Patient access is one of the most critical issues plaguing the current healthcare industry. For a large, academic health system – internationally renowned for world-class providers and care – getting patients scheduled for timely appointments was a monumental challenge. Patient access to this provider meant keeping up with demand, honoring patient preference, ensuring timely results, and improved efficiency of “first contact resolution” issues. Whether a patient called in via phone, attempted to schedule an appointment online, or tried to access telemedicine-based care – technological and operational barriers to entry started to erode this organization’s stellar reputation, putting them at risk in the local market as well.
Despite passion and intention to resolve patient access issues internally, the client called Vynamic to address two critical needs:
Radical focus on these two areas would ensure patients and referring clinicians could easily find the right provider, at the right location, and at the right time. Along with the benefits of increased patient satisfaction, enhanced operational efficiency, and a financial return-on-investment, a potential societal benefit was uncovered. Solving for true patient access also opens the door to increased health equity.
Patient access is an obvious predicament, but designing effective solutions is a multi-pronged and challenging endeavor. Vynamic was perfectly positioned to partner with our client because we understood that enabling patient access was the first critical step to truly engaging with the patient all the way from first contact to post-discharge.
The key operational tenets to enable true patient access involved the following:
Building a Governance Model
The first step with setting up a multi-tiered, equitably-staffed governance model is to test thoughtfully curated and parallel solutions. Vynamic led a critical first task of goal-setting to begin tracking progress towards an ideal future state including these elements:
Conducting Current State Assessments
Once established, Vynamic led the governance group through current state assessments. This allowed the team to explore the organization’s internal issues, but also looked outwards at industry trends to inform future state. By looking outward to learn from the industry, Vynamic and the client really sought to push the boundaries and expand beyond the current standards of excellence.
Prioritizing Impact & Feasibility
Once solutions were brainstormed, Vynamic led pressure testing exercises mapped against impact and feasibility through a matrix that pushed out the highest priority projects. This helped the organization focus on key investments and initiatives. Testing was done through pilots that provided a baseline and a strong foundation for sustainable scaling across the enterprise.
A key patient access metric is the ability to self-schedule, or schedule online. Through this partnership, the client saw an increase of 40% of patients being able to schedule appointments online. This statistic alone illustrated that patients could prioritize their preference to see their providers and get the care they needed.
These additional results were achieved:
This project was invaluable to the client because Vynamic co-created a foundation of patient access that can last for many years and evolve with the client over time. Great patient access leads to true patient engagement.
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