1. Implement a Data Council that can clean up your data and ensure you have names of each account for the patient digital experience. Stop using bad data. “No name on File” is not how make you make a connection with your patients.
  2. Integrate your telemedicine solution with your physical practice. Even if it is expensive to fully integrate the systems, find a way to make those experiences unified and on brand. There is no excuse for the checkout personnel in the doctor’s office not to see outstanding balances for televisits. If that is too expensive to do, at the very least, make sure the patient knows that the telemedicine is a separate organization.
  3. Invest in a mobile notifications solution and tell your patients when they owe you money. Do not let them go to collection over $40!
  4. Emails – send confirmation emails every time there is a payment. And include a summary of the outstanding balance, if there is one.
  5. Tweak the algorithm to know that an 11 month old baby should not be the one receiving communications.
  6. Train your billing team on hospitality. Likely, billing is the team that gets the most calls. The greeting: “What is your account number?” indicates you train people NOT to practice hospitality.

How It Should Work (a few ideas to get you started)

In office

Front desk staff should have access to a dashboard that is updated hourly and shows my appointments and my baby’s appointments (physical and digital). Additionally, the front desk should be able to remind us about and collect payment for any service that we might have used, regardless of the internal complex relationship among vendors.


A personalized welcome message that says something warm like “Welcome Back, Ms. Petrova!” (vs. today’s “No Patient Name on File”) goes a long way to creating a positive customer experience.

The account hierarchy needs to make sense. I should be able to see and I should be prompted to open messages that pertain to my daughter’s health. In contrast, under the current design, my daughter’s account and mine are the same level. And when I swap them, I can see Cornell has sent my newborn daughter follow-ups and other messages that she clearly cannot read herself!


Representatives should engage with callers and ask them something else before they engage in the necessary transaction. They should have a dashboard in front of them that includes information about us, including my daughter’s history of appointments, medications, etc.


Personalized emails should be sent every time I incur a new balance. In addition, once a month, we should get a statement that itemizes the transactions for the month and gives a summary of what we owe. I should have received an email confirmation that the letter I received from the credit bureau is no longer in effect so I do not worry about my credit score. Email (or text message) reminders of appointments would be nice.

Other providers already have done this. Finally, remember to send a feedback survey about my experience in a digital form. This reinforces to me that you care about my experience and provides you with the information you need to improve future patient experiences.

This article originally appeared on The Petrova Experience Blog.