No matter what your specialty, medical practices are in a transitional moment – there’s a lot of new technology that can improve how your practice runs, but it can be hard to determine what’s necessary, what’s beneficial, and what you can ignore. It’s time for a tech check-up. Here are X tools your practice needs to adopt today.
One of the best investments your medical practice can make right now is in scheduling and billing software. And while there are many management programs on the market, the current industry leader is NexGen Healthercare’s Practice Management program. This program is perfectly calibrated for practices of all sizes – it can schedule one doctor 150 doctors.
One of the most beneficial features of this program is that it’s not just organizational but responsive. When an appointment is canceled, for exampled, NexGen’s program notifies staff regarding how they should follow up. It also prevents duplicate data entry and prevents you from having to enter the same info over and over again, remembering patients and their personal information.
Electronic Medical Records
Many companies have begun making electronic medical records software as, particularly with Obamacare, practices are being required to shift formats. Currently eClinicalWorks serves the greatest number of practices. However, eClinicalWorks offers tech for everyone from single doctor practices to hospitals. For some smaller practices, companies like athenahealth make software specifically for small and medium practices. Consider carefully how large your practice is, if it’s growing, and who you work with as you approach selecting an EMR system.
The days of traditional house calls may be over, but a new version of this old intimacy may be returning. More and more doctors are practicing telemedicine, allowing them to see patients who may be homebound or who live far off in rural areas with limited access to healthcare. While you can’t do electrophysiology studies via Skype, seeing patients in a virtual environment allows doctors to point them in the right direction after initial assessments, preventing unnecessary trips across long distances.
You don’t need much to practice telemedicine – Skype, Google Hangouts, and other social software will do for these visits. In fact, using common technology is the best way to reach otherwise isolated patients as it’s what they’re most likely to have access to.
Tech To Avoid
There’s a lot of tempting technology out there, but always trust your gut when it says something is too good to be true. This is the case with the widely discussed company Theranos. A start-up that claims to be able to do a wide variety of blood tests with only a finger prick of blood. While this should be clearly impossible to most responsible practitioners, too many have been taken in by this fraudulent company. Theranos offers “technology” you definitely don’t need.
Moving forward, always assess your technology options with a grain of salt and a clear sense of your practice’s needs. Don’t overinvest in tech with too many features, but also don’t restrict yourself by investing in software that isn’t scalable. While you can’t predict the future, you can think critically to choose the software that most closely matches your needs.