When it comes to owning a practice, you need to work smart. That means having the right tech to optimize your business growth.
New technologies will improve over time, and adopting them will require a learning curve. Still, you can be confident that getting it right can mean the difference between a busy appointment schedule — or no appointments at all.
Read on to learn a few best practices for using technology to grow your clinic.
1. Automate manual tasks
Tomorrow you’re attending a conference about innovations in veterinary practices. But before then, you review your budget (you think you’ve been spending too much recently on office supplies), talk to your staff about how many patients have complained about long waits, and find a replacement for your receptionist who sprained their ankle this morning.
You need to stay focused to get through your to-do items. And make sure your team does the same. Low productivity could lead to bad patient care — and that’s just not an option.
Thankfully, the right productivity tools can keep you on track. And when used correctly, can also save you money. Here are a few ideas to get you started on increasing productivity.
Online portals. Many automated systems are incorporating client portals which allow team members access to information and files directly necessary to complete projects or service clients. You can set it up so employees can log in and add input into client records, have access to discussion boards, and add necessary files.
Electronic health records (EHR). No more unreadable doctor’s notes. Electronic health records are all typed in allowing your practice to keep legible digital patient records, doctor’s notes, and scans. And you can save a ton on paper because these are all kept in an easy-to-access digital database rather than a paper-filled folder.
Telehealth appointments. The emergence of telehealth services provided a new level of convenience and safety to patients everywhere. If you offered virtual services in the last year, consider keeping them available for the foreseeable future. Make sure to choose a telehealth platform that is reliable, HIPAA compliant, and user-friendly so that you won’t have to involve IT at every turn.
2. Communicate with staff via digital com tools
You can’t grow your clinic without assessing your communication flows — both are intertwined.
Are your staff preoccupied with manual busy work when they could be providing better patient service? Are there missed calls to your patients? Is there miscommunication between you and your team?
From booking appointments to receiving follow-up treatment, streamlining your communication through technology is key to your success.
Make communication easy. Implement a central communication tool for your staff so they can receive real-time updates directly on their phone. Emails can easily get lost in the mix, especially when insurance companies are sending in new orders or processes.
Streamline payroll and timesheets. Having issues reporting back to your staff why their payroll is wrong? Skip the drama and ensure timesheets and payroll are correct every time. Use a simple staff scheduling tool and let your team focus on providing a better patient experience instead of chasing down payroll corrections.
Make patients feel like their time is well spent. Automating the patient processing stage will decrease waiting room times and free up your staff to handle more pressing questions. Going paperless will keep operations organized so your patient data stays safe and secure.
3. Simplify your staff scheduling
One of the hardest things to do in any small business is scheduling staff. Luckily, technology can help keep your team or teams where they need to be.
Use a staff scheduling solution that lets you build schedules in minutes. Easily fill shifts based on employee availability, training, and cost. Look for a tool that lets you send schedules to your team via desktop or mobile.
If you’re using clunky software or the dreaded spreadsheet, you’re costing your business time and money. Instead of focusing on quality care, you’re wasting hours figuring out how to adjust the schedule when staff has last-minute changes.
Here are a few other tips to assist in selecting the right staff and to help you simplify your scheduling.
Fill empty shifts with the right staff. If you or another physician prefer to work with a particular person, look for a solution that enables you to create preferred working schedules automatically.
Flex with demand. Your clinic likely has fluctuations in demand, especially during certain seasons. Your staff scheduling solution should be able to help you predict when (and where) you need staff so you always have the right coverage for the best patient care.
Go mobile. In healthcare, you can’t be tied to your desk. Look for a tool that has a mobile app so you can make changes on the go, wherever you are.
Sustain your excellence
Revamping your technology best practices will require a bit of openness to change. Fortunately, you aren’t alone.
Thousands of practice managers are also iterating on their usual ways of working. Download Your Revenue Booster Cheatsheet for more tips on how to get the most out of your technology.