Workflows are one of the things that most medical offices know are important, and many don’t spend enough time focusing on them. But some simple adjustments to your workflow—and the right tools in place to augment your staff’s efforts—can significantly improve your ability to see patients, cut down on wait times, and increase clinic revenue. Here are three tools you should be using that can cut down on manual work your staff is already doing.
1: Automated Appointment Reminders
Patient appointments are the single most important revenue driver in your business, so making sure that patients show up for their scheduled appointment is critical to your operation. In fact, missed appointments cost medical providers $150 billion each year. For many years, clinics have used phone calls to remind patients about upcoming appointments. While these are better than nothing for cutting down no-shows, they require a significant amount of staff time to make all those phone calls.
Automated reminders through text and email are easier, more effective, and take no additional staff time at all. Schedule appointments in your practice management system, enter the email address and mobile phone number for the patient, and automated reminders go out at specified intervals. Your staff may still need to call a few patients who don’t have email or a mobile phone where they accept text messages, but it will take a lot less time.
2: Online Patient Check-In
Another way to free up staff time and streamline workflows is with online patient check-in options. Sending out information to your patient in advance of the appointment via email or a patient portal allows them to fill in the information, including updating their address and phone number, checking their medication list, reviewing insurance information, filling out consent forms, and even paying the copay before they arrive. Mobile-friendly check-in provides these options conveniently from any smartphone or tablet. Patients arrive already checked in, so your staff can spend more time on other tasks and patients won’t need to share private health information in a crowded waiting room.
3: Patient Portals for E-Prescribing
Patient portals are another way to reduce wasted staff time, especially when it comes to prescription refills. They allow patients to request a refill electronically, you or your staff to approve it, and the information is automatically sent to the pharmacy. It takes just a few seconds for your staff rather than several minutes (or longer) to get the patient on the phone, verify medication details, and send it to the pharmacy via fax or with another phone call. Patients also appreciate the convenience of being able to request refills anytime day or night, even after your clinic business hours.
Learn more about how you can streamline clinic workflows with the right technology and get started today with the tools from AdvancedMD.