As provider groups juggle the needs to address competition, staffing shortages and patients’ demand for a consumer-friendly experience, maintaining an effective patient scheduling process is more crucial than ever. That’s, according to Jeff Gartland, CEO of patient engagement software company Relatient.
The Franklin, Tennessee-based company recently announced a referral partnership with TriZetto Provider Solutions to offer its suite of patient scheduling and engagement software to their 51,000 provider customers throughout the country. TriZetto, which sells revenue cycle technology to medical practices, is offering its customers Relatient’s software for scheduling, patient communication, payments and digital registration and intake.
Relatient’s mission is to help providers create better relationships with their patients by simplifying access to care. Gartland said this is how the company got its name (a combination of “relationship” and “patient”) when it was founded in 2014.
While he contends Relatient’s technology is top-notch, Gartland recognizes the company faces a formidable challenge in getting practices to sign onto its use: inadequate levels of physician buy-in.
This could stem from physicians’ reluctance to give up control of their schedules. For some physicians, ownership of their schedule represents their autonomy. That’s why Relatient ensures its software is flexible and can adapt to individual providers’ needs and preferences, Gartland said.
The Center for Connected Medicine, which is jointly operated by Nokia and UPMC, released a report last month that also said physicians are hesitant to buy into self-scheduling technology — so much so that this lack of buy-in is preventing the software from taking off they way it needs to in order to meet patient demand. It noted that demand for self-scheduling tools — especially among Millennials and Generation Z — is far outpacing the number of self-scheduling services that healthcare providers are currently offering.
Through its partnership with TriZetto, Relatient can now reach more providers. TriZetto’s 51,000 customers will be able to adopt software that uses analytics to improve provider utilization, automate patient intake, streamline payments and ensure patients show up prepared for appointments.
The goal of the partnership is to make the patient engagement and revenue cycle process as integrated as possible for providers and patients. Relatient will measure its success in this goal by looking at metrics like providers’ reductions in no-show rates, increases in online scheduled appointments, increases in online payments collected prior to an appointment and improvements in patient survey scores.
With more than 43,500 customers, Relatient works with “all types of” provider groups and health systems across the U.S., engaging 50 million patients annually, according to Gartland. Ascension, Dignity Health, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Hospital Sisters Health System are among the users of its technology.
Relatient’s platform is attractive to these customers because it supports the whole patient journey — from new patient acquisition to managing follow-up care, Gartland said. This means that the company competes with different vendors based on the demographics of the provider and solution area. For example, patient communication platform Spruce Health could be considered a competitor, as could Keona Health, which offers self-scheduling software.
Gartland said Relatient differentiate itself from other companies because its platform combines self-scheduling, call-center scheduling, two-way patient communication tools and mobile-friendly digital registration, whereas other healthcare software companies “only offer components of these solutions.” For example, Spruce Health offers patient communication technology but no self-scheduling software, and Keona Health offers self-scheduling software but not a suite of billing and payments software.
He added that his company was founded on the mission of countering this fragmentation.
“Many provider organizations do not holistically solve for better access to healthcare, and instead solve for individual pain points, causing a fragmented patient experience,” Gartland said. “Providing timely, convenient, digital access to patients in outpatient care settings is an increasingly important differentiator for provider groups.”
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