Technology has the potential to be one of the biggest contributors to streamlining operations and maximizing efficiency in your practice. Forward-thinking healthcare providers and healthcare business leaders are already on the lookout for ways to incorporate technology in hospital operation.
In a recent survey that asked healthcare leaders if they are looking to adopt tech solutions to make their practice more effective, 70 percent of the participants responded in affirmative. Being open to adopting technology may be the first step to practice efficiency, but having a concrete game plan to follow through is the key to achieving it. This is exactly what strategically planned practice management makes possible.
Apart from actual patient care processes like diagnosis and treatment, the healthcare delivery cycle involves a number of supplementary systems that run in the background. These behind the scenes activities can be time-consuming and often take precious time away from patients’ care.
Automating the traditionally manual practices through technology can reduce the workload, ease stress and burnout, introduce efficiency into the process, expedite patient care and boost revenue at the same time. Here is how you can do the same.
Manual check-in involves the patients filling out multiple admission forms. The information is later transcribed into the practice management system by the hospital staff. This is both time-consuming and prone to errors. Illegible handwriting may result in data entry errors which are a leading cause of claim denials which ultimately hurts the revenue of your medical practice.
Developing a mobile or tablet-based application for automating patient check-ins is a hassle-free method to reduce data entry errors. By filling up the check-in forms during the wait times can be made a constructive experience for the patients. Not only are the patients kept engaged while waiting for the physician, the chances of transcription errors are lowered while reducing the existing workload on the staff.
Integration with the electronic health record (EHR) can also save time for your practice. Inclusion of certain fields like the chief complaint, history of presenting illness, past medical history, allergies, ongoing medications, etc. at the time of check in can let the physicians be better informed in advance. Armed with a personalized patient profile, physicians can deliver better experiences and spend more time in patient care rather than documentation.
Your practice staff may end up spending hours engaging in conversations with patients. From phone calls to remind about upcoming appointments to intimations of due invoices and reminders for booking follow up appointments, a huge chunk of time and effort goes in establishing lines of communication with the patients.
On top of this staff also needs to respond to patient queries and any questions they might have. The good news is, technology can help you automate these conversations, allowing for more time to be spent engaging with patients who are physically present in the office. A recent poll found that a majority of people actually find phone calls intrusive and prefer texts or emails over phone reminders.
A hospital relationship management software integrated with the hospital management system can automate the follow-up reminders, saving time and effort for your practice. Leveraging healthcare chatbots is another innovative solution that forward-facing healthcare practitioners are incorporating to streamline patient communication.
The application of chatbots in the healthcare realm are numerous and we are just beginning to see its implementation. The data collected by the chatbots, once safeguarded by necessary data encryptions in compliance with HIPAA norms, can provide vital insights into a patient’s physical and emotional well being. It can also help boost patient engagement and satisfaction levels at the same time.
A lot of hospitals and healthcare organizations have patient portals, but in order to have truly effective medical practice, a user friendly design and ensuring a HIPAA compliant website must be made top priorities to ensure widespread adoption. Patients can use the portal to access their medical records, communicate with the practice and their providers, refill prescriptions, check results of the lab tests and pay bills.
According to the American medical association, even with the advances in technology, a significant percentage of claim submission and processing is still paper-based. Electronic filing of claims is not only a cost saving opportunity but a healthcare necessity. Standardization of electronic claim filing has the potential to accelerate processing times while increasing the ROI.
Efficiency of electronic processing benefits the providers, insurers and healthcare industry as a whole. Change rarely happens overnight but a focus on incorporating technology to achieve practice efficiency is a step in the right direction.
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Dr Vinati Kamani writes about emerging technology and its application across industries for Arkenea. She is an avid reader and self proclaimed bibliophile. When Vinati is not at her desk penning down articles or reading up on the recent trends, she can be found travelling to remote places and soaking up different cultural experiences.