Healthcare Practices Need Great Communication

Athenahealth + Podium

No matter the specialty of a medical practice, a medical professional’s single defining characteristic is the drive to provide quality care to its patients. But in this day and age, quality care is about more than just skill and experience.

01 Speak their language—not yours.

More so than ever before, patients are in the driver’s seat when it comes to their care and are willing to take their business elsewhere if they feel that care falls below their standards. What is the most important factor patients consider when deciding whether to stay with their current provider? Simple, the doctor-patient relationship.

Patients today want to feel that their doctor listens to them and takes a serious personal interest in their health. They want to have a compassionate and engaged conversation, not be treated like a to-do on the doctor’s rounds.

Whether it’s outdated communication tools, complicated billing systems, or laborious manual tasks like paperwork, too much of a provider’s available time ends up being eaten by tasks other than providing care. Loss time prevents providers from investing the time necessary to build a loyal patient base and, thereby, grow their practice.

Doctor talking to a patient

02 How healthcare providers can meet patients where they are.

Innovative practices that want to streamline their processes and improve the quality of time spent with patients turn to solutions like Athenahealth. Offering a myriad of cloud-based services including electronic health records (EHR), revenue cycle management, and patient engagement, Athenahealth provides you and providers just like you, with the tools necessary to dig your way out of the black hole of busywork.

With the ability to streamline just about every facet of your business practices, you will free up all the time you need.

If your goal is to grow your practice, losing the busy work with a platform like Athenahealth is just the jumping-off point when it comes to all the ways you can improve patient experiences. Patients, just like the rest of us, have become spoiled by their constant access to technology.

They’re not interested in waiting for your medical practice to catch up. Patients want to be able to communicate with your office on their terms – confirm upcoming appointments via text message, have the ability to email questions directly to their doctor, and schedule appointments online without having to speak to a human being directly.

Prospective new patients want to be able to look up reviews online so they feel confident and comfortable entrusting their care to you. They will be much more likely to use your practice if others have had a great experience.

Practices across the country trust platforms like Athenahealth to manage their records and procedures. Thankfully, your business can fold right into your existing cyberinfrastructure with patient communication and engagement tools.

Case and point: Podium. Tools like Podium’s Reviews and Message Platform modernize your communication and boost your online reputation. They also blend seamlessly into existing EHR programs – making Athenahealth and Podium the dream team that will launch your medical practice into the stratosphere.

03 What is Athenahealth?

Athenahealth is a leader in healthcare software, providing a suite of integrated services. They work to deliver measurable financial and clinical results for more than 160,000 providers on their network. They strive to build a flourishing ecosystem where medical professionals can easily access tools to provide high-quality care. The result is happy patients that keep coming back for those much needed follow up appointments.

Moving to Athenahealth improves a provider’s decision-making capabilities through real-time reporting. It also boosts collections because doctors can close outpatient files the same day they see the patient. Thanks to the simple Athenahealths quick documentation process, many of its customers are increasing their time-of-service collections from 20% to 50%.

Put all this together, and it’s clear why their top- performing customers are beating industry benchmarks across the board. Athenahealth can keep up to date with their patient’s needs in real-time and deliver doctors the tools they need to stay at the top of their game.

Doctor looking at a laptop

How Can Athenahealth Help You?

Athenahealth acts as a single solution for practice management and performance monitoring. You can expect more efficient and timely documentation, reduced manual processes, higher same-day close rates, and all-around more satisfied patients.

  1. Electronic Health Records: A cloud-based service for your patients’ medical records that assists providers in quick, precise documenting, organically arranges the patient visit, and sets your business on the path to success – whether you are a large healthcare system or a little mom and pop practice. Our EHR system is highly rated and allows providers to focus on patients and not sweat the small stuff.
  2. Medical Billing: The Revenue Cycle Management service affords complete clarity into performance, allowing your office to boost collections and get your money in your pocket faster and easier. Plus, with a 93% first-pass resolution rate, you can catch errors in claims before they happen. Making sure you get paid the correct amount, every time.
  3. Patient Engagement: With these services and tools, you can prepare user-friendly, automated communication for your patients while simultaneously taking some tasks off your plate. This system sends out automatic reminders for appointments, billing, and follow-up care through “Automated Phone Calls.” It also provides a simple user portal for patients. Imagine your receptionist not having to take time making outbound calls just to make sure people show up.
  4. Population Health: This tool rounds up all patient data and translates it into usable information helping doctors manage patient populations. With 140 pre- built reports and data visualization tools, you can uncover and manage trends in your population. Managing trends can significantly assist a practice in analyzing what their community really needs. It can also help them focus their support accordingly. Plus, with automated outreach services, you can close care gaps without breaking a sweat.
  5. Care Coordination: This is similar to Teamchat but is a portal for staff to instantly share HIPAA compliant data with each other, external care teams, and specialists. With open communication and automatically updated charts, clear and concise orders have never been simpler. This feature provides a secure space for providers and colleagues to team up and add to that superb eco-system of quality care.

04 The modern patient journey starts with Podium.

When Athenahealth pairs with Podium’s Messaging Platform, providers can keep track of their paperwork and send patients programmed text messages after patient touchpoints.

You will be able to request patient experience surveys automatically and gather reviews after a patient visit. This type of documentation can help your practice better the patient experience to ensure extremely satisfied clients. Knowing where you have room for improvement is the first step to growth and success.

As a busy medical professional, consolidating all patient messaging into a single portal is immensely useful. Integrating Athenahealth with Podium accomplishes that for you. Plus, having the function to automatically remind patients of their upcoming appointments will instantly reduce no-show appointments. This helps you stay on schedule and keep the day running smoothly. This dynamic pairing is a winner for any medical office.

