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A Better Way for Hospitals to Register Patients

by The Digital Trendz

A better, more effective registration procedure helps everyone involved, including hospital staff and patients. Hospitals that can’t keep up with changes in best practices often lose patients to their rivals, but hospitals that can make this critical first step in the patient journey enjoyable for their patients tend to get more business. Continue reading to learn how hospitals can guarantee that patient registration runs as smoothly as possible.

How to Optimize the Registration Process

In an ideal situation, the patient registration process will be quick and simple. The use of a mobile hospital registration cart can help to facilitate the check-in process, helping to prevent backups in the waiting room caused by a lack of organization. Taking advantage of modern technology by providing an at-home pre-registration option that clarifies financial responsibility and collects basic information can help, as can assigning specific staff members to the task.

Providing adequate staff training is a must for hospitals that want to optimize the registration process. While some parts of the process can be completed by patients at home via pre-registration and others can be automated, it’s still vital that the staff members responsible for collecting patient information know how to use the relevant programs and be familiar with the intake process. 

Signs It’s Time for a Change

An overloaded waiting room is the most clear indication that the hospital has to make changes to its patient registration procedure. Patients find lengthy wait periods frustrating; in fact, thirty percent of them have had to leave a clinic or hospital before seeing a doctor due to lengthy wait hours. While there are always going to be fluctuations in wait times in parts of the hospital like emergency rooms that can’t exactly provide people with appointments, a well-optimized check-in process should still help to keep them short enough to meet patients’ expectations.

A second sign it’s time to reconsider a hospital’s patient registration processes is the presence of errors in records taken during the check-in process. When staff has to input all of each patient’s information manually, it creates a wealth of opportunities for human error. Automating as many of those processes as possible helps to ensure accuracy, which is vitally important to providing exceptional patient care.

Common Mistakes to Identify and Avoid

Even seemingly minor mistakes can cause serious problems when it comes to providing patient care. Instead of waiting until these patient registration mistakes come up, hospitals should learn from others and find ways to avoid them in advance.

Skipping Insurance Verification

Failing to verify insurance coverage and obtain prior authorizations can leave patients dealing with surprise medical bills. This, in turn, can cut into hospitals’ profits when patients are unable to pay.

Potential HIPAA Violations

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was created to protect patient privacy, and violating it can come with hefty fines. Unfortunately, some hospitals unintentionally violate patients’ HIPAA rights during registration by making mistakes like calling out patients’ full names or not hiding sign-in sheets from view. 

Inaccurate Details

Getting patient details right is very important. The wrong birth date, insurance information, or even an outdated address can cause all kinds of problems. Automating as much of this process as possible is a good way to avoid unnecessary mistakes.

Start Making Changes

No hospital is perfect. Start making changes to patient registration processes now to ensure that everything goes smoothly moving forward.

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