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New Patient Sign Up System a Medical Practice “Must Have”

March 23rd, 2009

Usually the process of acquiring new patients in some jurisdictions is not really a problem. There are always individuals who are searching for a qualified family physician to take care of their health needs. It can also be a tedious process for the potential patient since they need to not only find a capable physician, after locating one they will be required to provide quite a bit of information about their health, personal information, Health insurance coverage and availability, and they may need to do most of this for each family member.

Now picture the patient or guardian doing this in a crowded waiting room of the new physician they just selected as a possible primary health care provider. Also, try and imagine the confusion that may result if this individual is in an emergency or if they are responsible for a patient who is in no condition to act on their own. These situations are occurring everyday in every state of the union. As a health care provider, would it not be in the best interests of everyone if you had an automated system in place that would service these people and streamline the process for them?

Usually health insurance details are a time consuming part of this new patient sign up process and there are options available to assist your staff, save time for the potential new patient and generally make your office staff more efficient. New patient sign up systems, when automated into your virtual appointment scheduler will qualify newcomers to your practice and allow them to do the new patient procedures over the Internet.

When looking for a new physician, most people will use the telephone as they call various doctors’ offices inquiring about that specific office’s new patient status and requirements. Answering these initial questions will be time consuming for your receptionist who will likely be in a chaotic state anyway, dealing with in-office patient needs, scheduling specialists, dealing with pharmacies, arranging tests, now throw into the mix a person inquiring about new patient status and something in her realm of responsibility is bound to suffer. The same holds true with all of your medical office staff who cover off for each other.

When a patient calls your office for any reason, have your virtual medical receptionist answer the call. Your caller will be provided with a list of options the virtual medical assistant can manage for you automatically. One of these services is a new patient sign up system. They can be directed to apply online where they will be asked a series of qualifying questions as a new sign up, including providing them with a list of your accepted health insurance providers. This will filter those patients who do not qualify based on their health insurer.

You can also have a link to your online new patient sign up system sent to the family and friends of your current patients to expand your new patient list, and have prospective patients apply online. When they are accepted, they will be redirected to your automated online appointment scheduler to arrange a suitable appointment time. Conversely, if they are denied as a new patient, they can be notified of your decision online via email, eliminating any uncomfortable phone backs by your staff.

Modern technology is becoming extremely useful for business and your medical practice can be a part of the automation frenzy that is taking place. Your staff will appreciate the time they will be saving and your practice will flourish from a purely business perspective as well as becoming a model of efficiency. New patient sign up systems and online appointment schedulers are proving to be must have services for the modern medical practice.

A New Era in Medical practice

December 20th, 2008

Everywhere that I can think of technology has entered every aspect of our lives. The way we watch television has changed with the advent of TIVO, the way we drive is different now that GPS devices are readily available. Our phones are now like pocket computers and the games that our children and grandchildren now play are so far advanced compared to the Atari systems that we clamored for. How do you envision incorporating technology into your medical practice management in the New Year?

We know that technology in a medical practice equals more efficiency and better productivity. Look at how incorporation of electronic medical records can change the way a practice operates, both big and small. Perhaps you are thinking that you do not have enough money to invest in an EMR, or you do have an EMR and don’t see the need to incorporate any other process flow changes into your practice. Let me tell you about some other medical practice management tools that can be a tremendous resource and asset and can easily be incorporated into your practice.

Virtual Receptionist

Initially this concept sounded so out of synch with how I envision a medical receptionist. My first impression of a great medical receptionist is one who remembers patients’ names and shows up on time to open the office and greet each one with a smile. This person would also require little on the job training and orientation. And most importantly, they would be efficient at what they do and be able to multitask and jump in where needed. However, the more I thought though of what my actual experiences are with medical receptionists I realized that I am used to high turnover in this position and lower job satisfaction whether it’s due to being overwhelmed, receiving little pay, or dealing with sick and sometimes difficult patients. A virtual receptionist is a cost effective way to consistently have high standards of care delivered. What it cannot provide in face to face interaction, is certainly made up in its efficiency and ability to be a value add to any practice.

Automated On-Call System

A virtual on-call system really sells itself. Imagine not being bothered at various times of the evening or night because you were incorrectly contacted by your on-call service? Think about the struggles you sometimes face with finding a service that is affordable and has the ability to triage urgent from non-urgent calls and transmit names, numbers and chief complaints accurately. An automated system does all of this for you in addition to scheduling appointments for those complaints that are not urgent. This has tremendous benefits for the front office staff of a practice.

Automated Patient Reminder System

Another concept that I immediately took to was the idea of an automated patient reminder system. This system can call patients and remind them of an upcoming appointment. Incorporating the process of visit reminders into your practice can cut down on no-show rates and frees your front office staff up to do other more importantly things. All of this at a fraction of the cost that you would expect given the return in value.

For some of us including me, getting pulled into this new technologic era has come with some hesitancy and reluctance. But, the more that I explore and find out how these cost effective advances can be combined with medical practice efficiencies that increase a bottom line and also contribute to good patient care then I am more of a believer.

Hello world!

October 15th, 2008

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