Five ways health systems are improving the patient experience

As a preview to the Clarivate™ Healthcare Business Insights™ 2022 Member Retreats coming this fall, we share how health systems are adapting their patient and staff experiences.

Having to balance the still increasing demand for consumer-centric processes with a newly volatile job market, hospital and health system leaders have been coming to terms with how staff and patient experiences are often reflective of one another. If patients are unhappy, staff will bear the brunt of complaints and concerns. If staff are dissatisfied or unsupported, patients will sense it and may not get their question or concern addressed. Fortunately, this dependency means an improvement to one will positively impact the other.

The following showcases how several forward-thinking health systems are working to retain or recruit both patients and staff while also achieving continuous innovation and improvement. Join us at the Healthcare Business Insights 2022 Fall Member Retreats in either Boston or San Diego to hear more of their stories and meet peers from these and other organizations.


Adjusting operating models to facilitate rapid improvement

Knowing the ideal patient journey could no longer be achieved with traditional operational structures, Allegheny Health Network began a transition from a vertical, siloed management approach to a horizontal one, invested in technology to reduce rote work, and prioritized investment into team member resources within patient experience, analytics, clinical integration, government advocacy and payer alignment.

One recent, more specific initiative featured by Clarivate’s Cost and Quality Academy was an internal “webside” training initiative to prepare physicians and staff for increased virtual care. This included coaching on how to make eye contact, position devices and coach patients on video call setup or participation. Education was extended to patients in the form of virtual navigation tip sheets and a standardized point of contact for issues or questions. Finally, primary care centers were outfitted with “high-tech corners” so that patients without connectivity or mobile devices at home could have the same extended access to care.


Allowing for real-time patient feedback

Geisinger has not only had a real-time patient feedback option in place for several years but pioneered the patient refund. Through a mobile app, patients are asked if their experience was satisfactory and can choose from options or otherwise send a message about why their experience was positive or negative. They can also ask to speak with a representative or, if indicating they were “unhappy,” ask for a refund of anywhere from $1 USD to their full out-of-pocket amount. The organization also allows patients to set up payment plans from its online billing portal and has put considerable effort into furthering this aspect of the patient digital experience in recent years.


Streamlining referrals to see more patients

Texas Children’s Hospital knew that if it wanted to improve patient experience, loyalty, and the number of patients it sees, it could not underestimate referral process improvement. The organization led efforts to standardize and simplify referral forms, submission routes, and scheduling templates across its locations as well as instituted a centralized provider connect department to optimize the external and referring provider experience. This team further refined electronic referral intake, provided patient education on the referral process and established automated lines of communication with providers.


Communicating impact with staff and patients

At the Healthcare Business Insights 2022 Fall Member Retreats, panels will also allow hospitals and health systems to share how they are advancing the employee experience and the partner experience (i.e., payers and vendors). In the case of denials, panelists will discuss how they have been able to work with staff in all areas of the revenue cycle to ensure they understand their contributions toward revenue losses or unexpected patient bills whether through monthly, weekly or even daily reporting or specialized work queues for denial-inducing errors.

Similarly, leaders will share how to effectively plan for contract renegotiations and potential terminations, meet and share data with third parties to resolve issues, and how to communicate with patients when such occurrences might impact their experience. For instance, Stanford Health Care maintains a public website that will explain potential payer contract terminations to patients in advance, what it might mean for them and who to contact with questions or concerns. Proactive patient outreach also commences when such terminations do occur.


Making the staff journey a dual priority

The HBI retreats will also feature multiple sessions on how to recruit, retain, and grow staff. Strategies will be shared with respect to gamification, education and career progression programs, remote engagement and more. During one session in particular, Nebraska Medicine will review how it adjusted job descriptions to include offered training, manager names and to clearly state shifts and location(s). Also discussed will be how it provides monthly individual performance scorecards, quality audit-based training, team rounding, newsletters and incremental recognition to its revenue cycle teams.


Learn from these future-forward health systems and 20 others during each of the 2022 Fall Member Retreats, hosted by Clarivate Healthcare Business Insights. We will be in Boston September 13-14 and in San Diego October 18-19 helping attendees compare current practices and strategic plans as well as develop action steps toward their next goals.

Register today.


About the author

Jerica has been with the team for 12 years and has held a variety of positions within HBI’s Revenue Cycle Academy. She has become an expert in this area and is now focused on supporting leaders in building a truly holistic patient care journey that considers all touchpoints. She also leads content for the team’s highly-rated Member Retreats hosted each year.