Are you using the right medical practice technologies to improve your staff productivity, minimize medical billing errors, and improve the overall patient experience?
Here are some signs that your medical practice technologies are due for an overhaul.
- The medical billing and claims processing paperwork are piling up.
- Patient appointments are falling through the cracks.
- There have been instances of medication errors or poor patient communication.
From when a new patient contacts your office for registration to claims processing and payment collection, every stage directly impacts patient experience, practice reputation, and revenue collections. Selecting the right medical practice technologies can significantly lower practice management costs and payment collection turnarounds and improve the patient experience.
However, the challenge for most providers is identifying which medical practice technologies to adopt from the plentitude of practice management solutions. While there is no standardized suite of recommended tech tools, here is a checklist of must-have medical practice technologies and patient interface platforms to boost revenues if you own a solo or group medical practice.
- Modern EHR (Electronic Health Records) System
The federal incentives to drive the adoption of EHRs have been hugely successful in adopting EHR systems. As per the CDC, as of 2019, 89.9% of office-based physicians use EHRs, with 72.3% using a certified EMR/EHR system. However, that implies almost 10% of the providers are still not using EHR.
It’s a misconception EHR/EMR systems hamper the personalization of medical care. Implementing EHR turns a medical office into a professional space where your staff has more time to focus on interacting with patients rather than stumbling through the paperwork. Patient records are easier to update, track, and retrieve via an EHR. Practices can follow up with patients on appointments, create medication reminders and send patients’ test results by email or phone. Having an EHR in place has become centrifugal to compliance with HIPAA laws on information interoperability and patients’ right to access their medical information.
EHRs also give you access to eRX (electronic prescribing software) and medical billing and collection software.
Paper prescriptions are fraught with risks of errors due to illegible handwriting, incomplete access to patient records, inconsistent prescription refill formats, and lack of checks for allergies. Electronic or e-prescribing software (which can be standalone or integrated with the EHR) significantly reduces medication errors and improve the prescribing process for patients, providers, and pharmacies. Most e-prescribing software has the following standard functions.
- Selecting medication from generic, branded, or formulary options (as per the patient’s insurance coverage).
- Creating a prescription using the provider’s mobile device, which is sent directly to the patient’s pharmacy.
- The system will raise alerts for possible allergies, excessive dosage, duplication, or drug interactions.
- It also enables the pharmacy to seek approvals from providers for patient refill requests.
One of the main aspects of being a practice owner is ensuring that billing and claims submission processes are efficient. However, without a robust medical billing software of system in place, it’s challenging to ensure your practice is paid on time. When selecting an EHR software, opt for one that has collaboration tools, bulk billing, intelligent billing automation, and detailed reporting (so you know what claims are pending and why). Many medical practices we work with prefer to use AdvancedMD or eClinicalWorks.
- Practice Website
While developing a website is usually essential when setting up a business, medical practices have lagged somewhat in replicating this standard. It’s estimated that 25% of primary care providers do not have a website, and 19% of patients are unaware whether their physician has a website. Physician practices that have robust websites (with a detailed listing of medical services, a patient portal, and multiple electronic payment options) will have significantly higher new patient registrations and upfront revenue collections than if they didn’t have the website.
- Practice Portal
Patients today want some level of control regarding their healthcare and how they interact with the doctor’s office. Patient portals make it much easier for your clients to schedule/ cancel appointments, update documents and relevant medical history, access their medical past medical prescriptions, view due amounts statements, and reach out to your office for any concerns. A big plus of having a practice portal is the ability to enable electronic payment collection options, a convenience that most consumers regularly use for many services such as banking, online shopping, and telephone bills. Read our post, ‘How COVID-19 Has Highlighted the Importance of Patient Portals.’
- Remote Patient Monitoring
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, various forms of remote patient monitoring (RPM) were approved for reimbursement, resulting in the increasing adoption of this healthcare technology. It’s estimated that 23.4 million U.S. patients used RPM in 2020, and 80% of consumers favor using RPM. Offering RPM-enabled medical care will significantly improve your patient satisfaction scores. Read our post – Remote Patient Monitoring – The New Standard of Patient Care.
Modernizing your medical practice by upgrading your technologies can be time-consuming and expensive. It would be best if you collaborated with experienced service partners who understand your patient needs and practice objectives. PracticeForces is a seasoned medical coding and billing service that has served hundreds of medical practices over the last two decades. We bring comprehensive expertise, backed by the latest revenue cycle management technologies, to maximize efficiencies in your medical billing, patient collection, and patient engagement processes. Contact us to know more about how we can help digitize your medical practice.