A new year is a good time for you to review your practice management systems. By looking back at the past year, you can evaluate how well your management, billing, scheduling, and electronic health records (EHR) systems worked. A little strategic review and planning now are going to help you create baselines and benchmarks for better administrative, clinical, and financial efficiency in the coming year. Here are 3 steps to better practice management in the New Year.
#1 Evaluate the effectiveness of your practice management systems in 2015.
Before you can create a strategic plan for the New Year, you’ve got to start by taking a look back. Examine the most important functions of your practice management system–scheduling, EHR, and billing–and take stock of how well they performed in 2015.
#2 Identify areas that created problems in workflow or patient experience
Your practice management (PM) system should integrate both the clinical and business flow of your practice. Did you and your staff struggle to coordinate several different systems that didn’t talk to each other, resulting in workflow bottlenecks and clinical inefficiency? Did administrative tasks keep you from spending quality time with your patients?
Limiting the number of no-shows and making sure patients remember their appointments is critical to the financial health of your practice. Was your 2015 calendar free of no-shows? Did you see a maximum number of patients in 2015?
The switch to ICD-10 was probably your biggest challenge in 2015. How well did your EHR system help you meet Meaningful Use requirements, prepare for ICD-10, and streamline workflow?
Keeping track of credit card slips, collecting checks, and making telephone calls to payors to verify eligibility and copays can quickly bog down your practice. Did your billing system keep patient payments on track, increase collections of copays, and keep you from losing hard-earned revenue?
#3 Create a strategic plan to address bottlenecks
Your strategic plan for 2016 should include practice management solutions that are going to improve your staff productivity and enhance patient experience. The easiest way to achieve comprehensive, integrated practice management is to choose a PM system that can coordinate everything you need to manage your practice more effectively: easy-to-access patient demographics, appointment and resource scheduling, insurance payer lists, billing, and financial reporting with key performance indicators.
An electronic scheduling and appointment system can make sure your practice is operating at full capacity with a comprehensive suite of functions that help you make the most of patient scheduling: at-a-glance schedule management, scheduling tools that can help you overbook, manage waitlists, and set recurring patient appointments, and a system that helps patients schedule, cancel, and manage their appointments online.
A top EHR system should offer you charting that streamlines your workflow and helps to organize patient data in a way that leads to improvements in patient care. Your strategic plan should include a goal to go paperless as much as possible. When you have an EHR with cloud-based services, you’ll improve your clinical accuracy and outcomes with complete and seamless data transfer between several users.
The more financial integration your practice has, the more efficiently you can collect outstanding balances. Plan an upgrade to your billing practices in 2016. Make sure your billing system supports payments by cash, check, credit or debit card; phone payments; and online patient portal payments. Credit-card-on-file (CCF) capability, when combined with a patient payment plan, is going to help your practice secure an automated method for collecting a credit card payment against outstanding balances each month. Practices that work to improve billing are guaranteed to save on administrative costs by not having to prepare and mail patient statements each month.
Strategic planning will help you create a plan for improving your care quality, practice function, and process integration in the coming year. Learn how creating a strategic plan can help your practice not just survive, but thrive. Download the AdvancedMD guide, 2016: The Year You Make a Strategic Plan.
2016 The Year You Make A Strategic Plan
A new year is a good time to develop a solid strategic plan, one that identifies goals, processes, and the unique needs of your practice. Taking the time to evaluate your administrative, clinical, and financial performance of the past year will help you more effectively chart a course for a prosperous future. Make this year the year you make a strategic plan for your private practice. Read the step-by-step guide.