Technology has become a major force of change in the world. There’s no denying that the current healthcare industry is significantly more enhanced from what it used to be a few years ago. While back in the day, your patients would have to call and book an appointment, today, they can schedule a visit using their smartphone. Appointments are not the only thing that patients can book online, as we’ve seen in 2020 video consultations have become increasingly more popular and have made healthcare accessible to a much larger section of society.
Even if your practice is booming right now, sustaining that success in the years to come means constantly looking for ways to grow to better meet the needs and expectations of your patients. Growth doesn’t just mean how you serve patients–in many cases, it requires operational and cultural changes.
Recognizing and overcoming the obstacles that are hindering your growth is important if you want to progress. Once you’ve identified the problems (such as more doctor-patient transparency), technology can help you reduce or eliminate the many pains associated with growing a successful practice.
Having the right tools, systems, and information makes scaling day-to-day processes much easier and improves overall efficiency. Here are some ways technology can help you grow your practice.
1. Use Technology To Increase Productivity And Efficiency
Offering your patients the best quality care becomes difficult if you’ve got sticky notes all around your practice. If you’re using a paper diary for appointments, sheets of paper, hard copies of patients’ records, and post-its covering your desk acting as a reminder, then maybe introducing technology would be your best bet to turn all this chaos into a well-organized order. Proper systems reduce the amount of time you or your team spends on doing basic admin work and frees up space to focus on more important things – like patient care. Less time spent on managing administrative tasks means a clearer headspace and enhanced productivity across your practice.
Technology can make regular tasks such as billing, appointment scheduling, holding patient records, and taking notes simpler and easier to manage. Best of all you don’t need someone to come in and help you set it all up–simply search for a tool that you’re looking for and get started. Nowadays, onboarding through videos, calls, and app-cues will help you get set up and used to any new system in a short amount of time.
One example is our billing software that lets you add a patient with LabelSnap (a feature of our mobile apps that lets you capture patient data instantly using your phone’s camera), and submit claims all in just a few taps. Not only will this free up your time but it will help you bill more accurately as you can bill on the go when the patient and procedure are still fresh on your mind.
If you think you have too much admin work try and sort through all your papers and see what can be scanned and what can be shredded. You don’t have to go Marie Kondo on your practice but the more organized you are, the more productive you’ll be.
Here are some ways technology can help eliminate layers of admin work and streamline a lot of internal tasks such as:
- Appointment scheduling and management
- Billing and payment
- Automated appointment reminders
- Patient records
- Treatment notes
- Form completion and return
2. Make The Most Of Voice-Assisted Technology
According to a study, 51.9% of doctors are interested in using a voice assistant like Siri and Alexa to help them with their day-to-day tasks. In fact, 7.5% of them have already done so. While this number may seem small, it translates to roughly 19.1 million consumers.
The goal isn’t to replace nurses or assistants, but instead, this type of technology equips doctors to better utilize those resources. For example, with a voice assistant, you won’t need nurses/assistants to take notes and they can be better utilized to help patients with other things such as filling out their prescriptions.
With a voice assistant, doctors can now document a patient’s medical history just by dictating it. All they have to do is say their notes out loud and the voice assistant transcribes it to written word saving them time to toggle back and forth between the data entry screen and their patient.
With these time-saving benefits and hands-free capabilities, physicians can now take notes without stopping a sterile procedure or removing their gloves.
3. Use Technology To Foster Client Relationships
Having more patients wouldn’t be enough to build a sustainable practice. When it comes to business, even healthcare, customer retention is more important than customer acquisition. You have to think beyond what you can offer at your practice and think about what can you do once they leave. A busy practice and long workdays may make it difficult for you to consistently follow up with them and offer them that extra value add.
So, how do you build customer loyalty? Your answer lies in technology. Technology offers various different ways for you to connect with your potential and existing clients. For example:
- When you’re writing electronic notes about your patients, include personal details so you can remember to follow up in the next visit. For example, did a student mentions losing sleep because they were stressed about their exams? Ask how their exam went on their next visit.
- Email marketing is another great tool to stay in touch with your patients. People check their emails more frequently than they check social media. So, ensure that you visit their inbox regularly with personalized messages to keep them engaged. For example, are you doing a special breast cancer awareness drive? Highlight that in your monthly newsletter.
- Online reputation is of prime importance especially when people are looking you up before visiting you. Reviews are one of the strongest word-of-mouth so it’s important that you encourage your loyal customers to leave a good word for you. They could add this to your Google My Business listing and you can also add this to your website and share it on your social channels and newsletter.
4. Use Telehealth To Open Up New Opportunities
The 2020 pandemic has emphasized the need for flexibility. The long months of lockdown forced doctors to think of creative solutions, the most important of which was telehealth technology that is now being used by private practices across a number of different disciplines.
There are multiple instances where telehealth can offer much better solutions for your patients than in-person consultation. For example, if your patient has to travel long distances or they have a busy schedule or limited mobility, the option of telehealth can add significant value to their experience.
A well-put-together telehealth solution can form a foundation of positive client experience. For example, you can meet a patient once in person and the follow-ups can be done on telehealth. Having a robust solution in place will allow for easy appointment setting, billing, note-taking on the progress, and managing follow-ups.
Technology can help you grow your practice by streamlining your daily processes and introducing efficiencies that would otherwise be difficult to achieve. However, tackling it all and giving up all your control to machines may seem a bit intimidating. At times like these, take a step back, breathe, and start small. Choose the right tools and software and implement them slowly in your practice. Often, the process of decluttering and organizing brings in new clarity and helps you think of newer, more creative ways of handling things and taking the right next technology-based step for your private practice.