4 Efficiency Barriers for Health Practices

The world of medicine can be busy. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cardiologist’s office, a dentist’s office, or a veterinarian’s – there’s a lot of patients trying to be seen, but there never seems to be enough time.

As a result, practices around the country are looking to become more efficient. They want more time for staff and doctors to focus on their core responsibility of patient care. But first, they need to discover any hidden inefficiencies in their practice.  

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4 Efficiency Barriers for Health Practices

Apr 22, 2019

4 Efficiency Barriers for Health Practices

The world of medicine can be busy. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cardiologist’s office, a dentist’s office, or a veterinarian’s – there’s a lot of patients trying to be seen, but there never seems to be enough time.

As a result, practices around the country are looking to become more efficient. They want more time for staff and doctors to focus on their core responsibility of patient care. But first, they need to discover any hidden inefficiencies in their practice. Here are 4 ways many practices can save time:

1. Eliminate key-entering of payment information

One major source of practice inefficiency is excess data entry. For instance, at some practices, dual entry is necessary for every card transaction – the transaction must be manually entered at the time of the patient’s payment, and again later into the electronic health records system.

Practices should seek out solutions that can eliminate this problem without any disruption to their current technology. Many solutions can enable card transactions and receipts to automatically be posted to a practice’s current PMS, right from the initial card swipe.

2. Reduce paper receipts

For both patients and practices, paper receipts were crucial for decades, but they’re becoming less and less useful in the digital age. And that means unneeded and unwanted receipts are creating inefficiency.

Receipts require printing, signing, stapling and filing. Often two printed receipts are required – one for the patient, one to be filed. It’s a waste of money and resources, and a waste of working hours.

Instead, today’s practices should keep up with evolving client expectations and make the switch to offering e-receipts when customers prefer it. It reduces paperwork and filing for the practice, saves money, and increases patient satisfaction by simplifying their life – they don’t have to keep track of their printed receipts anymore

3. Keep payments off of the phones

Most health practices funnel payments to the front desk and phone, in many cases just because that’s the way it’s always been done. Handling phone payments then becomes a major responsibility of front desk staff and a huge use of their time. It creates a bottleneck for billing staff, and any reduction in patient payments by phone would help them to focus on those other important responsibilities like insurance billing.

Many of today’s patients would in fact prefer to pay in ways other than phone or check—for instance, with modern options like online payments. By taking payments online, phones are no longer tied up, and the staff at the front desk is free to focus on tasks like insurance billing, communicating with patients who enter the office, talking with physicians, and more.

4. Digitize consent and disclosure forms

Many practices still present consent and disclosure forms like Financial Responsibility or Consent to Treat. These forms in their traditional paper format take a good deal of time not only to complete, but also to file and protect.

An electronic system that captures and secures digital signatures saves time for the front desk, valuable office space for the practice, and streamlines the client experience.

All 4 of these initiatives represent important ways to create new efficiency and save time in any health practice, making life better for doctors, staff and patients. Undertaken together, they can significantly improve the daily work of a practice.

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