The New Year is right around the corner. It’s time to not only finish out 2014 with a bang, but to take a status check and make sure your practice has done everything to prepare for 2015.
Another year in healthcare is arguably different than another year in most other industries. Healthcare changes (especially those that have happened most recently) are often large scale and have a huge impact on daily operations. With all of these changes happening, making sure your practice has up-to-date technology is going to be a huge priority when thinking of the future.
Dedicate your efforts in 2015 to adopting these healthcare tech trends and reward your patients and your practice.
Patient Information Technologies
The healthcare industry has witnessed numerous advances in information technologies, particularly when dealing with the distribution of medical information. Let’s take a look at some of the most impactful technological advances that are helping medical practices become more patient-centric.
Use of EHR and Patient Portal Systems
Thanks to the Meaningful Use Stage 2 final rule that the majority of eligible practices are currently working towards, the increase of EHR’s and patient portal systems has skyrocketed in the past year. Using technologies like patient portals allows a level of transparency between doctors and patients that helps achieve the goals of both parties. Patients are more engaged in their care when they know exactly what is happening and they feel more empowered to be proactive. That said, doctors are capable of providing better quality care when they can directly interact and engage with their patients.
The use of smartphones and health-related apps among patients and doctors alike has been on an upward spike in the past few years. Technologies from giants like Nike, Apple, and Fitbit have made tracking and monitoring personal health appealing. The spark was catching even a couple of years ago according to Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project 2012 survey. It showed that 72% of Internet users looked online to find health information in the past year. And more recently, just last month, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute reported that 28% of consumers have a healthcare, wellness, or medical app on their device, up from just 16% last year. The report also showed that an astounding 86% of physicians believed that prescribing mobile health apps will be important for managing patient health in the next five years.
When it comes down to it, your practice is all about your patients. If they are happy (and healthy), your practice will be too. Distribution of health-related information is one way of putting your practice on the path to patient engagement, satisfaction retention, and practice profitability.
In addition to dealing with the complexities of their healthcare, billing and insurance is a major burden for most patients. Your patients are your customers, and it is your job as a healthcare provider to provide the best customer service you can.
Here’s where most medical practices get stuck. Your goal is to provide quality care to your patients. But what about your financial goals? Providing quality care is of course a priority, but it would not be feasible if your practice were not financially healthy.
Providing customer service to your patients goes beyond the exam room. Actually, it starts before they even set foot in the exam room. When patients call to schedule an appointment, this is your opportunity to inform them of billing and insurance procedures so there is no shock when they come in. Dealing with these issues upfront reduces a lot of headache for both your medical staff and your patients. Implement winning patient collection technology (such as card on file payment systems) and increase your revenue at the same time. It’s a win-win and a strong way to start off in 2015.
If your practice wants an innovative approach to how you treat patients in 2015, it starts with technology. Using the latest technologies available to medical practices gives you the advantage you need to not only provide quality care, but to create a service unlike any other. Your patients are your customers and they are increasingly expecting a higher level of customer service from the HCPs. Is your practice ready to give it to them?