In 2023, reducing costs in healthcare while continuing to provide high-quality patient care is a goal for many practices. However, this is easier said than done. Providers are unfortunately faced with many financial challenges due to issues like staffing shortages and reduced patient volumes. Even more unfortunately, challenges like these often take their toll on practices that become so cost-minded that they neglect quality of care.
The good news is that it doesn’t need to be this way! Reducing costs does not necessarily mean reducing quality. Through careful planning, improvement, and streamlining of processes, practices can improve their efficiency, all while reducing costs, increasing growth, and keeping patients happy.
Here are a few of the best strategies to reduce costs in healthcare systems while promoting growth and quality of care!
Reduce Administrative Burden
There are many administrative responsibilities to keep a practice running smoothly. However, hiring more staff is costly, and reducing administrative costs without impacting the quality of care can be a difficult balancing act. Worse yet, this cost is ever-growing: healthcare spent $18 billion more on administrative tasks in 2022 than in 2021, for instance.
The key to reducing administrative costs in a healthcare organization is to invest in software that encourages patients to do some of this work themselves, facilitating communication between providers and patients through various channels like text messages and emails. This empowers patients to take an active role in their care while also reducing the administrative burden of healthcare professionals. By providing patients with self-service tools, such as scheduling appointments online or digital pre-visit registration, providers reduce administrative tasks previously undertaken by support staff. This also allows for more patients to be seen per day, which helps increase growth.
Furthermore, a good patient engagement platform will offer integration with electronic medical record (EMR) systems, ensuring a seamless flow of information. This automated process saves time and resources, allowing healthcare professionals to focus on providing better patient care rather than administrative tasks. By leveraging modern technologies to improve care delivery and communication, this software not only reduces administrative costs and overhead but also promotes high-quality patient care.
Prioritize Preventative Care
Healthcare is an essential aspect of any life. Despite this, many people still do not take prevention seriously. In fact, a recent study indicated that only 8% of patients undergo routine preventative screenings. The healthcare system tends to focus more on treating illnesses than preventing them, which is where the problem lies. Preventative care can help reduce healthcare practice costs by promoting positive health outcomes and preventing the onset of chronic diseases. Focusing on prevention rather than treating illnesses can significantly reduce healthcare expenses and improve the quality of life for patients, all while increasing growth at a practice.
Preventative care involves a range of interventions, such as screenings and lifestyle modifications. Vaccinations are an excellent example of preventive care that significantly reduces healthcare costs. By preventing illnesses such as influenza or pneumonia, this reduces the number of hospitalizations and doctor’s visits, which ultimately saves money. Similarly, regular screenings help detect diseases early, preventing them from progressing to more severe conditions. For instance, mammograms can detect breast cancer early, significantly reducing the cost of treatment and avoiding more extensive procedures.
Healthcare practitioners should focus more on preventative care to reduce healthcare expenses and improve health outcomes. By educating patients on the importance of maintaining a healthy and preventative lifestyle, healthcare practitioners can reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases, resulting in lower costs overall. While it may require some time and effort, the long-term benefits of preventive care far outweigh the short-term inconveniences.
Improve Operational Efficiency
Improving operational efficiency is critical for any healthcare practice as it not only ensures a smoother workflow but also reduces costs and improves the patient experience. Some of the primary ways to achieve this goal are by streamlining processes and reducing waste. This can be accomplished through better optimization of resources.
By investing in technology and automation, healthcare providers can reduce the amount of time needed to complete tasks, allowing for more focus on quality patient care. Technology can also be applied in healthcare practices to enhance patient workflows, automate medical billing processes, and improve clinical documentation. With digital medical records, for instance, providers can access patient information instantly, reduce paperwork, and eliminate the need for physical storage spaces.
Implementing technology in healthcare practices can also improve operational efficiency through telemedicine. Providers can offer remote consultations with their patients, diagnose conditions without the need for in-person visits, and manage follow-up care more efficiently. This means less time and costs spent on travel and administrative work, which translates into better use of a practice’s resources. Additionally, telemedicine helps providers reduce wait times, resulting in an improved patient experience overall. In fact, a recent survey suggests that 60% of patients prefer telemedicine to in-person visits, so in order to increase growth at a practice, telemedicine is a necessary service to have!
Reducing Costs in Healthcare With DocResponse
Time and again, technology has been a game-changer for practices, enabling them to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, promote growth, and enhance patient care. DocResponse’s patient intake and clinical documentation software is a perfect example of how to accomplish these goals all at once. By investing in this solution seamlessly connected to a practice’s EMR, providers have the power to:
- Reduce administrative burden by having patients complete all pre-visit registration forms before their visit on the device of their choice
- Promote preventative care by easily sending out digital screeners and questionnaires that add more insight for providers with the simple click of a button
- Increase operational efficiency by significantly reducing waste and overhead, all while increase ROI by an average of 20x
The financial challenges that many providers face in 2023 are significant but not insurmountable. By investing in DocResponse, you reduce costs without sacrificing the high-quality care patients deserve. Schedule a demo to learn more!