We’re constantly reminded that technology simplifies our lives. While not everyone may agree with that, it’s certainly true that technological advancements/enhancements have the potential to make our lives easier, both personally and professionally. As a physician, you know this. You interact with technology constantly. Medical technology. But how much do you use other types of tech that are available to you?
If you don’t use physician technology in 2016 to streamline the operations of your practice and improve your business performance, there are some things you should probably know. And when we use the term physician technology, we are actually referring to two types: Tech used by the doctor personally and that which can be utilized by staff in running the practice.
Physician technology for practitioners
In general, physician technology use of non-medical related tools is now very popular. As reported on greatcall.com, over 80% of all physicians use a smartphone and medical apps and more than 25% of physicians use mobile technology to provide patient care.
Mobile health technology (referred to as M-Health) provides multiple benefits to doctors, perhaps the most important of which is enhanced communication with both patients and staff. The fact that 78% of American health care consumers are interested in M-Health solutions should be all the incentive you need to understand the value of this tool.
Regular use of technology in your practice will enable you to more effectively disseminate information, administer your electronic health records (EHR) system and standardize your protocols. By becoming more efficient, you can decrease the time you spend on non-care related matters and focus instead on your mission-critical task: providing quality health care to your patients.
Physician technology for the practice
In addition to taking great care of your patients, the efficiency (or lack thereof) of the operations of your office is what will determine the reputation of your practice. It’s no secret that patient dissatisfaction can usually be boiled down to one of two major reasons:
1. Standard of care. As this is under your direction if not complete control, you have the greatest impact on the treatment your patients receive. The second potential problem, however, can result from a variety of factors, many of which you are likely unaware.
2. Time wasted. As you might expect, there’s not much patients hate more than being on time for an appointment only to have to wait for an extended (and for them excessive!) period of time before you can see them. Or, perhaps worse yet, there was a miscommunication and the patient shows up at the wrong date/time for the appointment.
A notification system that uses email and text messaging to remind patients of appointments or cancel when necessary will minimize the chance of this happening. Not only does this improve the efficiency of your operations by reducing costs, avoiding this problem will enhance the image of your practice.
Appointments aren’t the only opportunity for time wasting to occur, however. Checking in, filling out forms and dealing with payment matters are all breeding grounds for unnecessary delays and patient frustration (and staff). Medical practice physician technology designed to alleviate these problems is widely available and easy to use.
Utilizing tablets for checking in, providing or updating personal information, even bill payment, enables your patients to have control over each process while relieving your staff of those duties.
There are, of course, other problems tech can solve. A healthy medical practice incorporates them because they increase efficiency, reduce costs, and ultimately benefit the patient. Physician technology in 2016 is a prescription for success.
Physician technology is important and so is physician-to-physician communication. One tool physicians can avail themselves of is physician forums, which we happen to have a free list of below.
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