Looking back over the last 10 years, healthcare in South Africa has made enormous strides towards becoming a digital, connected health service. We’ve witnessed the digital transformation of numerous national, provincial and private providers.
Now on the brink of a new decade, we listed the top five essential medical practice technologies that every private practice should have to not only become more patient-centric, but that enable better practice management.
1. Online patient appointment platform
People are using digital channels to book everything from takeaways, to taxis to hair appointments. It’s become the norm so why should making a doctor’s appointment be any different? Patients want the freedom and autonomy to book appointments with your practice at their convenience. An online booking platforms such as RecoMed is a simple and seamless way to give your patients what they want and to manage your appointments optimally.
2. Automated patient reminders
People are busy, and they are only getting busier. Missed appointments can have a negative impact on your cash flow but they’re often the result of patients simply forgetting. Sending out automated SMS patient appointment reminders means you can minimise or completely avoid missed appointments without the additional admin burden on you and your practice staff. Our data shows that patients appreciate appointment reminders and it is a tangible way in which your practice can become more patient-centric.
3. Digital payment options
As much as patients want a convenient way to make an appointment with your practice, they also want convenient ways to make payment. Traditional card and EFT payments are making way for cardless digital channels because while people can easily forget their wallets, they rarely forget their phones. Offering them digital payment options such as Snapscan improves your chances of getting paid at the time of service and thereby, reducing bad debt. Click here for more information about what payment options you should consider for your practice.
4. Data analytics
In an increasingly complex world, it is impossible to know exactly what is going on all the time. And as a busy doctor, you simply don’t have the time nor the capacity to process the vast amounts of data that is created on a daily basis. However, you need to be able to spot gaps or flaws in your RCM processes quickly and easily to stay profitable. Your practice data is a valuable tool to help you make informed decisions about the running of your practice as long as it is easy to access and understand. Ensure that you are using your digital system’s reporting functionality to its fullest potential to help you reach your practice goals and optimise your practice’s RCM.
5. Electronic Medical Records (EMR)/ Electronic Health Records (EHR)
Handwritten notes stored in yellow paper files might be the simplest way to take patient notes, but its limitations far outweigh the benefits. Paper files mean that your patient data can’t integrate with all your other electronic data and it simply doesn’t make sense to store patient data in two different places that can’t ‘speak’ to each other. Implementing an EMR/EHR system at your practice means you can safely access clinical, financial and management data all from a single source with the click of a button. If you haven’t yet made the switch to an EMR solution, consider the benefits to both your practice and your patients by migrating from paper-based systems.
Implementing these medical practice technologies doesn’t have to be a complex or tedious task. The right provider will be able to offer you hands on guidance for the best fit and roll out strategy for your practice. Healthbridge has been helping doctors in private practice run profitable, patient-centric practices for over 20 years. Get in touch to find out more about how Healthbridge can help you optimise your business in 2020: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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