Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) is the largest independent oncology and hematology practice in the United States. It provides compassionate and superior cancer care and treatment, ensuring patients are surrounded and supported by family and friends. Despite its strong in-person patient care and communication, however, its virtual communication with patients is lacking, stifling patient satisfaction and retention.
Inadequate patient communication is a critical problem, and poor-quality messaging can often be frustrating for patients. As patients are undergoing difficult times in their lives, receiving robotic communications from their providers — with what often sounds like different audio files spliced together — can be disruptive and emotionally upsetting. FCS patients, who have supportive and positive experiences at FCS healthcare facilities, were experiencing a disconnect when receiving virtual communication from the Institute due to inadequate reminder calls, dropped calls and no clear recognition of a live person on the call. This can undermine what would otherwise have been a satisfactory patient experience, which would have encouraged patient follow-up and retention. In addition, poor communication can lead to unconfirmed appointments and no-shows. This not only disrupts the Institute’s ability to effectively support its patients but also affects clinical workflow and overall productivity.
FCS, like many organizations that have been using these automated programs, was actually OVERPAYING for what are outdated and outmoded systems. The industry has widened and improved, and there are friendly and professionally recorded messages that can encourage and incentivize patients to listen and take action. These messages are more in keeping with patients’ in-person experiences. When FCS learned that there are better ways to reach patients and improve their experiences at a lower cost, it realized it was time to take action.
FCS immediately recognized SkyCreek as the best option to meet its requirements. SkyCreek could provide higher quality customer service at a lower cost and allow FCS to expand its service offerings.
SkyCreek implemented effective solutions that enabled FCS to better manage patient appointments, provide appointment reminder
calls and assess overall patient satisfaction. SkyCreek primarily supported three main projects:
Appointment reminders program
• SkyCreek improved the appointment reminders system with better messaging, reminders about upcoming appointments and the option to confirm appointments.
• The program also enabled patients to easily reschedule if needed, reducing the burden on FCS staff.
A patient-tracking dashboard for over 70 clinical FCS sites
• SkyCreek supported the management and implementation of patient follow-up calls.
• The tool enabled FCS clinical staff to be better prepared for daily patient care by knowing the accurate number of confirmed appointments.
• SkyCreek developed an emergency-notification module with seven predefined emergency-notification types. It can also run ad-hoc notifications that are outside of the predefined types, making it flexible and responsive to FCS’s needs.
• The module enabled SkyCreek to update and inform 1,000 FCS patients at just a moment’s notice when a major insurance provider made changes to patient coverage.
SkyCreek now manages 2,500 daily patient appointments for FCS. FCS has seen improvement in patient retention and satisfaction since ensuring that patients are receiving a seamless and consistent experience both on- and off-site.
• FCS has improved clinic productivity at lowered costs.
• SkyCreek improved FCS patient confirmation rates by 20%.
• 95.7% of patients were successfully provided appointment reminders, with 66.6% verifying their appointment information.
• Average patient notification cost was six cents.
• Average cost per calling day was $2.31 per clinic and $1.08 per doctor.
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