When a practice chooses to outsource release of information (ROI) workflows, and relieves the burden from their staff, they find one of the major benefits is freeing up the staff’s time and resources. In fact, our customer, Nevada Medical Clinic, found they were able to cut overall records handling responsibilities from 6.5 full time equivalents (FTE) down to 1.5.

However, does lowering record processing FTE mean your practice needs to fire Betty the records admin? Or should you just refocus efforts elsewhere – like on your patients? After all, you love Betty! You don’t want to lose her…she is a talented member of your records department. But now that you’ve outsourced part of her job responsibilities, she’s got more time on her hands. So where are Betty’s efforts best spent for the benefit of the practice and patients? Often, focusing on improving patient satisfaction through customer service opportunities is a good place for many practices to start.

Have Betty Answer Phone Calls

Perhaps one of the easiest and most immediate things Betty can do is answer the phone. Jamie Verkamp of eMerge, the leading expert in health care patient satisfaction says, “Think about redirecting the time and skills of your medical records personnel to more patient-facing tasks like answering the phones. This is one of the busiest and hardest areas to provide great customer service to patients so extra hands (and voices) are one of the best ways to improve patient satisfaction at your office.” Patients will appreciate not having to spend as much time on hold, or having to call back multiple times to get what they need from your office.

Have Betty Interact with Patients

By taking more records tasks off their plate, your staff will increase the time they can spend dialoguing with patients – on the phone and in-person. This allows staff to more effectively uncover the needs of patients through perceptive listening and observing details that give insights into patient lives. Gaining insights into patient goals, challenges and interests can, in turn, enhance the trust of patients and identify other areas where your office’s clinical services could be helpful. Improving the connection with your patients not only makes for happier, more loyal patients, but also creates a stronger long-term patient relationship with your practice.

Other Ways Betty Can Help

Although not necessarily directly related to patient satisfaction, Betty’s time can also be redistributed to help improve other areas of the practice.

  • Communications: Improving internal communication processes and channels for communication among doctors, staff and patients at your practice can be beneficial in helping information flow faster and more effectively.
  • Marketing: Liberated records staff can help with basic marketing activities, such as direct mail campaigns, that could help bring in more patients to the practice, and ultimately more revenue.
  • Meaningful Use: Reallocate staff to help the practice meet Meaningful Use measures required for attestation by getting processes, workflows and processes in place now.

Remember, just because your records fulfillment processes changed with outsourced release of information services, it doesn’t mean you have to cut staff. ScanSTAT is your release of information and medical records management resource. Talk to us to find out what some of our clients are doing with their “Betty”, or ask how outsourcing release of information would be beneficial to your practice.

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