The introduction of IT within the medical industry over the past 15 years has changed the way practices operate.
Changing legislation and rising costs of operating a private practice has resulted in the need for practices to have a reliable and efficient software system.
There is such a wide variety of software available, so how can you be sure which one is right for you?
Things to consider:-
- Is it user friendly? Are all staff comfortable with the software? If not, you may run the risk of data entry mistakes.
- Does it do everything you want it to do? Does it capture all the information you want to capture and does it report the information you wish to report on?
- Is it compatible with your peripherals? Does it link with external resources – pathology, radiology labs, medical transcription services, MIMS, Tyro EFTPOS terminals. Can you perform Medicare / DVA / Private Health Fund verifications?
- Can you access your software via smartphone or tablet? Does it support a mobile or
- Will your software keep up with technological changes and upgrades to accommodate the
ever-changing requirements of the medical industry?
- Do you have access to onsite, remote and phone support when you need it?
When you are satisfied that you have chosen the right software the next question to ask yourself is, ‘are we getting the most out of our software?’ The main benefits of any medical system are improved quality of patient care, increased operational efficiency and improved practice profitability. Administration tasks should be streamlined so that providers are able to spend more time with patients and less time waiting for admin tasks to be completed. If this is not happening maybe you are not getting the most out of your software.
Things to consider:-
Upon installation of your software your staff will be given training on its use. This training is intended to get you and your staff started. There is always much more to learn and many functions to uncover that will help to improve the efficiency and performance of the package.
- Paperless environment:
Going “paperless” is intimidating for many practices. However, many industries today talk about the problems and inefficiencies of using paper and paperwork. A paper free environment is more flexible, efficient and cost effective. It is far simpler to log in to a computer at any site and have complete access to patient records than to worry about bringing paper files with you that may or may not have all relevant documentation attached. There is far less double-handling for staff in a paperless environment. Access to patient results and reports, generating referrals and prescriptions is quicker and recorded on the patient record for future reference. Invoicing Medicare, DVA and Private Health Funds is instantaneous and payment is received in a couple of days compared with a couple of weeks when processing manually. Medical billing software reduces human errors by catching common faults prior to transmission. Less time is spent by staff chasing up outstanding accounts.
Are you utilising features such as SMS reminders and recalls? SMS reminders can be set up to automatically remind your patients about their upcoming appointment. This minimises “no shows”; especially systems that allow patient replies. Using the recalls feature helps to manage patients who require on-going care. This feature is used to send reminders to patients to book their yearly appointment or to remind them that they are due for a particular test.
- Document generation:
Documents can be generated from your software at the click of a button, using information previously entered into the system. These documents can be used to provide information back to patients about their appointments and procedures and obtain pre-approval for appointments and procedures from TAC and Workcover. New patient forms can be generated at the time that the appointment is taken. These can be sent to the patient to be completed prior to them coming into the practice to minimise wait times on the day.
The purchase of medical software is a daunting task but getting it right pays off in increased efficiency and revenue. If you would like assistance with ensuring that you are getting the most from your software, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Practice Management Specialists.