What Flu Season Means for Patient Care

Consider Mary’s story…

When Mary comes down with the flu, she calls her primary care doctor to make an appointment. There isn’t an opening for weeks, so she opts for urgent care.

Upon arriving, the receptionist takes her information between incoming calls and frenzied keyboard clicks, and Mary waits for over an hour in a packed waiting room. Her visit with the doctor is brief, and during their time together, the doctor’s eyes are glued to a screen.

After the appointment, Mary visits the pharmacy, where she discovers there is no record of her prescription. She calls the clinic, and after several layers of phone trees, learns that “the system is down” and “we are very sorry.” Mary goes on Google Reviews and leaves a piece of her mind: “NEVER GO HERE.”

Changing the Narrative

The example above may seem extreme, but the humbling truth is Mary’s experience is common, especially during the busy season.

Let’s face it, flu season is upon us, and it’s supposed to hit hard this year.

Flu season affects healthcare organizations in two ways:

1. You’re going to be busy. In addition to managing an already jam-packed patient schedule, now your staff will be administering flu vaccines, running influenza diagnostic tests and treating very sick patients.

2. The flu spreads like wildfire, and the people in your office could easily fall ill. Unfortunately, it is possible to get infected with the flu more than once per season, meaning your organization could experience a revolving door of limited staff due to personal (or family) illnesses.

Healthcare organizations that want to offer a better patient experience during high-volume patient times need to make a change: they need to add additional resources.

One of the easiest ways to resource-up is to outsource your back-office busywork. Of course, all treatments must be entered into the patient record. Flu season compounds the amount of documentation practices are required to complete.

Offloading tedious back-office tasks often increases patient and staff satisfaction alike. Outsourcing to a remote staff (who never calls in sick) ensures operational efficiency through all seasons, allowing your team to lean in when your patients need additional attention and care.

Take better care of your patients and staff this flu season. Talk to us about our holistic suite of HIM services that include filing, release of information, prior authorization and more.

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