A recent report, from a survey carried out across more than 3000 companies in 11 countries, has revealed that small businesses spend up to 240 hours per year on administrative tasks. That is 17% of their man power annually. Medical practices are among the small businesses surveyed in this report.In the report there are 8 types of administrative tasks which are identified as contributing to small business inefficiencies:
- Tax-related tasks
- Chasing late payments
- Processing invoices received
- Generating invoices
- Processing payments
- Talent acquisition and training
One solution to curbing small business inefficiencies is: the digitisation of tasks. Although some of the surveyed small businesses have digitised their accounting tasks, about 47% have not migrated to digital. With this in mind, it is important to note that In order to create thriving practices, practice managers need to remain informed enough to advise doctors on the most efficient software, digitisation solutions and innovations.
In this article, we take a look at 3 medical technology trends which are set to improve practice admin processes.
Cloud based software
Many business owners are considering making use of online services. When this topic opens up, the words “cloud computing” often get bandied about. But what is cloud computing really? A definition by PCMag states that: “cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet”.
At its highest level, this definition is what most people understand cloud computing to mean. Thus one would be forgiven for thinking that any e-commerce or online shopping website is an example of cloud technology. But, as you guessed; this is not the case. True cloud technologies are in fact online applications that have been developed in such a way that their product allows for other online products (usually complimentary services of entirely separate companies) to integrate quickly and easily. Consider the impact of what this statement means. As a business user, you may be considering the purchase of online business-related software. But by misunderstanding the capability and longevity of the online offering, you may miss out on the true potential that cloud technology’s “inter-connectedness” offers.
This translates to slower delivery of innovative services. Companies who are limited to their own internal resources to deliver all product innovation, will be left behind due to the rapid pace that is required to service the business world nowadays. Healthbridge’s digital platform is abreast of the latest cloud-computing technologies and will allow delivery of faster and smarter solutions. Our growing base clients already in the cloud, will have more levers at their disposal to support their business approaches. By placing our innovative platform in the cloud, we can connect you not only to our own exciting technologies, but also to new partners for more value, at far greater speeds. This encourages industry-wide interconnectivity, meaning everyone can thrive together. For instance look at the partnership with Discovery HealthID which allows access to their application directly within our myMPS platform. We are exploring other partnerships with companies such as Snap Scan payments, integrations into medicolegal services to allow real time transactions and scanning of patient documents to the cloud to name a few.
Take a look at a solution that is built with cloud based patient management software in mind. So when considering a new online service for your business needs, it may be worth your while to ask questions of the service provider, in terms of what their future innovation roadmap looks like.
Patients will search for and assess you online
From HelloMD to Vitals, we now have apps that can provide a specific service: finding medical practitioners such as a radiologist, general practitioner, physiotherapist or even a neurologist. These applications are good at connecting patients with the right certified medical doctor, even setting up an appointment within 24 hours. These sessions then take place via video call.
The technology is pretty prescriptive: they not only find the practitioner, they provide the best-reviewed practitioners in the database, along with direct access to other practitioners for second opinions. In the case of apps, at this stage – yes – you will only appear if you have specifically signed up to be a part of that community. But what many don’t realise is that almost all of us already exist online in some shape or form. A simple Google search will reveal existing reviews on your practice. This is why it’s important to at least start your awareness of how the patient of the future could come into your circle.
Virtual doctor visits
There are many factors which contribute to patients not being able to make a doctors’ appointment. Patients could be based in remote areas and therefore not have access to transportation, or might be too ill to make the trip. On the other hand, doctors are very time starved and often do not have enough time to do quick check-up’s with their patients or cannot treat the number of people they would like to treat.
Enter virtual visits
This medical concept has been on the rise for a few years now, but is still yet to reach many parts of the world. A virtual visit allows the doctor to have a consultation with the patient, online. According to US research the telemedicine market is projected to grow from USD25.23 billion in 2015 to USD57.92 billion in 2020. As a result there has been an increase in practices which offer virtual consultations. This article details how 3 startups are providing virtual consultations to service unique and localised issues. For example, in Pakistan, women doctors are often forced to leave their practice due to family obligations, in response to this challenge a local health start-up, Sehat Kahani, allows them to do consultations via a Skype-like video-consultation, from home.
What this means for the office administrator is less paper work and a streamlined consultation process. For whatever reasons practices may have been avoiding adopting technology systems, it is clear to see that medical technology offers support that enhances the patient experience and reduces time and resource waste. This is the perfect time for practice managers to advise doctors about the technological opportunities available to practices nowadays.