Owners or managers of healthcare facilities usually go through times when they feel truly overwhelmed. The team cannot handle the demand, the waiting room is full, and the feeling is that it’s impossible to have new patients.
If you’ve ever been in this position, maybe it is time to consider modernizing and automating some processes that are still being done manually. Advances in technology impacted the most diverse areas, changing how some tasks are performed. It’s no different with medical clinics or private practices: technology can help you streamline medical care from patient reception to the billing process.
Discover some ways to use technology to your advantage and have more free time for what really matters: providing quality healthcare and ensuring your patients’ satisfaction.
Connect Staff Virtually
The recent health crisis caused by COVID-19 forced professionals from the most diverse areas to work remotely. In the case of health professionals, the pandemic only accentuated the need to adopt some remote processes permanently. After all, this saves time and money and even helps to prevent the spread of diseases.
Today, meetings and even staff training can be held virtually through videoconferences. It can be done through computers and laptops and even each one’s mobile phone. Those long face-to-face meetings can also be replaced by management apps, which keep everyone on the same page and allow you to track progress and completion of tasks more easily than in person. By connecting your staff virtually, you also guarantee greater participation and collaboration, as there are no more excuses for not being present.
Treat Patients Virtually
While technology allows for training and meetings to be carried out virtually, telemedicine (or telehealth) also gives the option of treating patients remotely—at least the less urgent cases, which only need some specialized guidance.
Remote medical services can be provided by mobile phone or video call. Telemedicine has been around for some time, but it has also become more popular because of COVID-19. The tool allows you to connect patients with doctors and therapists more quickly and easily.
Among the benefits of providing remote medical care, consider some of the following:
- Allow your patients to have access to multiple specialists without having to leave their houses and drive to another neighborhood or city.
- With staggered shifts, you can provide service 24/7.
- The cost is lower for both the healthcare provider and the patient.
- People who live far from hospitals or clinics have easy access to healthcare.
- As everything is done remotely, no one is at risk of being exposed to diseases (whether in the doctor’s office or a waiting room full of other patients).
- Psychological care can be provided online and 24 hours a day, which is very important for people with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Deliver Patient Records Faster
Do you still keep medical records in cardboard folders? Maybe it’s time to retire paperwork and adopt electronic health records (EHRs), digital medical forms that make it much easier to access and update patient information.
Modernizing the way you collect and handle patient data is important not only for the most obvious reasons (to streamline the entire process and avoid errors and outdated information), but also to adapt to the recent requirements of the 21st Century Cures Act.
Since April 2021, the law has prohibited information blocking. Therefore, it’s essential to have medical records in digital format to quickly provide to patients themselves, in case they make the request, or to other healthcare providers that need to exchange info about the treatment or diagnosis.
There’s a wide variety of software, tools, and applications that enable streamlining processes to make clinic administration more efficient as a whole.
Many apps generate data that allows you to transform the way you deal with your patients completely. For example, at the reception, it’s possible to calculate the average waiting time to prepare the staff better. With a virtual agenda that sends alerts via email or SMS, doctors and the rest of the crew are all connected, so there’s no chance of mistakes.
By streamlining processes like scheduling and billing, you enable technology to keep your entire team connected. Everyone can know what is going on, and tedious and repetitive processes can be retired for good.
Technology That’s Good for Health
Modernization and automation of healthcare services is already a reality, although some smaller clinics still have a long way before providing digital or remote services to their patients. But you simply can’t run away from progress now.
You can start to modernize your clinic little by little, trying to simplify the main processes (first care to patients, for example). When you have more concrete data on how technology makes your processes more efficient (and cuts costs), you will certainly invest in even more innovative tools. The possibilities are diverse, and technology can be good for everyone’s health—including your financial health.