Revolutionizing Hospice Care: The Technological Path to Enhanced Conversion Rates

In the realm of hospice care, the journey from patient referrals to admissions, commonly referred to as 'conversion', is of paramount importance. This process, while crucial, is riddled with complexities—ranging from ensuring timely and smooth patient transitions to handling diverse referrals. With the right technological tools and solutions, hospices can navigate these challenges more efficiently, streamlining operations and ensuring that every patient's transition is as seamless as possible. The fusion of healthcare with IT promises not just to simplify but to revolutionize the entire conversion process, setting a new standard for excellence in hospice care. 

Significance of Conversion Rates in Hospice Care: 

In the context of hospices, the conversion rate refers to the percentage of referred individuals who were actually admitted to receive care. Understanding conversion rate allows hospice providers to manage current patient capacity, predict admissions, ensure smooth patient transitions, and carry out regular business operations. 

It provides a clear lens through which hospices assess their operational efficiency and the effectiveness of their admission process, aiding better resource allocation and capacity planning. 

In 2022, according to a report by Axxess, the industry conversion rate standard is about 80-85%, falling from which, an organization should re-evaluate its referral to admission processes to ensure an organization is performing at optimal efficiency.  

To calculate the conversion rate, one must consider the number of patients admitted out of the total number of referrals received. It's essential to note that the admission process encompasses several stages, including referrals from third-party providers, residential testing for eligibility, face-to-face visits, and finally, the registration of the patient into the hospice system.  

In today's technologically advanced age, transitioning from a predominantly manual process to a tech-driven one can streamline operations, provide deeper insights, and introduce innovative ways to optimize it. 

Since hospice providers’ services, tech ecosystem and digital maturity differ from one another, their strategy to integrate tech into the conversion process would also differ, whether it’s focusing on a centralized, decentralized, or hybrid approach, to drive efficiency and patient-centric care.

(Refer diagram below for what happens between referral to admission)

Revolutionizing Hospice Care The Technological Path to Enhanced Conversion Rates

The Power of IT: Refining Conversion Processes and Patient Care 

Integrating various siloed processes between referral to admission helps in collection of clean data at every stage of the conversion process. This facilitates detailed data analysis, offering a deeper insight into an organization's operational efficiency and highlighting potential areas for enhancement.  

Hospices traditionally monitor their conversion rates on a monthly basis to gauge their progress and determine if adjustments are needed for the upcoming month. However, adopting a 90-day rolling conversion measurement can prove more efficient, as it can smooth out possible fluctuations observed on a monthly basis, and reduce the impact of short-term inconsistencies, and offer a more accurate, longer-term, assessment of overall performance. Business intelligence dashboards and data analytics play a crucial role in this transition. Utilizing business intelligence dashboards and data analytics tools allows hospices to visually represent and track their conversion rates over time. These tools provide real-time insights, highlight patterns, and forecast trends based on historical data. By analyzing a 90-day rolling conversion, hospices can make more informed decisions, backed by robust data, which is especially vital in an industry where precision and timely interventions matter. Moreover, with the ability to customize and drill down into specific metrics, these platforms enable providers to pinpoint areas of concern, streamline referral processes, and enhance patient care. 

Another significant way IT can make a substantial impact is by automating administrative tasks. Streamlining such processes to be as efficient as possible, establishes a strong foundation for trust from the customer’s point of view. 

The presence of prolonged waiting times or complexities associated with manual administrative tasks can escalate the likelihood of redundancies, waste company time, diminish customer satisfaction, and even discourage patients from completing their intended actions. 

However, integrating the right tech in the place, and establishing a dedicated team of schedulers, can help make the transition process from referrals to admissions more efficient, and provide better patient care

IT Solutions: Elevating Conversions in Hospice Care Beyond Basics  

The integration of IT in healthcare can go beyond streamlining administrative tasks and predicting future trends. It fosters collaboration and improves communication at all branches of the organization—hospice administrators, IT professionals, and clinical staff, allowing an organization to function optimally. As we delve deeper, it becomes evident that the realm of tech integration in healthcare is vast, encompassing a range of tools designed to enhance various facets of hospice operations as discussed below.  

  1. Electronic Health Record (EHR) Integration: Streamlined integration between hospital EHR systems and hospice systems can simplify and expedite the referral process, ensuring that relevant patient information is transferred efficiently and accurately.
  2. Referral Management Systems: IT software can track referrals from initiation to admission or decline, allowing hospices to identify bottlenecks, maintain timely communication, and ensure no referrals are overlooked.
  3. Automated Communication Tools: Automatic notifications and reminders can be sent to referring entities or families, ensuring they're updated about the referral process's status.
  4. Data Analytics: Data analysis can identify patterns, and pinpoint reasons for declined admissions or periods of high/low referral conversions, allowing for better-informed strategies for improvement.
  5. Education and Training Platforms: Online platforms can offer training modules and resources for referring entities to better understand hospice criteria, benefits, and processes.
  6. Telehealth Solutions: Telehealth software can offer virtual tours, consultations, or initial assessments, for families or patients who are hesitant or unable to visit the hospice in person.
  7. CRM Systems: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can help hospices build and manage relationships with referring entities, and help ensure regular outreach, collect feedback, and resolve issues.
  8. Feedback Platforms: Implementing IT systems can allow declined referrals to easily provide feedback, helping the hospice understand reasons for declination and refine areas of improvement.
  9. Digital Marketing and SEO: Enhancing the hospice's online presence can help build a better reputation and can make information more accessible to potential patients and referrers.
  10. Mobile Applications: Introducing apps for referrers can simplify the referral process, provide resources, and allow real-time communication with hospice staff.
  11. Secure Messaging Platforms: Ensuring HIPAA-compliant communication channels for hospice staff, patients, families, and referring entities can help improve collaboration and coordination.
  12. Automated Billing and Financial Counseling Tools: Offering clear, and transparent software tools can help families understand the costs, and alleviate financial concerns, associated with hospice care and their insurance or Medicare coverage.
  13. Resource Allocation and Forecasting Tools: IT systems that can predict and allocate necessary resources based on incoming referrals can help in better planning and assurance of quality care. 

In conclusion, adopting tech sets the stage for an efficient hospice care system, marked by increased collaboration and better patient satisfaction, which, ultimately, increases the conversion rate. 

The implications of technology in healthcare extend beyond easing administrative and financial burdens. Whether it involves refining communication platforms, enhancing employee training, or optimizing patient care, a technology-forward approach empowers organizations to make well-informed decisions. 

As the healthcare landscape evolves, technology becomes instrumental in maintaining the competitiveness of hospices, enabling predictive insights into long-term trends, anticipating potential complications, and facilitating proactive care planning.  

It's here that Propel's expertise comes to the forefront. With our deep-rooted knowledge and experience, we empower hospices with the tools to harness predictive insights, anticipate challenges, and strategize proactive care planning. By leveraging Propel's proficiency, the transition from referrals to admissions is not just streamlined but also reimagined. 

Posted on 17 Oct 2023