Patient Flow Management in Health CareHere's the long version..
Patient Flow Management is a technology that has been used successfully by high-traffic clinics and hospitals for several years. A PFM system is the interface between patients waiting in the lobby and a skills-based routing solution. When a new patient arrives, the PFM system evaluates the Estimated Wait Time (EWT) for a specialist. If there is no specialist available for a few minutes, the system quotes the EWT and assigns the patient a Privacy Code™. This allows the patient to wait freely about your location while the system saves their place in line. When it is the patient’s turn to be seen, they will receive a notification within the time quoted. This notification can be in the form of a Privacy Code™ being displayed or announced, a text message, or in person.
Benefits of a PFM System:
- Increase employee Efficiency and First Contact Resolution: With a PFM solution in place, you achieve a greater return from your skills-based routing investment. This is true because you send fewer patients to employees who do not have the skills to handle the reason for the patient's . Employees are therefore not wasting time on patients they cannot properly handle. With a PFM system, you are in essence reserving a specialist for your patient and increasing the likelihood of first contact resolution.
- Reduce Abandons: During periods of peak volume in your facility, PFM immediately educates your patients with the estimated wait time and with options for managing their wait time, patients who reserve their place in a queue will not leave out of frustration because they don’t know what to expect in terms of waiting.
- Increase Patient Satisfaction and Service Level: By offering patients options, you demonstrate respect for your patients' valuable time and elevate the level of service you offer. In addition, it is truly remarkable how the perception of time changes with PFM.
To people waiting in your lobby, ten minutes can seem like an eternity. With a PFM solution in conjunction with Digital Signage or other forms of, such as magazines or even free wi-fi, the perceived wait time is drastically reduced. Patients can continue to be productive, engage in a conversation with other patients, get that second cup of coffee, or attend to their unruly children they may have brought along -- all the while knowing their place in line is secure. Ten minutes is gone before they know it. When called to, or by a employee in the time promised, you take patient trust and loyalty to an unprecedented level.
- Improve Employee Morale: Happy patients mean happy employees. When patients utilize PFM rather than waiting without a clue as to how long it will be before they will be seen, they are much happier when they meet the employee. This prevents the patient from being upset because of the unexpected wait, which may now be making them late returning to work or other commitments. Happy patients equal happy staff.
- Reduce Labor Expenses: For every patient that is routed through the PFM, the facility is saving on labor by efficiently matching resources with demand. Statistics and modeling, which is part of the PFM system, can also be utilized to create more efficient schedules, especially with part time employees.