Efficiency is important in any business, and a medical practice is no exception. Many of the tasks that your staff find themselves focusing on each day can be streamlined through the use of tech tools that integrate right into your existing PM and EMR software, freeing up valuable time to focus on patient care, which is the reason you’re all there in the first place, right?
Below are the top three medical office technology solutions helping successful practices boost front office efficiency…
#1 Automated Appointment Reminders
No-shows and unfilled cancellations hurt the profitability of your medical practice, as you’re paying all your overhead but not collecting patient payments. Still, double-booking is an imperfect solution, which can result in frazzled physicians, and patients who feel their time isn’t being valued due to long wait times. Manual appointment calls take a significant amount of time and aren’t always successful. So what’s a practice to do?
Automated appointment reminder systems confirm patient appointments, send reminders, and take note of appointment confirmation status directly in your practice management system, all without your staff having to make a single phone call. Some services, such as AutoRemind, allow patients to choose how they are contacted, with options for texts, emails, and phone calls, so that responsiveness is increased, giving you the accurate information you need to schedule adequately. This allows you to solve the problem of no-shows and cancellations efficiently while your staff is able to focus on other tasks.
#2 Web-based Medical Billing Software
Another significant challenge for front office staff is patient collections. Frankly, patients are more likely to pay when it is made easy for them. In a time where most everything can be paid online or by credit card, it’s the bills that require writing checks, buying stamps, and making trips to the post office that can often get pushed aside. And expecting your younger patients to arrive with cash or a checkbook to pay their copayment? Not likely.
Accepting credit cards and even no-contact payment methods like ApplePay and Google Wallet through an ePayment service provides one more easy way for your patients to make their payments at time of service. Some services, like MicroMD ePayments powered by Vantiv, automatically post those patient payments to their account in MicroMD PM saving billing staff an additional step.
Another level of automation can be achieved by using an electronic statement service, which prepares and sends your statements for you, saving your staff the time it takes to print statements and stuff envelopes. MicroMD eStatements can also be paired with ePayments to utilize a web link for online payments, giving your patients every opportunity to pay promptly, saving your staff precious collection time and improving the financial health of your practice.
#3 Online Patient Portal
Patient communication is important, but it can also be incredibly time consuming. This means lots of minutes, even hours, on the phone for your staff and lots of hold time for patients calling in to schedule an appointment, request a refill, or simply get their routine lab results.
A patient portal, like Henry Schein Secure Chart, provides a convenient and secure way for patients to engage with their doctor’s office, utilizing options like online appointment scheduling (for which you set the parameters), patient messaging to send routine lab results and for patients to request refills, and even patient forms to be filled out in advance of an appointment and imported directly to the EMR, saving the patient the need for an early arrival time and the staff the time needed for data entry. This increases both staff and patient satisfaction and improves practice efficiency.
With the right healthcare technology, today’s medical practices can overcome many of the biggest challenges faced by front office staff on a day to day basis. Automating the administrative tasks of your practice with these tech tools can help you improve the overall efficiency of your operation – and get you back to the business of healing!