, your practice will suffer. Unfortunately, many physicians and stakeholders are still resistant to investing in proper online campaigns. A lack of digital literacy often prevents management from taking advantage of the internet to boost revenue and improve patient care.
3. Patient experience
As with any industry, healthcare providers need to stay up to date with the latest customer experience trends.
For example, patients these days demand a faster and more convenient way to resolve queries, pay their bills, or check their insurance status. As much as possible, they want all processes to be streamlined for quicker results. Today’s patients also prefer doing these tasks online or from the comfort of their own home.
One way to address these demands is to invest in an online patient portal. This technology enables patients to fulfill payments or book appointments from the comfort of their own home. At the same time, it also allows the storage of all patient records in a centralized digital location. This means authorized users, such as physicians and specialists, can access updated patient history anytime they want. This is especially beneficial if the patient needs to be transferred to another facility quickly or if the treatment requires expertise of multiple doctors from different places.
The providers can immediately skim through the patient’s records and provide the appropriate treatment to improve medical outcomes. Additionally, since everything is digitized, there will be fewer errors due to ineligible penmanship, incorrect fills, or misinterpretation.
4. Lack of direct patient care
Healthcare professionals spend a significant portion of their day fulfilling paperwork and administrative tasks. As a result, they have less time to interact with patients and provide clinical care. Both patients and physicians often complain about having shorter appointments which can end up affecting health outcomes. ;
The best way to allocate more time towards direct care is to automate administrative tasks. A practice management software tool with quick-view and single-click features can eliminate the need for repetitive and time-consuming tasks including invoicing, data verification or following up appointment schedules.
As mentioned above, technology plays a key role in modern healthcare. However, relying on these tools can open doors to cybercriminals who aim to steal confidential data. Such data breaches can threaten patient safety and damage your reputation. At the same time, these cyberattacks lead to downtime and lowered productivity.
To protect your systems, all healthcare professionals must undergo mandatory cybersecurity training. This will help secure data and reduce the risk of unauthorized access to your networks. It’s also crucial to apply software updates promptly. Any delay in updates can leave you more vulnerable to threats.
Cyberattacks can happen anytime. Backing up your files regularly is vital. Store these backups as far away from your main systems as possible for added protection. Establishing a reliable data recovery system will save you a lot of time and money.
With so many new problems facing the industry, it’s about time healthcare workers step out of their comfort zone and explore new tactics and technologies. By keeping an open mind, hospitals and practices can stay competitive and save more lives.