Patient leakage: Graver than you think
Like any other organization in the world, healthcare providers are primarily dependent on the patients for their survival and to stay in business they must continue attracting patients. Sounds pretty ordinary right? But in reality, unlike others, for healthcare, there are also other forces at play.
The healthcare industry is profoundly impacted by legal bodies and referrals for their profitability and network growth because they heavily influence patient consumerism. In any scenario, if a healthcare provider loses a patient network, the provider loses that business for good. Which means that the patient is lost for any future care, thereby increasing the likelihood for them to seek care elsewhere. To sum it up, patient preference and loyalty are simply driven by patient experience excellence.
A majority of healthcare executives realise the significance of patient leakage management, otherwise known as referral or network management. But even after spending millions of dollars on their services, they wonder why they continue to lose patients to their competitors.
Understanding the gap
Statistics such show us how there is a significant disconnect between how executives perceive and act on patient leakage. While 87% of senior management calls it a top priority, 23% don’t even track it, while 20% don’t even know what it is.
The cost of patient leakage
Failure to manage the referrals effectively have some detrimental impact on revenue than some might imagine. Nearly 40% of executives report they are losing over 10% revenue, 19% reveal they are losing over 20% revenue due to this dilemma, and 23% have no clue about its impact. Ignorance is bliss, right?
Patients are likelier to go where their physicians refer them. But no matter how loyal a patient is to the physician; they would still expect the highest quality services making this one of the major factors towards building a strong ‘patient keepage’ strategy. For strong referral networks, it is necessary to ensure your services are second to none- well at least in your vicinity. Instituting a method that measures the quality of competitive facilities can not only give you a perspective on your facility versus the rest, but it also lets you demonstrate how your patient outcomes are better than the rest.
67% respondents revealed that more than one staff member looks after leakage process, 9% think that the CFO should oversee this, 8% believe that it is the Chief Medical Officer’s job while 10% executives still maintain that responsibility should fall on the top leadership alone.
While it is now clear that multiple people are involved in this process, only a few own up to it. Ideally, patient leakage and keepage should be a responsibility that should be shared across the entire facility by everyone at their own levels who are working towards the same goal- patient experience excellence.
Leverage the right technology to fill gaps
Technology is also another issue within patient leakage and referral management, researchers observed. Most healthcare providers (38%) are dependent on their EHR systems to track patient leakage and referrals; however, studies show how these providers are dissatisfied with the results. 19% of executives are displeased with their EHR systems capability to track leakage and 57% are only somewhat satisfied.
So, in the end, it all boils down to the kind of service your patients are getting. Patients will not stay with a facility where they think they have been treated poorly. And with a growing reputation for delivering poor service, you cannot expect a strong referral network. The solution is to ask yourself whether you understand these gaps within your system? Do you know what actions you can take to bridge the gaps? And more importantly, how do you perceive your network strength, and how are your patients perceiving it? Antlere patient experience management solution helps you recognize these gaps to get you to root of the problem and onto the road of recovery.