Hospitals need more efficient and streamlined ways to onboard patients. Unqork's Joey Passananti explores how co-code can provide the comprehensive capabilities they need to move to a unified system.
When it comes to patient onboarding, trivial mistakes can have serious consequences. A single misplaced hyphen or misspelled email address can derail insurance claims, causing delays for patients and increased costs for hospitals.
Hospitals juggle a variety of IT systems meant to simplify their daily operations, but the expanse of disparate solutions and lack of interoperability can result in just the opposite of simple. Despite the industry’s rapid rate of digitization, there’s still an abundance of process inefficiencies—an issue that was laid bare by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Recent social distancing measures have highlighted the urgent need for digital transformation in the healthcare space. In response to these events, regulatory groups like the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have broadened access to Medicare telehealth services in order to discourage unnecessary travel to care facilities. The adoption of telemedicine skyrocketed this March, with telehealth visits surging a whopping 50%. Digital systems that allow remote patient-facing engagements have gone from nice-to-haves to must-haves.
Still, even outside the context of a global pandemic, it is crucial for hospitals to adopt technologies that will allow them to efficiently process sensitive data at scale across multiple systems and departments. This undertaking would have been nearly impossible (or prohibitively expensive) just a decade ago. Fortunately, a new class of advanced no-code platforms like Unqork are helping healthcare providers optimize their digital ecosystems and, ultimately, provide better care to patients.
Ensuring Valid Information Intake
Collecting patient information may seem simple, but doing so at such large volumes—with so much potential for costly or even life-threatening consequences—presents a unique challenge. And that’s where oversight comes in. Beyond scale, providers need systems that adhere to a strict (but evolving) patchwork of rules and regulations.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), for example, requires that effective safeguards be implemented when collecting data to protect patient privacy. More recently, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (HITECH) expanded the scope of HIPAA to include electronic health record practices.
In order to remain in the law’s good graces, providers must be diligent about distributing privacy notices, consent forms, and release forms for new patients. To do this efficiently (and potentially remotely), hospitals must provide user-friendly digital applications that can easily guide patients through multiple steps and potentially hundreds of questions.
Beyond regulatory matters and basic information gathering, the intake process requires that hospitals check patients’ insurance details before providing care. This requires digital solutions that are capable of efficiently collecting—and verifying—personal information ranging from insurance and social security numbers to email addresses. Any holes in this process can leave the door open to false claims, lower reimbursement rates, and delayed care.
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Improving Billing and Payments
Even if a provider wants to undertake a robust digital transformation, updating technology can come with an enormous price tag (even more so when technology must be rapidly updated to meet unexpected disruption like a pandemic). As a result, when it comes to patient intake and billing, many hospitals use a mix of systems, old and new.
Due to previously existing technical barriers, all these disparate internal systems may never directly “speak” to each other, which increases the chance of double-entry and incorrect intake. These issues are multiplied tenfold as players in the healthcare industry undergo mergers and acquisitions (just the kind that, for a number of reasons, have been happening with increasing frequency), which means hospitals are forced to integrate an even wider spectrum of technologies. Unfortunately, many systems cannot be easily integrated with each other (at least when using traditional development methodologies), which can drive up costs and complexity.
"A centralized no-code development platform enables users to build apps that seamlessly integrate with various types of systems."
A centralized no-code development platform enables users to build apps that seamlessly integrate with various types of systems. No-code is system agnostic; it plays nicely with legacy healthcare systems as well as it does with off-the-shelf solutions like Epic and Oscar. As a central digital hub, Unqork can facilitate data transfers between all platforms, ensuring that your registrar only needs to access one application, not dozens. Not only does centralization reduce errors and optimize efficiency, but it can also enable robust data analytics, which can be used to realize efficiencies down the road.
The No-Code Solution
No-code platforms empower providers to rapidly build and deliver enterprise-strength digital apps. With the urgent needs of COVID-19 continuing to strain the healthcare industry, this speedy development is more crucial than ever.
With no-code, healthcare providers can quickly build systems capable of streamlining the entire patient registration process, from ensuring that onboarding forms have been completed to verifying insurance and patient information. With security built-in from the ground up and an intuitive visual interface for app development, healthcare providers can worry less about data and more about delivering top-notch patient care.
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