In 2019, the vast majority of people have, at the very least, a basic level of digital literacy when using a smartphone, tablet and/or laptop. In fact, 46% of seniors, aged 65+, were found to have a smartphone, and this rate is increasing year-over-year. As such, all industries have to adjust and “go digital”, including healthcare, which has seen uptake in several digital trends like telemedicine, AI, and blockchain. Patients are increasingly looking for virtual alternatives to the traditional delivery of care, such as requesting appointments online or receiving billing report PDFs. Digitizing your medical practice also provides benefits for your staff and overall business. So, let’s discuss what digitizing your medical practice entails, its associated benefits, and key considerations for implementation.
“Digitizing your workflow” sounds complicated and unnecessary. But here’s the truth: with the now-standard practice management features included in virtual care platforms, it’s never been easier to digitize your medical practice. Digitizing your “front of house” workflow will offer you an optimized experience for both your admin and clinical teams. Administrators can handle scheduling, billing and reporting tasks within the same page and have different processes be automated, such as appointment reminders, sending intake and assessment forms and even charging for appointments. Healthcare providers can also schedule their own appointments, or access patient charts and read through session notes. The goal of a virtual care platform with practice management features is to streamline the patient and provider journeys, offering convenience, efficiency and improved outcomes for both parties. Here are some examples of digital optimization:
- Scheduling & Booking — Patients self-scheduling based on intake forms and patient-provider matching algorithms;
- Note-Taking & Forms — Assigning forms virtually prior to an appointment to maximize the time spent actually treating your patients;
- Billing — Automatic processing of patients’ payment method once the appointment is completed or if a no-show has taken place;
- Analytics & Reporting — Tracking key clinical and/or financial performance metrics to fully grasp the value of digitizing your medical practice.
The convenience of digitizing your medical practice provides multiple benefits:
Saves time for admin and clinical teams: Efficiency. Efficiency. Efficiency. We’re not far removed from the times when x-rays were sent via snail mail and patient charts were retrieved from file rooms. Digitizing your medical practice means that both administrative and clinical teams spend more time providing patients with the medical attention they need. Administrative teams are often the first point of contact with a patient, so their buy-in is crucial for the success of your digital optimization.
Improves patient satisfaction and outcomes: By making it more convenient for patients to seek care, they’re empowered to become proactive with their health. By utilizing digital features, such as self-scheduling and mobile check-ins, patients become equal stakeholders in their health. Prior to this capability, patients were less engaged in learning about health and wellness and being involved in their treatment plans. Digital optimization also reduces the likelihood of clerical and/or medical errors by reducing the amount of manual data entry required and making it easier to retrieve patients’ medical records.
Increases practice ROI: Reduce administrative burdens and expensive hardware installations by having everything you need within a single digital platform that you can easily incorporate into your practice. Sending automated appointment reminders and updates can also reduce patient no-shows, a costly reality for medical practices. Finally, revenue can be increased by streamlining the billing process through online payment processing via the patient portal.
Virtual care adoption is increasing, and it’s become an important tool for healthcare professionals and organizations. Additionally, patient demand for digital health alternatives is increasing, with millions of patients seeing their providers over Skype or Facetime. It’s clear that practice management is essential in running an efficient and effective medical practice. Digitizing common procedures that are usually done manually can benefit your administrative team, your doctors and even your patients.
If you’re looking to launch your own virtual care service with all the necessary practice management features, learn more about OnCall Health here.