In today’s Amazon-driven world, consumers expect a convenient, seamless end-to-end experience, with no exception for health care. Amazon knows why this is important: The competition is just one click away.
In an industry that’s shifting to a patient-centric model,
healthcare systems and physician groups must adapt their
access strategies to meet the needs of the healthcare consumer—and compete against emerging non-traditional care
options such as retail clinics.
Modernizing patient access involves teamwork across
departments, as well as leadership to champion the program. Below, we provide guidance affecting key stakeholders:
patients, healthcare providers, and health plans. Creating a
win-win-win approach to access helps move the needle on
care, cost, and satisfaction.
Turn Frustration into Opportunity
For patients, inefficiencies cause frustrations associated with
accessing care. The average time to schedule an appoint-
ment through a call center is approximately eight minutes,
according to Accenture.
2 Likewise, patients are also restricted
to scheduling during business hours. For online scheduling,
Today’s healthcare consumers need to accurately sched-
ule when they want to, get an appointment when they need
it, with an appropriate provider that matches their care
needs. The mother whose child’s chronic condition flares up
in the evening should be able to schedule an appointment
through the provider’s website. If the preferred pediatri-
cian isn’t available the next morning, she should be able to
quickly identify an appropriate provider and a care set-
ting that’s available immediately. It could be with another
doctor or a nurse practitioner within the same practice, at
a physician group’s immediate care center, or possibly even
a telehealth consultation. Medical groups now have oppor-
tunities to innovatively solve patients’ problems while also
meeting their own access goals.
To achieve this, healthcare organizations must evaluate
approaches that accurately navigate patients to optimal care
based on their needs, insurance, and location, and their providers’ credentials and scheduling protocols (see “An Access
TimeModernizing for access that patients expect
By Jim Kuhn