There is something that anyone who runs a medical practice is going to be acutely aware of. Something that sets it apart from many other organisations. That is the fact that there’s a certain degree of balance involved in a medical practice that is almost entirely unique. That balance is between two incredibly important things. The first is your ability to care for and support your patients. The other is running your practice like a successful business. The issue that many practice owners come up against is the fact that it can sometimes feel that each of those things needs to come at the cost of the other, or worse, that they’re complete polar opposites. Of course, there’s a chance for that to be true. You could have a practice that is so focused on functioning as a business that it leads to a lack of high-quality patient care, or you could focus on your patients so exclusively that you end up neglecting your business. Fortunately, being able to balance those two things is far easier now than ever before. There are plenty of modern innovations that have led medical practices to be able to not only improve both patient care and their business model but also balance the two in a much more intuitive way. A medical practice that is right on the cutting edge is one that uses innovation to improve every aspect of itself, and here are a few places in your practice where innovation is going to do you the most good.
One of the most frustrating things for any medical practice is the amount of time and money lost when patients fail to show up for their appointments. Not only is this a waste of time and resources but it also means that there are patients who could have been seen but were turned away because there were no other appointments available. Of course, it’s not always going to be down to laziness or malice that a patient didn’t show up. Sometimes people find it difficult to get around when they’re sick, or they simply feel uncomfortable going to a doctor’s office. Luckily there’s a piece of technology that is already in use by millions of people all over the world that can solve a lot of those problems. That is, of course, video conferencing software. If you can use programs like Skype to chat with distant friends or relatives, then you can certainly use it to speak to patients. This way patients can talk face to face to a doctor without having to leave their home. Of course, there are limitations to this. If they need specific treatment or an examination, then they need to be physically present, but being able to speak to a doctor from a safe space in the early stages make patients far less likely to miss later, in-person appointments.
A medical practice cannot survive without income. That’s a fact of life, and whether you like it or not, it’s something you’re going to have to deal with. Of course, this can be very complex, especially when you have things like emergency patients, complex procedures and other, unexpected aspects to patient care. Medical coding allows you to transform those elements into universal codes that can be used to provide the correct financial information to patients and practices. Plenty of medical coding companies specialize in things like emergency treatment so that your practice doesn’t end up in a position where you’re unaware of what a particular treatment has cost. This doesn’t just benefit your practice of course. For one thing, allowing another company to handle your medical coding allows you and your staff to focus on patients more thoroughly, but it also makes sure that patients are never charged the wrong amount for a treatment, which is something that can cause real problems for their health insurance. Accuracy is paramount when dealing with medical insurers and it’s not something that you can afford to do half-heartedly.
There was a time when the process of speaking to a doctor, describing symptoms, being tested, and receiving a diagnosis, was something that could take days, even weeks. But now, thanks to some incredible innovations in diagnostic technology, doctors are able to test and diagnose patients far more quickly, sometimes even within the first consultation. For one thing, simple access to the internet means that doctors can research symptoms far more easily than ever before. Add to that pieces of tech that can test for things like blood sugar and certain illnesses in minutes. There are even some occasions where artificial intelligence is being used to diagnose patients since they are able to search through a huge database of cases and symptoms in a matter of moments. This makes the lives of patients far easier as they are getting diagnosed far quicker and more accurately, but it also makes the lives of doctors far easier. It allows them to see more patients throughout the day and lowers the number of needles follow-up appointments that they need to do.
A patient’s ability to interact with your practice is incredibly important. Many people are fairly unwilling to pick up the phone in order to make an appointment, so having an online patient portal can be an incredibly elegant solution. Not only can it be used to help them make appointments, but it can be used for renewing prescriptions, leaving feedback, even keeping informed of recent outbreaks of any kind. Not only does this mean that patients can interact with the practice far more easily, but it frees up administrative staff to get a lot more done since they are no longer having to deal with a phone that is ringing off the hook throughout the day. A patient portal is also a great selling point for your practice. After all, without patients your practice can’t function so having something like that to draw in new patients can be a genuinely invaluable tool.