Author: Komal Gupta
This article talks about the Patient demographics which include the following information’s like identifying information such as name, date of birth, and address, along with insurance information.
Patient demographics simplify includes the healthcare billing process, improve healthcare quality, improve communication and strengthen cultural competency.
Properly collecting and tracking patient demographics is a matter of asking the right questions, following applicable laws, and using medical software.
Everyone who has ever been to a doctor has filled out registration forms with name, address, biological sex, and more.
This information is used to facilitate better care, but it is not the whole story. Long-time healthcare professionals know that collecting patient demographics also solves several other problems. Ensuring that your patient demographics are collected accurately and updated is critical to running an effective healthcare organization
What are Patient Demography?
Collecting patient data to deliver better quality care and streamline medical billing and coding processes is a practice.
These data strongly overlap with marketing demographics, but they aren’t exactly the same.
While marketers use demographics to determine which consumers might be worth their attention, practitioners use these data to help those who are already in front of them and pay their bills for their services.
Patient demographics typically include?
Patient demographics include the following information:
Some of the healthcare entities also include the following information:
In some of the cases, others view the first two of these items as non-demographic patient data.
Medical history, in itself may be more appropriate to include in patient medical charts than demographics.
When it comes to education and employers, while this data is very useful for marketers, it may be less relevant to healthcare outcomes. However, in general, if you collect certain information from a patient when registering for an appointment or check-in, you may qualify as a patient demographic.
Why are patient demographics important?
Patient demographics matter because they:
Guide the billing process
Under this definition that include insurance information, the patient’s demographics determine which payers seek reimbursement. Demographic data, including insurance information, tells us where to send final bills and how to track outstanding claims. Failure to collect this demographic information may delay the claim process.
Streamline patient communications
Sending patient declarations to the old address will adversely affect your practice. Collecting patient data is a sure way to avoid this problem. Calling old phone numbers is useless when calling patients to confirm appointments or request payment of late fees. Most medical software programs offer patient engagement tools such as: B. Automatic Patient Reminders and Patient Portal. These can be used to educate patients and enable them to be more involved in their health and well-being while reducing no-shows and cancellations.
Improve patient care
Note that patient demographics answer many questions you might ask to determine your risk factors. , we find that patients with appropriate demographics should be screened for osteoporosis. This preventative approach supports new value-based care models that can improve patient outcomes.
Increase cultural competency
Patient demographics may correspond to specific lived experiences and beliefs that physicians should consider when interacting with patients. For example, distrust of medical care is prevalent among black Americans. Culturally competent practitioners must care for black patients while keeping this trend and its origins in mind. The starting point for this is patient demographics.
THE PATIENT DEMOGRAPHICS ENTRY PROCESS:
The process includes the following steps-
How to collect and track patient demographics?
As with all patient onboarding and enrolment processes, demographic collection and tracking processes should be standardized.
In fact, many practice management professionals observe the process of collecting and tracking unreliable patient demographics.
The following tips and tricks will help you practice and avoid these problems.
The first question to ask is, “Is your information up to date?” This question causes patients to either have to spend time looking for information about themselves or simply assume that their information is accurate.
Neither result is ideal. Because we want the patient onboarding process to be as efficient as possible. Also, patients who think your information is correct may be wrong.
To solve this problem, the question should immediately present the patient with the data they are asking about.
Instead of “Is your information up to date?” ask “Is 123-456-7890 the best phone number for you?” Patient address, insurance number, emergency contact.
Creating a list of very specific demographic questions is different than knowing how best to obtain this information.
Indeed, it is not uncommon to hear of patients who feel disrespected when asked about their demographics.
Additionally, some patients may refuse to share certain types of information. To avoid this roadblock, think about how you ask the questions that come to mind.
One factor to consider here is the method of communication. Collecting demographic data over the phone by a nurse when a patient calls for an appointment can raise patient privacy concerns.
The move to an online registration portal gives patients a greater sense of privacy as they can work alone in their own homes.
Think of it this way: Your patients should be comfortable sharing stigmatized disease and demographic data with people who have no practical role in their health care. Do you think so? Probably not. Knowing who should ask demographic questions and when to use online portals creates a much-needed privacy barrier.
No two practices collect and track patient data in the same way, but all practices must follow specific guidelines and regulations.
One of these regulations is the Quality Improvement Strategy (QIS) program overseen by the Centres for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). QIS is designed to reduce hospitalizations and improve patient outcomes, and the CMS website provides best practices for collecting QIS patient data.
Your business may also be subject to state demographic regulations. For example, a Massachusetts hospital needs to collect race and ethnicity data for its inpatient observation unit. The exact wording of Massachusetts law contains the following key passage: “[A] Recommended data collection tools have been developed…to standardize hospital efforts.”
This phrasing states that all practices covered by the law should use the same technology. Collect patient data.
While the wording does not require the use of the tool in question, the government’s recommendations are strong enough for everyone but are considered mandatory by many organizations. Therefore, if such language governs data collection in your state, you should follow it.
Many states, like Massachusetts, have their own regulations that apply to certain types of medical facilities or physicians. To determine your needs, consult with other practitioners in your field or health care professionals in your area.
Once you have collected your data, you need a proper place to store it. Increasingly, this location is within electronic medical record (EMR) platforms. These platforms make patient data available with just a few clicks and protect data with digital security measures that are more robust than physical storage.
It also enables efficient and streamlined access throughout the practice and can be easily shared with physicians at other facilities.
However, not all clinics currently use his EMR system. As of March 2020, 14.1% of practitioners still do not have an EMR system, according to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data. Luckily, it’s easy to find her EMR system for your practice.
Whether you’re new to the EMR system, or you’re already using it and looking for a change, visit the EMR Software Recommendations home page to begin your journey. Implementing an EMR platform makes the process of collecting patient demographics much easier.
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