6 Easy Ways to Automate Care at Your Medical Practice
Perhaps the most significant difference between private medical practices and large healthcare organizations is that smaller medical clinics provide personalized care and focused attention to each patient. So, automating care at your medical practice may not seem like the soundest decision. Yet, it is a mistake not to reap the benefits of automation.
The trick is to automate your medical practice without compromising on personalized patient care. In fact, automation can greatly improve a patient’s experience at your practice while also leaving with you with free time for a healthier work-life balance.
Automation can be applied to a wide variety of services and processes at medical practices. Prescription refills, patient feedback, and billing are all areas that can be made more efficient with automation. Here are 6 easy ways to automate care at your medical practice:
- Automated Patient Intake Forms
At most practices, new patients must fill out an intake form on their first visit. Not all patients fill up the intake form completely. Incomplete forms leave gaps in the patient’s history and take up valuable staff time.
Some practices allow patients to complete the form online at home. Yet, oftentimes patients do not have access to a printer or forget to bring the form with them to the visit.
The solution is to develop automated intake forms that can be completed on portable devices such as iPads. Once the form has been digitally completed, the healthcare provider has the opportunity to review it even before the patient arrives for the encounter. This not only makes the visit less stressful for the patient, it also makes the first appointment more efficient at your practice.
- Automated Appointment Reminders
Voice mails are outdated because they are inefficient. Surveys have shown a large fraction of voice mails are not heard for several days. And millennials are an entire generation that thinks voice mails are passé.
Text messages are the new-age convenient way to remind patients of upcoming appointments. This automation can dramatically reduce no-shows. This, in turn, translates to better business for your medical practice as there are no empty slots. Studies have shown that text reminders are more effective than voice messages. What’s even better is that an automated text service greatly reduces the burden on staff scheduling appointments.
Medical scheduling software can be a useful tool to manage patient appointments and waitlists. In addition, these systems have the ability to analyze a patient’s appointment history with a few clicks of the mouse.
- Automated Health Tips
It is vital for private medical practices to provide follow-up care and general health information and tips to their patients. It is services like these that make patients choose and stay with smaller practices rather than seeking care at large hospital systems.
Sending personalized health tips to each patient is not practical and following up on each individual can be time-consuming. Automating helps segregate patients into broad health categories. Patients at your medical practice can then receive relevant health tips according to the categories they qualify for. This simple automation results in personalized attention for the patient without taking up hours of your precious time.
- Automated Patient Charts
Does your day end with long hours spent entering data and updating patient charts? Automation can make this onerous task obsolete. The days when physicians needed to enter patient information by manually typing or handwriting are long gone.
Today, portable devices such as cell phones and tablets allow doctors to update patient information and link it automatically to cloud software. This translates to extra free time that you can spend seeing more patients while doing less work.
- Automated Patient Interaction
Automation allows patients to contact your medical practice about a number of services without disrupting workflow. Services such as scheduling or changing appointments, requesting prescription refills, and asking follow-up questions are easier and quicker with automated systems.
Automated patient interactions have a dual benefit. They not only improve efficiency in your medical practice, they also improve patient satisfaction by providing an easy and convenient interface with the clinic.
An appointment scheduling feature on the practice website can be integrated with the physician calendar. This frees up staff time, makes the process more convenient for patients, and improves the patient’s overall experience with your practice. The same system can be set up to send appointment reminders and follow-up messages.
- Automated Personalized Messages
There was a time when staff at a medical clinic would send cards to all patients celebrating their birthdays that month. Now, this can be done with less effort and time without compromising on building a personal relationship with each patient.
A system can be set up to automatically send patients personalized messages to wish them on their birthday. This easy-to-implement automated feature provides a touch of personalization that makes patients feel special and cared for. This can go a long way in improving the patient-practitioner relationship and overall satisfaction with your medical practice.
The message should be customized with the patient’s name and a warm message that does not appear obviously automated.
Private medical practices are often held to higher standards when it comes to personalized attention and focused medical care. Automation is a way to meet these expectations while also freeing up staff and providers from time-consuming administrative tasks. You should consider these six ways to automate care at your medical practice and see your clinic flourish.