Aspen Valley Hospital in Colorado is streamlining patient payment processes using a mobile application that lets patients pay a bill from bedside discharge to emergency room environments and provides the hospital with real-time assessment of payment operations.
The software was initially deployed on the Aspen-based hospital's PC systems for traditional payment processes of mailing bills and reminders to patients following discharge. The hospital ported a new mobile version to iPad devices already being used daily clinical and administrative tasks, explains Debby Essex, director of admissions.
"We were already leveraging iPads so we simply downloaded the app. The software fits seamlessly into our workflow because it is very similar to how we use the application on our computers," she told FierceMobileHealthcare, adding that the cloud-based platform updates payment information and reporting across all devices.
The mobile app use comes at a time when healthcare providers are tapping a wide range of new tools and technologies to gain operations efficiency, speed up patient care and save money.
Going mobile, says Essex, allows the hospital to collect payments at multiple points of patient interaction.
"We were missing the opportunity to collect during the visit, which meant that we had to collect in the back office, requiring multiple statements and follow-up calls," she explained. "It empowers us to collect during the visit and ensuring the patient responsibility is paid before they ever leave the hospital. The ability to access payment information is wonderful as I can check the balance for the day no matter where I am."
The benefits also extend to patients.
"They appreciate the easier payment process and get less statements in the mail. They are also impressed with our level of technology and thrilled to see that their hospital uses iPads," says Essex, who then offered advice to other hospitals considering a mobile payment approach.
"While the ability to use technology to make patient payments so simple and portable has been great there is also a growing risk with processing sensitive patient and payment data," she says. "Other potential users need to know that it is crucial that they use a vendor that is independently certified and accredited at the highest levels of compliance and security for healthcare and payment processing."
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