How This Medical Group Expanded Patient Access & Grows Their Practice 24/7
To attract and retain patients, and increase patient access through convenient, mobile-first self-scheduling.
“Self-scheduling is here to stay,” says Trent Renta of Olansky Dermatology Associates. “Our patients are busier than ever and they don’t always have time to stop during the day and schedule a doctor’s appointment. We needed a way to give our patients access to scheduling appointments after hours without having to navigate a phone tree, wait on hold, and share their personal medical information verbally over the phone.”
Olansky Dermatology Associates, located in Atlanta, Georgia, was started over 20 years ago by Dr. Olansky and his sons and has since grown into a 14-provider specialty group with two locations in the Atlanta area. Renta joined the practice three years ago as Patient Services Manager with the goal of helping the practice update their processes to utilize technology that would power more efficiency, happy providers, and higher patient satisfaction.
“We had a generic EHR in place at the time and I knew that by year 2, I needed to get us onto a dermatology-specific EHR. We chose Modernizing Medicine’s EMA because it’s geared towards dermatology-specific patient outcomes and is generally much easier to use,” says Renta. “And because EMA is designed specifically for dermatology providers, we’re taking advantage of the entire system.”
With the right EHR in place, Renta turned his focus to patient engagement priorities, looking for mobile-first strategies that would make it easier for patients to access care. Renta says patients are looking for self-service opportunities and offering their patients 24/7 access to the schedule means patients can schedule their appointments as it occurs to them. “If a patient wants to schedule an appointment and the office is closed, they would have to wait until morning when we open and by then, they may forget or their priorities have changed and we would miss the chance to care for them,” says Renta. This is problematic because prolonging care can aggravate skin conditions or allow for serious conditions, like Melanoma, to spread. It’s important to make it convenient for patients to access medical care so they don’t talk themselves out of needing care and risk an adverse outcome.
Olanksy Dermatology is using Relatient’s Patient Self-Scheduling module, part of Relatient’s comprehensive Patient Engagement Platform, to power mobile scheduling and 24/7 patient access. Renta says Olanksy Dermatology Associates had been using Relatient’s appointment reminders for nearly six months when they activated Patient Self-Scheduling as well. Since that time, they’ve seen a drop in incoming patient calls and an increase in appointments. For this reason, they’re looking at repurposing an FTE in the near future as manual patient outreach and communication has decreased.
Renta noted they’ve also seen a drop in their abandoned call rate, an indication that they’re now better able to handle the call load and help patients as they need it. Renta says the bi-directional integration between Modernizing Medicine’s EHR and Relatient’s patient engagement platform has been key to the success of their patient engagement initiatives, saving time and money and making it easy to access the data they need to keep the schedule full and patient flow efficient.
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Increased in patient appointments
Decrease in incoming patient phone calls
Decreased abandoned call rate
- Patients need access to appointment scheduling outside of normal business hours
- Previous technology was outdated and had limited functionality
- High abandoned call rate indicated staff was having trouble with the incoming call load from patients
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