I’m sure you are already off to an eventful 2018. After all, patient care is an ‘always-on-demand’ service, so January is a busy time for you, like any other month. But, in the midst of all the New Year work, it is wise to consider how you can run a better practice, create better profits and ultimately improve patient care for the year ahead. So, we’ve put together a few New Year’s resolutions, to set you up for a thriving practice in 2018.
1. Simplify your daily tasks
Commit to not scattering your energy by simplifying your daily tasks. If you aim for clarity and simplify daily tasks it allows each staff member to focus on their specific role and apply their strengths towards a clear direction. This will ultimately lead to better patient care, improved profits, and an overall thriving practice. Here are a few ways you can do this:
- Go paperless: Although paper has remained the tried and tested medium for many years, there are some unfortunate draw backs to using only paper in your practice. Such as: having to deal with lost files and documents, which may result in more time spent trying to locate the documents and writing up new ones; Or the higher probability of errors when using paper as opposed to electronic capturing. By going paperless, you can store patient files and history electronically, therefore reducing errors and the chance of lost files.
- Automate some tasks: By automating tasks you can save time and reduce errors. For example, sending automated patient SMS appointment reminders improves time which would have been spent calling the patient, and lessens the potential loss of income as a result of an appointment no-show.
- Use cloud technology: By investing in cloud technology you get the freedom to log into patient and clinical files from anywhere in the world, at any time of the day. Although your practice is primarily a brick-n-mortar business, you will no longer be restricted to work only from your physical location.
2. Keep an eye on cash leaks
In order to keep improving as a practice, it is wise to keep an eye out for those sneaky cash-leaks. As you know, what might seem like a small amount lost, will at the end of the year amount to a significant loss of profit. You can do this by:
- Improving collection tools: The chance of collecting payment from patients decreases with time. Therefore, it is important to tighten up the collection process. One way to do this is by investing in an online calendar that will perform automated benefit checks prior to the patient’s consultation. The patient benefit check will give you an opportunity to have a conversation with the patient prior to their consultation about their available funds. It’s important to note that this is not a reflection of the final bill, as there might be additional tests, scripts or medication given during the consultation. This benefit checker simply minimises payment confusion after the consult.
- Improve claiming tools: Reconciling claims can take many hours; but by automating reconciliations you can reduce reconciliation time for a 100 claims from an average of 2 hours to 10 minutes! Read more.
3. Create a better patient experience
With patients speaking out more and healthcare providers under scrutiny, it is wise to make ‘better patient care’ a resolution for 2018. You can do this by:
- Using better payment and collection tools: Look into which payment method most of your patients use, and ensure that you have that payment method as an option. We’ve written a blog about this, here. Capture clinical notes and billing instructions electronically during the consult, and send the notes to your staff immediately after the consult. This gives your staff an opportunity to motivate payment collection to the patient in real-time.
- Better check-in and scheduling tools: One way to do this is by using tools to check patients into an online waiting room when they arrive, this then gives you time to pull up their history electronically before the consult, therefore saving you time during the consult.
Resolutions are not always easy to stick to; therefore this blog post serves as a flexible guide, which you can adapt to your own practice. So, always aim for clarity by simplify your daily tasks where you can, look out for sneaky cash leaks and nip them in the bud as soon as possible, and always put the patient first by looking into how you can improve their experience.