The days when patients went to the doctor’s office with very little knowledge and some semblance of understanding regarding their particular ailment, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment are loooong gone; everything the doctors said (or didn’t say) was once regarded as just the way it was and had to be. When patients left that 15-minute doctor’s visit they were armed only with the information and options that their doctor provided to them. For the doctors, the only real-time information they could provide was by drawing from what they knew from experience and then simply telling their patients that once the tests results came back, they’d be contacted.
Today’s world of high-tech gizmos and gadgets, combined with all the electronic options and opportunities to access and share knowledge and information instantaneously, has:
- Turned passive patients into articulate, empowered, and questioning clients,
- Inspired doctors to become team members and patient partners, and
- Transformed paper-laden healthcare-related medical businesses into streamlined, easily-accessible services.
You’ve got founder and former CEO of Apple – the late, great Steve Jobs to thank for all that; Jobs helped redefine the client-healthcare experience in three profound ways.
1. Patients Are Now More Informed (and Empowered)
By being able to access not only clinical studies, medical articles, and healthcare information at a fingertip via an iPad, iPhone, or MacBook, but also peruse the personal experiences of others who’ve been through similar health experiences or alternative solutions offered throughout the world. Even patient reviews of doctors and medical facilities via the internet, Facebook, Twitter, and other outlets, today’s patient-turned-client (who can confidently now hire or fire doctors) are more informed and empowered about their own healthcare experience and how to achieve their wellness goals.
Technology has illuminated the whole healthcare experience and given individuals the opportunity to be knowledgeable advocates for loved ones and articulate voices for themselves. Tech-savvy or not, today’s patients (still) want doctors who take the time to know all their healthcare challenges holistically; they want physicians who can see their whole healthcare picture and not just specialized fragments of it. Since this is quite rare, today’s technology (thank you Steve Jobs) enables patients to research, understand, question, and share the whole healthcare picture of themselves with everyone on their healthcare team. After all, at any given time doctors are seeing hundreds of patients; easily-accessible healthcare information now enables each patient to become his/her own one-case manager.
2. Doctors are Now More Articulate, Approachable, and Accountable
Today’s information-seeking patient sees his healthcare providers differently than his (great) grandparents do. No longer is what the doctor says, recommends, or orders placed on a pedestal, written in stone, or mandated as law.
The technology of Steve Jobs has helped make doctors better individuals, better listeners, better communicators, better team members, and better doctors. Many doctors today use technology to access patient information, and tests results from remote locations. They communicate with their colleagues via texting, emailing, and voice messages rather than via letters, faxes, and phone calls. They research findings and peer-reviewed articles by other medical professionals, and simply “click” to access prescription interactions, treatment side effects, and other reliable medical information.
3. Healthcare-related Services Are More Patient-Friendly and Streamlined
From medical reports, test results, and prescription refills to patient billing, today’s Steve-Jobs-inspired technology enables many of the medical-related experiences for the patient to be faster and friendlier. For healthcare professionals in Finance, Patient Accounting and Billing, hospital CFOs, Directors of Patient Accounts, VPs of Finance, and Physicians, being able to provide care, (correctly) bill (code) for that care, and receive payment for that care are all necessary components of creating and providing an overall “healthy” healthcare organization to the public.
As a result of the Jobs’ influence and advancement of today’s technology, leading specialists in patient account receivables can now easily integrate collection software (some that also act as a denial management solution) with dialer technology to maximize the effectiveness of both inbound and outbound calling campaigns for health care providers. When today’s technology is embraced and implemented in the health care industry at this accounts recoverable level, for example, administrative errors in a patient’s eligibility, service authorization, clinical and physician documentation, and coding are curtailed. Reducing denials management experiences reduces stress for both the patients and the providers (and less stress in life contributes to overall wellness!)
Today the onus of one’s health and well-being is no longer on the doctor alone. With all the technology available and Internet social media outlets, there is no reason any individual (or his/her grandparents) should ever again go to a doctor’s office uninformed, unprepared, or unarmed with lots of questions, concerns, and alternative solutions.
Steve Jobs, himself, researched and explored non-traditional, alternative healthcare options when his lifestyle, goals, and beliefs weren’t in sync with what Western medicine had to offer (or not offer).
With mobile and tablet devices outpacing desktop use, healthcare providers must recognize how their patients like to communicate. Having a mobile friendly patient billing and medical record resource is a must. Sites like www.MyBalanceOnline.com offer these integrated services with existing PMS and EMR systems for a nominal fee.
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