Technology has the potential to make everything easier, particularly when it comes to small clinics and medical centres. Specifically, task automation can save clinics time and money, freeing up clinicians and support staff to spend more quality time with their patients. Want to learn which tasks it makes the most sense to automate? Read on for my suggestions.
1. Enable Online Appointment Scheduling
What a wonderful idea! Instead of the patient waiting on hold in the morning with a screaming child, I suggest allowing patients to schedule appointments online 24/7 via your practice website or a smartphone app. Not only will your patients prefer the convenience of online scheduling, but this will also give your reception staff more time to address and triage urgent patients.
- Consider this the wave of the future. One day virtually every office will be using online scheduling. By investing in the technology now, you can lead your clinic into the future, rather than relying on the less convenient method of answering appointment-related phone calls.
- Online scheduling serves as an excellent way to get patients to remember their appointments. In addition to the email they’ll receive confirming their appointment, you can also set your system up to send an SMS as an appointment reminder a few days in advance of their appointment.
- Worried that your patients might not catch on? While most younger people are well-familiar with apps, you may want to help get your older patients used to the idea. For example, you might consider showing them how to download your app onto their phone, and then walking them through how to use it.
2. Use an Online Task Management System
All staff members should have daily, weekly, monthly, and annual task lists. This is essential to make sure duties aren’t overlooked. With an online task management system, tasks can be listed online and then linked to written procedures that describe the tasks in greater detail.
The key benefits of online task management systems include:
- Easy Updating. Because your task management system can now be updated online, there’s no need to redesign or reprint old checklists when responsibilities change.
- Greater Accountability. Rather than relying on self-reporting to see whether staff members have completed their tasks, you can receive reports from your management system showing which items are overdue.
- Flexibility. From time to time, tasks get reassigned to other staff members. An online task management system makes it very easy to change task roles and responsibilities.
3. Ditch Your Spreadsheets
Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘There’s an app for that’? It’s true. In this day and age, virtually every spreadsheet you use currently can be replaced with an app or other software. If you’re still using spreadsheets, I recommend you start looking for software support products that will eliminate your need for Microsoft Excel. You’ll find that software isn’t just more reliable than a spreadsheet, it also makes it easier for running reports or viewing statistics.
4. Automate Your Reminders
I’ve already discussed how fantastic it is to allow patients to schedule appointments online. Fortunately, that isn’t the only thing you can automate to make your patients’ lives easier–you can also automate reminders:
- Have a patient who’s due for an appointment? With an automated reminder, your patient won’t forget and can make the appointment immediately via your online appointment scheduler.
- Automated reminders don’t just need to be centered around annual checkups either. For instance, you can also create reminders encouraging people to come in for skin checks, tetanus shots, flu shots etc. Consider it a great way to keep in touch with your patients while increasing revenue at your clinic.
- Similarly, Smartvax can send notifications to patients who have had vaccinations and/or their caregivers. This makes it easy to report any adverse reactions to the government while simultaneously, alerting your practice. Smartvax even offers online advice, should patients have vaccination questions.
- As you know, doctors have a lot to keep track of. Fortunately, integrated software i.e. Doctors Control Panel and/or Top Bar makes it easy. These software systems can remind doctors to update patient details, as well as help them remember what to update when dealing with Chronic Disease Management.
5. Create a Patient Portal
A patient portal can transform your medical practise. Think of how often your reception desk is flooded with phone calls related to billing, prescription refills, and requests for patient records. By creating a portal, you can field most of these requests online. Use your portal to allow patients to view their medical records, request refills, access and pay medical bills, and send non-urgent questions to doctors and other members of your medical staff. By creating a patient portal, you’ll:
- Save Time. Less time fielding patient queries and requests means more time for quality care with patients.
- Improve Accuracy. Answering phone calls and writing paper messages is an inefficient method of doing things. Furthermore, accuracy decreases when those handwritten notes are entered into a computer incorrectly. A patient portal reduces human error. As a result, not only will you have more time to spend with your patients, but the quality of their care will improve.
- Increase Patient Satisfaction. As our world becomes an increasingly digital one, people’s expectations have changed. They’re no longer content to only be able to reach a medical clinic by phone, for example. More and more, they are demanding 24/7 online access. By addressing their concerns via a patient portal, your patients will be much more likely to consider their overall experience with your clinic a positive one.