3 Key Benefits of Bringing the Pre-Admissions Process Online
Using an online portal to collect information before admission benefits surgery centers and their patients.
At the 20th Annual Ambulatory Surgery Centers Conference in Chicago on Oct. 25, Jim Freund, vice president of business development for One Medical Passport, and Margaret Acker, administrator of Southwest Surgical Center in Byron Center, Mich., shared how taking the pre-admissions process online can benefit both providers and their patients.
1. Going online simplifies communication with patients.
Trying to gather data before admitting a patient traditionally presents the challenge of trying to reach people, many of whom are at work and unavailable during business hours, Mr. Freund said.
"When you do connect with them, they don't have their medication information available," he said. "They don't have their history of surgeries."
Allowing patients to create a "medical passport" through the surgery center's website lets them provide needed information on their own time. Providers also can send preoperative instructions through the online portal, and patients can use it to sign consent forms before their visit.
2. It decreases the likelihood of errors.
When clinicians have the patient's history available through the online passport, they can have it automatically filled in on all necessary forms at the surgery center, Ms. Acker said. That not only saves time but also reduces the risk of human error.
"Every time we write the same thing three times, every time we hand bill something, there's always room for error," she says. "When it's automated, we kind of eliminate pieces of that."
3. Patients tend to prefer going online and end up giving a more honest history.
Using the online portal, Ms. Acker said her center can get histories that are more thorough than what would result from a typical nurse-patient interview.
Mr. Freund said research has shown people have a tendency to be more honest when they're detailing their history online and in private instead of speaking face-to-face with an ASC staff member.
"What studies have found is they're a little bit more open in terms of doing it online," he said.
Additionally, he said his company has conducted studies and found about 85 percent of patients prefer to go through the pre-admissions process online.
"It's a big patient satisfier," he said.
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