The Modern Medical Practice is faced with a long list of problems which can make it difficult to stay focused and productive. Issues can pop up where they are least expected, and can be difficult to juggle. Technology can be one of the best ways to help bridge the gab between scrambleing to put out the hundreds of fires that ignite each month, and preventing fires from starting in the first place.
There are 3 big issues to watch for, that can have the biggest impact on the productivity and flow of patients through your office.
- Paper Charts - Keeping your patient records and information in general on paper is a huge productivity drain on your practice. This can make finding information a highly manual process and require a lot of physical effort to sort, file and reference history data on your patients. Paper records are nearly impossible to generate reports from with out a tremendous amount of time and effort. In today's fast paced, technology rich world, where we have an unlimited amount of data at our fingertips, waiting a week to put together a report accross all of your patients might be one of the first things you can look to improve with a simple EHR.
- Unreliable Technology - Here, I'm specifically referring to office software that has a tendency to "go down". We've all been there! You show up for an appointment with your Doctor and the "computers are down". For the office staff, this can make managing appointments, tracking new charges, and collecting patient payments a nightmare. Forcing your office staff to manage the same manual tasks multiple times will lead to frustration and potential turnover for your office. Your patients might also be put off by this and take their wellness elsewhere.
- Manual Payment Posting / Book Keeping - If you're lucky enough to have a busy, thriving practice, managing incoming payments from insurance companies and patients needs to be efficient. The manual handeling, posting, and reporting of these payments can take a staff member hours to complete, if not days. If your practice accepts Medicare payments, and you recieve EOB's with 100+ payments through the mail, you can begin to realize the time your staff could save by posting these payments with a single click of their mouse. (Not to mention the mental health benifits to your payment poster!!)
Implementing an easy to use, basic EHR and Practice Management system is a great first step toward mitigating these productivity drains. At the very least, consider one of the many low cost solutions available to solve some of these most common and most costly issues for your practice. You will see a world of difference!
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Matt Kelly has spent the last 6 years working directly with medical practices and medical billing companies to assess and help solve some of the most common and costly practice management and revenue cycle management issues effecting those in healthcare today. Through the implementation of easy and affordable technology, and proper planning, he has worked with thousands of medical providers to change the way they practice medicine for the better. Areas of expertise include EHR, Practice Management, RCM and Social Media Marketing.
Follow Matt on Twitter: @ExecutiveHIT