Patient satisfaction is one of the most important factors in determining whether a radiology center can be (and stay) successful. But it's not always easy to make sure patients are always satisfied with their care. There are many things that can go wrong during the course of a visit, from long wait times, due to long paperwork, to rude employees or poor customer service.
This is where an outsourcing scheduling partner can help you by streamlining your radiology center processes and improving your overall efficiency at a faster pace.
In this guide, we'll take a comprehensive look at how to do it, from where to start to patient satisfaction, operational efficiency, and more. So, whether you're looking to make some small tweaks or a complete overhaul, this guide will help you identify your imaging center’s potential areas of improvement.
Why is Improving your radiology center important?
First off, your radiology center plays a vital role in the healthcare industry as it provides crucial services to help determine patients’ underlying medical conditions and life-sustaining treatments. However, not all radiology centers were able to cope with COVID’s game-changing situation, implementing staff emergency managing strategies and emergency response actions were key during this time. For example, according to this study during the early waves of the COVID pandemic in 2020, there was a decrease of 13.8% in MRIs, particularly affecting outpatient centers.
Although everyone is getting used to the new normal, clinical and economic pressure left by this unprecedented situation persists and it raises the bar for healthcare customer service as patient expectations are higher than ever at every stage of the interaction between patients and clinics. Nonetheless, we do not need to wait for another pandemic to start our practice readiness and improvement journey.
1.Focus on the patient experience
When it comes to patient experience, we don't just mean the quality of your service. We mean the entire journey—from the first time a doctor or hospital refers to your practice or hears about it, to their last interaction with your business. As a healthcare provider, you need to focus on providing an experience that makes patients feel valued and appreciated.
The patient experience is about how well-trained the staff is at answering questions and providing information, how responsive and helpful the medical team is when you need it, and how comfortable you feel during your appointment or procedure.
If you're not sure how to make this happen, start by asking yourself: what do my patients need from me? What do they want? How can I make them feel better about themselves and their health situation?
When people have an amazing patient experience at your center, they're more likely to return for future treatments—and even recommend their providers to others.
Here are some ways you can improve it:
- Make sure that all equipment is functioning properly. This includes the x-ray machines, CT scanners, MRI machines, and other equipment used in radiology centers. If something isn't working correctly or breaks down, you should have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible so that it doesn't cause delays in treatment or even endanger patients' lives.
- Make sure all the staff including employees, customer support, and patient schedulers are well trained. This includes knowing how to schedule an appointment for any given scan, as well as having the medical personnel such as doctors and nurses but also technicians who operate equipment such as x-ray machines and CT scanners; their training should include both theoretical knowledge as well as practical skills like how to operate certain machines.
- Keep records up-to-date at all times - this includes keeping track of patient records as well as any other paperwork related to radiology services offered by your center.
- Another step to excel in patient satisfaction in your radiology practice is by investing in quality assurance programs. These programs help ensure all your processes meet healthcare standards for your patient’s peace of mind and create a culture of continuous quality improvement. Quality assurance and compliance programs are not limited to improving your radiology equipment and imaging procedures, they can also help identify areas where more progress can be made to lead to better patient outcomes and continuous improvement culture.
2. Consider your patients’ needs first
As a healthcare provider, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day minutiae of running your business. But when you step back and get a bird's eye view, you can see that there's so much more to be done than just keeping up with day-to-day operations. You have an opportunity to be a leader in your industry by showing how you are working towards improving the lives of your patients and their families.
It's important to remember that your patients are relying on you for their health and well-being. That means not just doing what's best for them but also making sure that they understand why you're doing what you're doing. This can help them feel more comfortable with the process and with the results.
3. Use Outsourcing for Efficiency
Outsourcing your patient care to a third-party provider can be a great way to improve efficiency and productivity at your radiology center.
You may want to consider outsourcing if you want to focus on patient care, but don't have the in-house resources to provide 24/7 customer service. Or, maybe you're looking for ways to cut costs while maintaining high-quality standards.
However, it's important that you find a provider that specializes in radiology centers. You want a company that understands how it works and can help you create an effective patient experience.
4. Make it easy for patients to pay
There are a lot of simple ways you can make it easier for your customers to pay without having to go through an excruciatingly long process, and we're going to tell you all about them:
Offer online payments: It's never been easier than now to accept credit cards online. There are lots of different services that make this possible, from PayPal (which is free) all the way up to Square (which costs money). You can even use a service like Stripe if you don't want to run your own website—they'll handle everything for you!
Accept cash: This might seem like an old-fashioned idea, but there are still plenty of people who prefer paying with cash over using their credit card or debit card. If they don't have one of those options available, they may not buy anything at all! So if you want more customers coming through your doors every day, make sure cash payments are accepted here too!
5. Streamline and automate processes as much as possible
One of the first things you'll want to implement in your Radiology Center is figuring out how to streamline and automate processes as much as possible. That's because it's not only a good way to save time and money, but also to ensure that your center runs smoothly.
The key is finding ways for employees or contractors to complete tasks without having to spend lots of time thinking about them. For example, if you have a website that needs updating on a regular basis, consider using an automated tool rather than having someone manually update it every day. Automation is also helpful when it comes to repetitive tasks like scheduling meetings or paying bills.
You may also want to consider automating some of your more manual processes—like invoicing clients—if they're particularly time-consuming or prone to human error. This will allow you to focus on other important aspects of running your business while still providing customers with what they need in a timely manner (and without having to worry about whether or not their invoice has been paid).
A crucial element to automate processes in your radiology practice, is without a doubt, security. That’s why you need to make sure there are authentication measures in place.
This includes using two-factor authentication or biometrics for accessing sensitive data and systems such as:
- Encryption for all data in transit, including images and test results.
- Educating staff on security risks and best practices. This includes awareness of phishing scams and social engineering attacks.
- Deploying security monitoring tools to detect and respond to threats in real time.
- Conducting regular security audits and penetration tests.
- Making sure your outsourcing partners' systems and processes are compatible with your RIS and that they have security protocols in place to handle your patients’ EMRs and EHRs.
When it comes to improving your radiology center, there’s no substitute for experience – so make sure to consider outsourcing as part of your strategy, can bring a wealth of knowledge -and experience- to the table
Be More Productive by Partnering with CCD Health
Having CCD’s 10-year healthcare-specialized customer service experience as an extension of your team can skyrocket your patient experience and satisfaction levels. CCD Health is the #1 appointment scheduler for leading U.S. radiology providers.
We offer a variety of services to boost your radiology center‘s appointment scheduling operations, including specialized radiology contact center agents, reporting powered by business intelligence, workforce flexibility, and seasonality projection, as well as world-class healthcare customer service at an affordable price.
Partnering with CCD Health is a great way to improve your productivity and recover your abandoned call missed revenue. Contact our experts today and schedule a free demo.