Patient Access is Mission Critical

In a 2014 report, McKinsey and Company explains that patient access is a top strategic item for provider CEOs for three different reasons:

The need to transform outpatient performance to enable future growth. Better performance on access often facilitates improved clinician productivity (particularly in utilization, in which we have commonly seen improvements above 20 percent).

Increasing consumer expectations and choice. Consumers will demand that provider systems offer them both good basic access (short or no wait times) and more advanced amenities (e.g., convenient online booking, “concierge” access services).

The coming shift toward risk-based models that link payments to cost, quality, and patient satisfaction. Maximizing the use of existing capacity to offer rapid (e.g., same- or next-day) access to outpatient care is important for keeping patients out of high-cost care settings.

As a result, many provider systems think that the challenge is overwhelming and are unsure where to begin.

The study goes on to describe the impact of various access improvements like “no fuss scheduling” and convenient access options like the ability to offer patients choice in appointment times (e.g., before or after work, on weekends) and other options (such as the ability to specify an individual clinician, the clinician’s gender, or the language to be spoken).

The value of getting it right, according to the study, shows that most systems improve outpatient profitability by at least 10 to 20 percent within 12 months of launch. The figure below demonstrates the impact for three different contexts:

Improving patient access is an inherently motivating goal because it resonates strongly with all key stakeholders involved in the process: clinical staff, administrative staff, call center staff, and the patients themselves.

To learn how MyHealthDirect is helping some of the biggest health systems and plans in the country, read our free report: Redefining Patient Access.