As we reflect on this past year and prepare for 2014; a time to pause and take realistic stock of our practices is in order.
What did your practices do right this year? How did you change and grow? What technologies did you add to your practices? How are they working for you? Were you able to save time or create new opportunities with this technology?
The most often added technology this year is a practice web site. Updated frequently and monitored by staff, the practice web site can be an invaluable tool. Most often questions asked about common conditions and diagnosis, prescription drug information, appointment selection, emailing with a question to the provider all keep patients informed and give them access to practices without phone calls.
Your practice should also have become more proficient on the EHR this year as well. Proper training on the EHR is of course critical; and even more so is working that product into your patient visit routine. A change in work-flow must accompany an changes in technology….otherwise you are not receiving the full benefit of the product. Having trouble figuring that out? Find out what other practices are doing….how they are using. Your incorporation of this essential tool into your daily routine with organize records, give clear and complete accounts of visits and history, provide flow-charts of patients vitals and lab results to see at a glance patient compliance and progress. You will also be able to print out a visit summary for the patient when they leave the office for their records. You will be surprised at how much patients will appreciate and welcome these changes.
Have you added staff this year? Have you changed hours to accommodate working patients? Did you align with a hospital? 2013 was a big year for changes within the healthcare community and your practice is no exception.
At the beginning of this New Year, take stock. What do you want to accomplish this year? What’s your plan to do that? Is all the staff informed and enthusiastic about 2014? How can you better motivate them to adjust to more and new patients, different insurances, more Medicaid? Have you thought those choices through and decided what your policy will be?
A little time, a little thought, a little preparation will help you transition into 2014 successfully.