Admin – it’s the bane of our lives as medical practitioners, but what’s a doctor to do? It’s a necessary evil. It would be nice if we, as doctors, could just turn up at the practice, treat patients, and then go home again!
But the reality is that there’s a lot of administrative work that takes place before and after the consultation. It costs time and money; and this affects profitability. The trick is to get through your admin as quickly and efficiently as possible. And that’s a function of the right decisions, backed up with the appropriate technology.
How to lighten your admin burden
Before the consultation
The time the patient spends waiting for the doctor is the perfect opportunity to check if they have enough funds in their account to cover the consultation. You can check patient benefits at the click of a mouse, and get the information on-screen within seconds.
After the consultation
The time between the patient coming out of the consultation and leaving the practice is another golden opportunity to do vital admin. Submit the claim to the patient’s medical aid in real-time, and get a response almost immediately telling you what portion of the bill is covered and what portion needs to be paid by the patient. You can discuss payment options and invoice the patient immediately. And get the money in cash or via credit card.
This methodical approach to admin might seem simplistic, but it’s the difference between squaring a patient off your books before they leave the practice, and having to do it later, with all the hassle that implies in terms of phone calls, e-mail and stress. Efficient practices know that this short period of time when the patient is still there is critical, and they use it well. To draw a parallel, smart detectives know that the first 24 hours is the most critical time in which to solve a crime; thereafter, the trail starts to go cold, and everything is harder and takes longer.