The health care industry has been under fire recently for a variety of practices that can make consumers mad. Fortunately, many places are trying to fix these problems for the benefit of the patients.
Often when people go to the hospital or to their doctors’ offices, they checked in with the front desk only to find that they have a long wait time. It is not uncommon to wait a few hours in an emergency waiting room just see a doctor. To combat this, hospitals have begun publishing their wait times. Some places use apps, while some hospitals have billboards with their waiting times prominently posted. A few hospitals allow patients to check securing a spot on the waiting list which reduces the overall downtime.
When patients receive their bills from procedures, they are often surprised at the cost. What is total cost of care? This number reflects a variety of services that are rarely explained to patients and their families. The end result of a hospital procedure is often a large five or six-figure number in which insurance companies may pay only a small fraction, leaving the balance to be paid by the patient. To help alleviate this problem, many hospitals are now publishing the full cost of procedures on their websites. Patients only need to look up the information to know beforehand how much they may have to pay at the end.
Many patients do not feel connected to their health care providers or facilities. They may have questions about procedures or medications and don’t know where to turn for help. To smooth communication from patient to doctor, many medical facilities now have portals where patients can schedule appointments and send questions to doctors, nurses, and pharmacists.
There is still a long way to go before many healthcare related problems are solved, but hospitals and clinics are attempting to change their way of doing business with the help of the internet.