An effective client portal will help almost every aspect of your accreditation operations, which is why it is such a key element of an accreditation management software platform. It’s important for accreditation organizations to ditch the disjointed spreadsheets, faxes and emails and move their processes online. We have over 20 years of experience in accreditation and have witnessed resounding success when implementing client portals for accreditation and certification operations. Below are a few reasons why…
Let’s start at the beginning – a new prospect wants to become accredited by your organization. Typically, taking them from a prospect to customer involves A LOT of paperwork. You need to know the ins and outs of their organization and if they are qualified to join your program.
Start to think about the tasks that must be completed by both the accreditation organization and prospect. If it helps, jot down the steps. No matter how small. Below are a few scenarios and questions to think about
- Prospect submits an application to be accredited
- Is this submitted online or faxed/emailed?
- Does the prospect receive confirmation that the application has been submitted successfully?
- Accreditation organization reviews the application
- Who is responsible for reviewing the application?
- Do they receive an alert that a new application has been submitted?
- What if there is missing or incorrect information?
Look into Workflow Automation
If your onboarding process is disjointed – involving multiple emails, faxes and spreadsheets – you may want to look into workflow automation. Here is a blog outlining what workflow automation is and how to determine if you need it. The automation of these workflows function as the ‘brain’ of your client portal. The system will follow the rules outlined and eliminate lag time waiting for an email to be sent or document faxed. The prospect would be able to build out their business profile within the client portal and you can store all of this data in a single location.
Simplify Activity and Personnel Management
Your prospect is approved to be accredited and is now a customer. They receive a login to your client portal and can build out their profile. All the information given in their application is already stored in the system so they don’t have to enter it twice. In addition to demographics and location, your client may need to request accreditation for multiple activities. This is common in healthcare settings where each ‘activity’ carries a set of standards to evaluate and determines the total cost of accreditation, so it is imperative this information is easy to access and up to date.
You may not need to document each person working at your client’s locations but having a personnel management module in your client portal acts as your primary and secondary means of contacting this customer. With this information living inside of the client portal it can be easily updated without action taken on the part of your organization.
Enhance Customer Engagement
Oftentimes, accreditation functions on a cycle. This could mean, without an interactive client portal, you are only connecting with your clients every few years. We work with a clinical laboratory accreditor that conducts accreditation surveys every two years. During the interim, there was little to no communication with their laboratories. During this time, equipment can malfunction, new staff can be hired and various other factors can put the public at risk.
To combat this, we implemented a client portal so the accreditation organization could effectively communicate with their clients and help them improve quality through the use of an online self assessment module to prepare for surveys year-round.
Online Self Assessments
Your standards are what set your organization and your clients apart. By offering them as a tool for education, training and improvement, your clients are on the path for success when it comes time to be accredited. Better yet, offering them online as part of a client portal that they already access further encourages your clients to utilize the tool. Check out a few more tips for offering self assessments.
Introduce a Digital Document Repository
Remember the paperwork we mentioned when onboarding a new client? That’s just the beginning of the documents submitted, filed, emailed, printed and faxed to and from accreditation organizations. You may not realize how fast the paper stacks up, which is why digital document repositories are a key element of an accreditation client portal. The repository can easily organize your files, streamline the exchange of information and house your client’s personal documents.
Below are a few fast facts about paper reduction that we’ve witnessed for any data nerds out there.
- Over 254,000 documents have been uploaded to our system
- That is approximately 32 million pages
- Or 14,545 bankers boxes
- Or 5,333 lateral filing cabinet drawers
- Equaling around 3,840 trees saved (yay!)
Think about how many printed or faxed documents your organization requires and how often they need to be updated. The amount of paper can be staggering, not to mention the amount of space filing cabinets eat up! A digital document repository within our client portal has helped one of our clients reduce paper by 80% across their organization.
Including a Resource Library as part of your document repository within the client portal allows easy access to valuable, educational documents for your customers. This library can continue to be updated with new standards, guides and helpful templates published by your organization. This also helps with continued client engagement and acts as a value-ad for choosing your accreditation program.
Deliver a Higher Quality Service
By introducing a client portal as part of your accreditation management solution you can streamline onboarding, simplify activity and personnel management, enhance customer engagement and go paperless – all leading to a a higher quality of service offered by your organization.
When you invest in tools that allow you to communicate with your clients and offer resources to better their program, you are seen as a customer-focused accreditation body that puts quality service above all.