Influencing those with purchasing power: building your business case for patient self-service
Now, how can you get your superiors on board?
If you are building a case for change, you need to be well prepared for resistance. Patient self-service is replacing processes that staff (and patients) have been using and evolving for decades. This kind of change is often emotionally charged, and difficult at the best of times.
To persuade the people with deep pockets, you should integrate these three factors into your business case.
1. Pinpoint the risks and costs.
The main thing you want to do is to show the risk of NOT implementing the technology.
In other words, what kinds of things are keeping you (and should also be keeping your superiors) up at night?
You may be concerned about:
- how much time (and money) staff are wasting on non-value activities—like fixing errors introduced through patient registration;
- the potential for privacy breaches in your waiting room; and/or
- the thousands, if not millions of dollars your hospital or clinic are incurring due to patient no-shows.
Use statistics, figures, anything to help properly demonstrate the negative predicament of your present situation. This will keep your argument less emotional, more factual and with any luck, more persuasive.
2. Discuss what others are doing.
What healthcare providers are doing patient self-service right? What ones do you—or more important, should your superiors—want to emulate?
Find out how other hospitals and clinics are making patients more active players in the registration and check-in process. Focus on success stories that demonstrate how self-service technology:
- simplifies the patient registration process;
- improves wayfinding/patient navigation throughout your facility; and/or
- increases the likelihood that patients will attend their appointments.
Locate case studies, and include impressive figures in your proposal to show the before-and-after-implementation impact.
Even better: find and talk to these organizations yourself. Ask them to act as references, or to join you in a meeting with your executives to discuss their own patient self-service experiences.
3. Predict the reward based on calculated estimates.
If you only sell your idea of change based on idealistic, unseen promises of reward, your business case may not be so effective in moving people to action. In other words, discussing benefits in the abstract will only get you so far.
While it may be difficult to quantify how your healthcare facility will benefit from the technology, there are some tools out there—such as the PatientWay Value Calculator—that can quite accurately project several savings using values derived from your organization.
For example, the information in the table below was provided to PatientWay by a large community hospital with 400 beds:
Using the hospital’s data, the PatientWay Value Calculator was able to project the following savings, based on a 75% utilization of self-service technology for returning patients, and 33% for new patients:
After implementing PatientWay technology, the hospital’s real-world results closely matched those predicted by the Value Calculator.
Make it persuasive!
While important, technology alone is not sufficient for a successful project. You need buy-in: figuratively, as well as literally.
A well-crafted, intelligent argument for patient self-service will increase the likelihood that those with purchasing power will consider your proposed investment.