Augment Patient Engagement

Your office is a busy place. There is enough to deal with just handling the people that are physically present for their appointment. Between greeting patients, managing multiple phone lines, and trying to balance an appointment book, your staff doesn’t have time to jump from email inbox to chat window to texting application for every new message from a patient.

With Athenahealth and Podium Messaging, you’ll never lose track of another message. Why? Because they will all end up in the same place. Your patients now have the ability to message you in whatever way they find convenient – text message, email, Google My Business, or even social media platforms like Facebook – and those messages will all end up in one easily managed inbox.

Podium Messaging even allows you to add chat functionality to your website. Now patients can ask a question or request an appointment right at the moment when they’re thinking about it. And where does that chat end up? You guessed it: your single unified inbox from Podium!

Remember, building a loyal, trusting relationship with your patients is paramount to your business’s success. Adding Podium Messaging to your arsenal lets your patients know you’re never out of reach when they need you.

healthcare worker with client

Cut Back on No-Shows

We have all seen it happen. 2 o’clock rolls around, and your scheduled appointment hasn’t arrived. Ten minutes later, they are on the phone explaining that they completely forgot and will have to reschedule. Now, you are missing out on that revenue. Also, one of your other patients is sitting at home, waiting on an appointment. With a heads up, you could have filled the now-available time slot.

Podium Messaging can’t eliminate no-shows. But it can certainly make them far less frequent. Text message reminders have been shown to have a measurable positive effect on patients keeping their scheduled appointments, even decreasing missed appointments by 25%. Plus, it shows the patient that you care and want to make sure they attend the necessary appointment. Little things like this can go a long way in building a lifelong relationship with your patients.

Now, you can send automated appointment reminders with ease. And we’re not talking about outdated, one- way, robot messages either. Your patients will have the option to reply to these reminder texts. They can request to cancel or reschedule the way they would if they spoke to an actual person. Podium Messaging can handle natural language replies. This gives a much more personal touch to leave your clients with a real warm and fuzzy feeling.

Adding Podium Messaging to your arsenal lets your patients know you’re never out of reach when they need you.

Grow Your Online Reputation

It’s the unwritten rule of doing business in the internet age: reviews will make or break your online reputation, and your online reputation will make or break your business. How does a brand new business become a neighborhood institution? Why does a formerly trusted enterprise peter out and go under? You can bet the answer has something to do with online client feedback.

This principle applies to medical practices as much as anything else. Patients want to trust that their doctor is not just competent but also communicative and compassionate. These qualities can only be spoken to by people who have already experienced what a visit to your office is like. That’s why online reviews are a huge deciding factor for patients that are looking for a new provider.

With Podium Reviews, you can ask your patients for their thoughts and experiences with you and your staff. Best part? You don’t have to lift a finger. Patients can be sent an automatic review request after their appointments. With every positive review you gain, you have the ability to rise above your competitors and entice new patients.

Podium Reviews also puts a comprehensive summary of your online reputation on your dashboard so that you are always kept up to date on which way the wind is blowing. You will receive an alert immediately after a new review is posted for your business.

Does a patient have a problem with you, your services, or your staff? Don’t let it tank all of your hard work. Get out in front of negative reviews before they spiral out of control. Make it a point to acknowledge their experience, apologize, and offer to rectify the situation.

Simply by being responsive, you will show a dissatisfied client and other potential clients that you genuinely care about their experience with you. Maintaining a level of control over how you are perceived online can be a very powerful tool.

Or, can a new patient not stop raving about how well their first appointment went? Take a moment with your staff to go over what’s working and offer them well-deserved kudos. Happy employees make happy customers!

Reviews will make or break your online reputation, and your online reputation will make or break your business. … This principle applies to medical practices as much as anything else.

Boost Team Collaboration

Imagine having a single place for all of the discourse among your staff. With Podium Teamchat, you’ve got access to a digital bulletin board that will consolidate all of your necessary team communications. Designed to seamlessly interface with Athenahealth, your staff can ask and answer questions particular to a specific patient or brainstorm together on a treatment strategy based on new test results. A seamless interface and more is made simple with the ability to go mobile and collaborate anywhere.

The quality of patient care is paramount to the success of your practice. Don’t let something as seemingly innocuous as a missed email from a teammate put your patients and your business at risk. Teamchat can ensure that never happens.

nurse working

05 The choice is yours.

Athenahealth and Podium complement each other perfectly by providing a single solution to manage the complete patient journey, help drive patient acquisition, and encourage long-term retention. From the sites that matter most to your practice and having accurate listings across the web, you’ll stay up to date. This solution pair has you more than covered from messaging patients about appointments to building relationships with lifelong patients.

Having Podium run alongside Athenahealth is like having an extra front desk employee without having to find a candidate to hire. You’ll see more revenue coming into your practice when more appointments are kept because you send them automated text message reminders.

You’ll see happier doctors when they’re able to truly focus on the patient’s experience rather than manual processes. This just leads to more satisfied patients. You’ll know how patients feel about their experience with you when they respond to your patient experience surveys. Your reputation will continue to lead as best in class when your practice has more quality reviews than others by soliciting reviews after each appointment.

These days, working with the most up-to-date messaging technology is mission-critical to any business. The medical field is no exception. Partnering with AthenHealth and Podium is the best way to make sure your practice keeps up with the times and your clients. It does this without all the work on your end. As a medical professional, you already work so hard taking care of people; let Athenahealth and Podium assist in taking care of you.

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