10 Best Practices and Tools for Improving Patients Collection in Healthcare

Updated on April 7, 2023

Improving patient collections is one of the essential critical factors of effective revenue cycle management. Research shows that patients are increasingly paying more out-of-pocket than ever for their medical services. While 92% of the population had insurance in 2019, the patient cost has skyrocketed. Efficient patient collections are essential for the financial health of healthcare providers. 

With rising healthcare costs and insurance deductibles, patients are increasingly responsible for paying more medical bills. As a result, healthcare organizations must implement effective patient collection strategies to collect payments promptly and efficiently. A critical tool for achieving this is an automated accounts receivable system, which can streamline billing processes, reduce errors, and improve collections. 

Here are the top 10 best practices and tools for improving patient collection in healthcare:

  1. Implement Electronic Health Record (EHR) Systems: Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems can significantly improve patient data collection by providing a centralized database that healthcare providers from different locations can access. EHRs allow quick and easy access to patient data, which can help improve patient outcomes and reduce errors. Moreover, EHRs can improve the accuracy and completeness of patient data, which can lead to better decision-making by healthcare providers.
  1. Use Patient Portals: Patient portals are online platforms that enable patients to access their medical records, schedule appointments, and communicate with their healthcare providers. Patient portals can be an effective tool for improving patient data collection because they allow patients to input their data and update their records. This can help ensure that the data is up-to-date and accurate.
  1. Train Staff on Best Practices: Training healthcare staff on best practices for patient data collection is essential. This can include proper documentation techniques, communication skills, and privacy and security protocols. Staff training can help ensure that patient data is collected accurately and securely, which can improve patient outcomes and protect patient privacy.
  1. Use Data Analytics Tools: Data analytics tools can be used to analyze patient data and identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement. This can help healthcare providers make more informed decisions and improve patient outcomes. Data analytics tools can also help identify potential risks and improve patient safety.
  1. Use Patient Surveys: Patient surveys can be an effective tool for collecting patient data and feedback. Surveys can collect information on patient satisfaction, experience, and outcomes. This data can be used to identify areas for improvement and implement changes that can improve patient care. Patient surveys can also help identify areas of strength, which can be leveraged to improve patient outcomes.
  1. Standardize Data Collection: Standardizing data collection processes can help ensure that patient data is collected consistently and accurately across different healthcare providers and settings. Standardization can include using common data elements, codes, terminology, and consistent documentation practices.
  1. Use Mobile Health (mHealth) Tools: Mobile health (mHealth) tools, such as smartphone apps and wearable devices, can collect patient data remotely and in real time. This can improve patient engagement and help providers monitor patients’ health more closely. However, it’s important to ensure that mHealth tools are secure and comply with privacy regulations.
  1. Engage Patients in the Data Collection Process: Engaging patients in the data collection process can help ensure that the data collected is relevant and meaningful to them. This can include asking patients about their health goals, preferences, and concerns and involving them in the design of data collection forms and surveys.
  1. Use Interoperable Systems: Interoperability refers to the ability of different healthcare systems and applications to exchange and use data. Interoperable systems can help ensure that patient data is shared securely and efficiently across different healthcare providers and settings. This can improve patient outcomes and reduce duplication of effort.
  1. Monitor Data Quality: It’s important to regularly monitor the quality of patient data collected to ensure that it is accurate, complete, and consistent. This can involve conducting data audits, reviewing data entry practices, and using data quality metrics to assess the reliability of the data collected.

Achieving revenue goals can be challenging if an organization experiences delays in patient collection. Providers and credit reporting companies offer payment alternatives to improve collection rates, and patients can also be offered payment plans to reduce financial stress.

If an organization is considering a medical billing solution and requires assistance with decision-making, it can try an automated accounts receivable system. This system facilitates the comparison of multiple products and generates scorecards. Generally, the best practices for enhancing patient collections in healthcare include implementing clear financial policies, training staff, utilizing electronic payment tools, and outsourcing professional collection services. Healthcare organizations can improve their bottom line by streamlining the payment process and providing high-quality patient care.

Prashant Kumar copy
Prashant Kumar

Prashant Kumar, Founder and CEO of Payference, an automated accounts receivable system designed to optimize cash control for organizations. After two decades of leading global teams, he decided it was time to make optimized cash management for organizations that wanted the same benefits without paying for all the extras they didn't need.