Pixel-Perfect Practice: How to Digitize Your Private Practice
One of the most prominent challenges that healthcare companies face today is digitizing their operations, according to a recent article by Regis College. They have trouble standardizing formats for their database, cybersecurity, and choosing the best digital payment method for their practice.
These issues shouldn’t discourage you from making the digital transition for your business. Here are the benefits of digitizing your operations and how to implement it properly.
Benefits of Digitization
Digitization has a wide range of advantages for your private practice, including:
Easier Data Collection and Organization – If you’re still using manual methods to collect and organize patient information, you’re wasting precious time and office space. Digital forms and files get rid of mountains of paperwork and file cabinets in your practice. The files are also easier to organize, as software can automatically sort your documents. Plus, accessing them only takes a few clicks.
Better Data Security – No matter how secure your cabinets and safes are, disasters and employee negligence can result in major data loss for your practice. Digital files can be backed up either on another hard drive or on the cloud. These can also be secured with passwords, encryption, and audits, so you’re confident that your files are in the right hands.
Easy Communication – While scheduling appointments via phone may work for you, there’s always room for improvement. Online appointments through applications or through your website are more intuitive methods. They automatically sort consultations and even provide notifications to patients if your schedule is filled for the week or month.
Now that you know the advantages that digitization brings to your company, it’s time to make the switch. Here’s how to do it.
Convert Your Physical Files
First, you’ll need to convert your physical files into digital ones. The simplest way to do this is to scan your documents. Most modern scanners can produce high-quality digital copies of your physical documents. You can store them either as an image or Portable Document Format (PDF). You can also hire a scanning service provider to take care of this task for you.
If you want to be able to find specific words or phrases within your newly-digitized documents, run them through an optical character recognition (OCR) software. This analyzes your document and converts it into a file with characters you can find, highlight, and copy digitally.
Don’t store these files in one computer. Back them up with an external hard drive or upload them to an enterprise-grade cloud storage solution. This way, you can securely access them from anywhere and from any device.
Manage Your Practice on the Cloud
Apart from providing healthcare, you also have to deal with administrative tasks including insurance verification, patient information storage, charging patients, collecting copays, and setting appointments. While having an assistant makes these chores easier, there’s always room to streamline them. A cloud-based practice management system makes administrative tasks easier and more organized. Its advantages include:
Paperless Scheduling – Eliminate physical forms when scheduling appointments. Your team can easily input patient information like insurance coverage and credit card information through a digital form. The system automatically schedules the appointment. And when the patient arrives, they can simply check into your system via your computer or tablet. This way, they spend less time in the waiting room and get service as soon as possible.
Get Rid of Confusing Insurance Phonecalls – Calling an insurance company to verify a patient’s coverage is always a drag. Practice management platforms feature electronic verification features, which can clear a patient’s coverage within seconds. This way, your staff can work on more important tasks, and your patients get to go home sooner.
Fast Card Charging and Processing – A practice management system can also collect copays and process credit card payments faster. This way, you can go through patients faster and easier.
Build an Online Presence
Over 87% of the U.S. population actively uses the internet. If you want to get in touch with more patients, your practice needs to be online. Work with a digital marketing agency to build a well-designed website that features your services, values, and important contact information. Make sure to create a contact us page with an email form, so patients can ask for an appointment directly on your site. You could also set up a chat platform that leads directly to your front desk staff, so clients can ask additional questions and get answers almost instantly.
Digitizing your private practice may require a lot of effort and time. Plus, you and your staff also need time to learn a completely new system. But it also means you get to gather and organize patient information and payment faster and better than manual methods. And with a practice management software and well-designed website, your patients will definitely have a smooth experience in your care.