Making the Most Out of Your Patient Management Software
Patients want to feel like they’re in good hands with their doctor. That starts the second they approach the counter of a medical receptionist for the first time. If the medical office appears disorganized, for instance, that won’t instill much confidence. In 2016, a study found that some of the top safety concerns of patients were organizational workflows and health IT configurations that do not support each other, according the ECRI Institute.
Over the past few years, the health industry’s transition to electronic medical records (EMR) has led many practices to adopt specialized patient management software, but some are still struggling with how to use it effectively and efficiently. To assist, we rounded up some best practices to make the most out of an electronic patient management system.
- Staff Training
One of the most important investments you can make in your practice is ensuring the staff is fully trained on the tools and features within your patient management system. A solid software system will be accessible and intuitive enough that your entire practice, including physicians, can understand its processes and make targeted customizations when necessary.
- Patient Check-in
The first impression a patient has with a doctor’s office is critical. That’s why it’s important to have clearly defined check-in steps for both new and returning patients. A quality electronic patient management system will help remove the guesswork from this process, allowing you to quickly search, review and update a patient’s electronic health records and insurance information while avoiding redundancy issues. The last thing a patient wants is to get confused with someone else, or have the staff struggle to verify their information.
- Patient Treatment
The reputation of doctors’ having indecipherable handwriting exists for a reason. For years, this used to be just another piece of the patient management system that medical practices had to endure, which sometimes led to mistakes in testing, delayed diagnosis, missed symptoms, and medication errors. Today, excellent patient management software makes meaningful use of electronic medical records and delivers a fuller, more accurate and legible assessment of a patient’s history that can expedite treatment and simplify the overall process.
- Patient Engagement
When polled earlier this year, health care CEOs said some of their top concerns were consumer expectations and engagement. Software can improve both of those areas in a way phone calls and mailed letters cannot. By creating an integrated online patient portal, organizations can give their patients the ability to do things like access personal health care records, submit questions and feedback, and request medication refills. A simple, accessible patient portal also allows doctors to track their client’s progress and patients to take better control over of ongoing treatment.
- Patient Billing
One of the biggest pain points for both patients and doctors is billing. Whether that’s because the process is outsourced to a third-party with competing priorities or when an internal, paper-based system becomes rife with delays and errors, an electronic patient management system can streamline your claims submission process and deliver real-time reports and faster payments. As part of an aforementioned patient portal, email notifications can remind customers of upcoming payment due dates, for instance, and outstanding balances can be settled online in one easy place.
Paramount in any medical practice is offering the best treatment and care for patients. As the expectations and concerns of patients continue to change, it’ll become increasingly difficult for a practice offering top-notch care to attract new clients if they’re still relaying on outdated processes often associated with an old patient management system. Newer, more accessible and user-friendly technology can assimilate with a practice’s existing systems and solve problems many practices didn’t even know they had. Getting the most out of a new system is worth the extra effort, and the investment will only appreciate in ensuing years.