It’s All About the Patient – Or Is It? Understanding Your Other Customers’ Needs and Ways to Deliver Superstar Service

The mantra of healthcare is “focus on the patient” and those of us in healthcare and healthcare IT live in a patient-centric world. However, for hospitals and healthcare organizations, the patient isn’t our only customer. In fact, there are many others who fall into that category and require a high level of customer service. This is extremely evident in the departments that interact with those authorized to request and receive copies of patient records.

We have to remember it’s NOT ONLY about the patient…there’s more to consider.

In the Release of Information (ROI) world, our customers are other healthcare providers, attorneys, payers, schools, and law enforcement, just to name a few. It’s the Health Information Management (HIM) department’s responsibility to make sure that ROI requests are met and completed with a high level of satisfaction. Given the variable types of documentation needed, requirements about the level of patient data that can be legally shared, and the sheer number of requests, it’s a challenging and time-consuming process.

So how do we ensure efficient and error-free customer service?

The key is technology-driven ROI workflows. In an age of technology-driven healthcare, so many healthcare providers still rely on manual ROI workflows where requests are touched multiple times during processing and request tracking is done in a log book or on a spreadsheet. This is a recipe for poor customer service based on an inability to quickly and accurately provide information about request status, generate invoices and distribute the requested patient information.

Patients want access to their doctors and hospital staff because the human touch is a cornerstone of patient care. But requestors simply need the information they seek. Think of it like this: Rarely do we call airlines unless there is an issue, we simply book tickets and check flight status online. The same goes for requestors. Technology provides an efficient way to request and retrieve information. And, efficiency goes a long way towards maintaining customer satisfaction.

ROI automation provides benefits to both the healthcare organization and the requestors:

  • Requestors can retrieve information they need independently.
  • Requestor satisfaction rises because self-sufficiency is built into the ROI process, where it has never been before.
  • HIM departments can respond quickly and automatically to requestors.
  • Hospitals can quickly distribute information, track data and reduce errors.
  • Healthcare organizations can ensure they are complying with strict federal, state and organization regulations.

ROI is one of a handful of touch points your customers have with your healthcare organizations. Let’s strive to make this experience the best it can be. With the right guide in place, the entire universe is within easy reach!