5 Steps to Streamlined Registrations – Part 2 of 5
Step 2 – Develop an Ideal Future State/Process
With a good handle on your existing process to accept patients as well as surrounding factors like satisfaction, you have a great basis to design a new process. Again, this is where LEAN does an excellent job in guiding you through this activity. Your ideal state/ process will see the action items of value for the patient being completed as efficiently as possible.
From a patient’s perspective their ideal flow is they enter your facility, go straight to the clinician, be treated immediately and then leave. Since that will never happen, what are the minimum steps that must occur for the patient to receive their service? How can you accomplish this minimum number of steps with the least amount of effort?
When developing this future state try to adopt an impartial viewpoint. While for the past 25 years your registrars have always performed activity, is it truly necessary for a person to perform some of these actions? Where there is repetition and clearly defined rules there is the opportunity to have technology perform the job.
Revisit your desired outcomes from your business case. Here are some additional outcomes you might consider:
1. Improving the patient experience: By standardizing the patient flow, the level of confusion for patients has significantly decreased as they are pre-registered online prior to their visit and there is now one single point of contact in the main lobby for all scheduled visit check-ins.
2. Managing patient expectations and staff interaction: Patient expectations for service levels are met as they are given more control over their experience. Therefore, many of the routine activities such as visit check-ins and selective demographic field updates have been automated. The staff now has reason to enjoy their work environment with a new outlook on their position.
3. Enhanced staff productivity: As a result of enhanced staff productivity and better streamlining of the patient flow in areas such as outpatient services and the ER, the hospital has improved the quality of registration data and eliminated/redistributed FTEs – making it possible to achieve significant cost savings in the first year.
4. Elimination of many labor-intensive manual steps in the patient-admitting process. Direct entry by the patient helps reduce transcription errors and improves overall data accuracy. The ability to give immediate status on patient identification, communication, outstanding clinic time, as well as the future ability to collect funds via credit card swipe, gives these devices an easily definable financial return on investment. Many patients prefer the experience of check-in via kiosk to traditional nurse check-in, citing lack of queues and increased privacy and ease. The limited requirement for interaction with existing systems, coupled with the fact that kiosks do not change clinical workflow, makes them quick and nonintrusive to implement.