Internal mailrooms: a thing of the past?

Bing Technologies
By Nadine Bucher, Bing Technologies
Wednesday, 01 July, 2020

Healthcare providers may ask themselves if it’s possible to digitise communication, reduce costs and provide more patient-centred care. The answer lies in modernising and transforming healthcare administration processes, to allow facilities to provide a high level of care in a way that is cost-effective.

Communication with patients is a vital component of the care process, with the provision of accurate and timely information being critical.

Traditionally, outsourced mailroom solutions have only been a way to solve bulk mail runs, and hospital volumes, though large as a whole, are small when prepared daily clinic by clinic. Bing’s innovative and unique technology can resolve these issues by providing a complete outsourced mailroom solution for any volume of mail, with automated omni-channel delivery management.

What about the disruption period?

Although upgrading or implementing a new system can be disruptive — impacting productivity and hindering flexibility in the short term — innovative patient communication solutions offer agility, swift delivery of information and enhance process efficiencies for the longer term.

A major concern for hospitals is lost productivity due to patients not attending their appointments, which has a significant impact on a hospital’s ability to provide efficient outpatient services and results in clinical and administrative staff being underutilised. Reduced revenue opportunities and extended patient waiting lists are another consequence of no-shows.

Patient communication: problems and solutions

As paper-based communication has been an added trigger to patients missing appointments, many hospitals have opted to send patient communications via SMS. However, there are shortfalls in the amount of information that can be cost-effectively provided to patients. Hospital clinics have been searching for ways to enhance SMS content, to allow inclusion of information such as clinic location maps and patient admission questionnaires.

The strength of healthcare providers lies in providing high-quality care that meets the needs of patients and improves their wellbeing — not diverting valuable resources to manual mailroom functions.

An element of patient communication that is important to providers is proof of receipt, with real-time visibility that provides assurance that patients have received, opened and read the information about their appointment. If patients appear to have not received this information, an ability for staff to automatically trigger communication via alternative channels is an important feature.

Without automated omni-channel solutions, the task of dealing with undelivered or unread digital communication reverts to the time-consuming process of printing, folding and lodging mail.

Although hospitals are driven to digitise to expedite delivery of patient communication and make cost savings, an aged population with potentially limited access to technology means that the provision of postal mail remains a necessity.

Clinics must facilitate the manual requirement of printing, enveloping and addressing patient letters, which are collected and processed for lodgement via internal mailrooms. This process results in double-handling and lengthy delays, which can impact non-attendance rates.

Hospitals were previously unable to outsource this function due to data privacy concerns and a lack of comprehensive functionality to accommodate the volume, frequency and automated delivery requirements of hospitals.

Bing’s EasyPost Mailroom solution allows hospitals to outsource all their outbound postal mail and enhance their digital delivery capabilities. Letters can be delivered via post, fax, email or SMS, with the recipient able to open and view all document content on their device. If recipients do not access their electronically delivered correspondence within a specified timeframe, letters are automatically redirected as hard copy mail to ensure patient receipt.

Enhancements to Bing’s digital delivery options further improve a hospital’s internal process by using extracted custom data, such as appointment date and time, to trigger flow-on automated communications via any delivery channel. Virtual mailbox access is also available, allowing patients and carers to individually manage their preferred delivery method. For example, a patient might prefer to receive postal mail, and the carer, an SMS.

Bing’s EasyPost Mailroom solution allows hospitals to achieve full outsourcing of their outbound correspondence. Staff can securely send any volume of postal mail, email, fax and SMS on demand with just a few mouse clicks. The EasyPost Mailroom is a virtual printer driver meaning implementation and adaptation within hospitals is quick and simple, requiring minimal IT engagement.

If you would like an obligation-free consultation to determine the value Bing can deliver, it would be great to hear from you!

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