Amid the rapid changes occurring in all facets of the medical field, it’s hard for busy small and independent practices to keep up. Fortunately, new technologies that make practice management easier and more efficient continue to proliferate, ultimately improving the patient experience.
Lacking the big budgets and dedicated IT departments common to hospitals doesn’t mean small and independent practices are left out. Instead, cut through the overwhelming choices and focus on systems and tools made for today’s medical practices—without skimping on the features that have helped large healthcare organizations achieve quality and accommodate growth.
There are a few key technology tools that every practice must have—from large hospital systems to small and independent physician clinics alike. The difference in partnering with a company that offers these tools specifically for small and independent practices is on the services side. In other words, the offering is just as robust, but the vendor takes care of the IT management side of things, and you get all the tech benefits. We explore three such platforms, below.
1. Practice Management Software
A comprehensive practice management software is a necessity, and helps streamline the management functions of:
- Patient scheduling
- Medical billing
- Reporting and analytics
The term medical practice management is broad and can cover anything from basic scheduling tools to more comprehensive systems. For your organization, some of the tools offered will be essential, some nice to have, and others unnecessary. As a result, one of the best things that a small practice can do is find a vendor that offers a modular system. Pick and choose the pieces that make the most sense for your practice, then build on them as you grow. If you need just a scheduling tool and reporting and analytics today, then want to add medical billing software later if you bring that in-house, it’s easy to do.
2. EHR Software
Electronic health records provide “a digital version of a patient’s paper chart,” according to HealthIT.gov. But they go beyond storing information. They’re also designed to:
- Aggregate all the diagnoses, medical history, treatment plans, immunization dates, medications, lab results, and other information about a patient
- Incorporate tools for evidence-based decisions about acute and preventive care
- Streamline workflows in the clinic with tools like e-prescribing, templates, and MIPS reporting
These records should be shareable across multiple providers and clinics so each provider has a better and more comprehensive view of the patient overall and can provide better care. They are an essential tool for any clinical practice.
3. Digital Patient Engagement Tools
Technology now offers several patient engagement tools that help improve the patient experience. These include things like:
- Telemedicine platforms, now crucial for practices in a post-COVID-19 world
- Patient portals where individuals can access their EHR information instantly, see lab results, request medication refills, etc.
- Appointment reminders via email, text, and phone
- Reputation management tools, to foster marketing opportunities and strengthen your community connection
- Messaging tools between patients and providers, to accommodate patients’ changing communication preferences—especially important for younger demographics
Working with a vendor that offers multiple patient engagement tools helps your practice start with using the pieces that make the most sense today. As the business needs change, build on your system in the future.
AdvancedMD is a trusted partner of symplr, providing these tools, and more, for small and independent practices. Visit their website, then reach out to learn more about the tools available.