By Patrick Creagh, Marketing Specialistchilis250

While ordering appetizers at my local Chili’s, I saw a great opportunity for the healthcare industry.

Now, I’m not sure if my doctor would approve of the Skillet Queso I ordered nor my choice to follow it up with a generous portion of Buffalo Wings; however, any Director of Patient Access can appreciate my ability to swipe my credit card right there at the table and pay for my meal almost instantly, tip included.

There was no waiting for a waiter to wait in line to swipe my card through an outdated terminal. There was no risk of a rogue waiter using a skimmer to steal my credit card info, which happens more often than you may think.

Fast. Secure. Convenient. And evidence shows that Chili’s is generating more revenue with this technology.

Healthcare business offices are taking note. Sure, paying for a complicated medical procedure isn’t quite as simple as tapping the margarita button on your Chili’s tablet but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fast, secure, and convenient.

With cloud-based RCM technology, healthcare administrators can take a payment from a USB-connected terminal right in front of the patient. I’ve heard firsthand from business office managers that patients sometimes get uneasy about their card leaving their sight. Understandable, especially when it’s to pay a $500 deductible on a hospital visit.

Cloud-based payment processing enables multiple HIPAA compliant terminals in the business office without the expensive monthly fees of traditional terminals. This means shorter lines and faster payments. When combined with other cloud-based payment features like automatic phone payments (IVR) and lockbox check processing, some providers are able to process and post 80% of their patient payments automatically.

For hospitals and practices that only a few years ago were keeping financial information on paper records and excel spreadsheets, this is a major advance in business office efficiency. And just as the waiter and customer at Chili’s benefit from the convenience of cloud-based payment, so do the provider and patient.

Fast. Secure. Convenient. That’s the future of consumer-driven healthcare.