From the earliest evidence of tool usage 2.5 million years ago, to the invention of the wheel in 4,000 B.C. and more recently to nuclear power, computers and mobile phones, the evolution of both humans and technology has been phenomenal to say the least.
The healthcare industry has been no outsider to this evolution, and the current era is witnessing revolutionary transformations which are exponentially enhancing the efficiency, safety and quality of care delivery.
From providers to patients, from physician assistants to nurses, the entire care delivery team has seen even the most basic of processes made simpler by Health IT solutions including Electronic Health Records (EHRs), Practice Management (PM), Medical Billing and Patient Portals.
This article will give an insight on how technology can improve the management of your practice and subsequently enhance the value of patient care.
Automating your practice
The clinical procedures of your practice will be made easier, safer and quicker via EHR software.
With each patient’s entire medical records stored on this safe, online source, you will be able to make more informed decisions in the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up stages, with a lower probability of errors.
For example, if a patient is allergic to a specific herb, it will show up on your screen and you will not prescribe him a medicine with that particular herb. Previously, with piles of patient information stored on large paper files, such an observation could have easily been overlooked.
Moreover, repetitive tests and duplicate entries will fall to almost nil with the easy-to-use interface of these systems.
Digitizing your staff
Digitizing basic patient information, demographics, diagnosis and treatment is important but it is equally important to introduce integrated Practice Management (PM) software to your practice. Why, you probably think. The reason is that PM facilitates the smooth running of your practice’s daily operations, with important processes such as billing and scheduling managed by PM solutions.
With services including enterprise scheduling, document management, automatic insurance verification and financial aging reports your staff’s efficiency and productivity will rise. You will have online access to your practice’s operations and this will help decrease operating expenses and speed up the revenue collection process.
Mobilizing your clinic
Imagine having your clinical and management information with you while at a health conference in Manchester. You can supervise and manage these processes by sending important instructions to patients, staff, hospitals and labs from there.
Wherever you go, you’ll be in complete control of your practice, and ensure that the care delivery keeps at an optimal.
Connecting with patients
Your pager must be swamped with patient messages, some of them concerning their condition while others regarding simple health information. Using a patient portal, you can give qualified staff personnel certain access to answer some of these queries so that you can focus on the more technical ones.
Additionally, you can use these portals to send lab results, reports and reminders to your patients online. There are e-Labs in HIT systems by which you can send both orders and results online, which will save valuable time for all parties concerned. This saves time for both doctor and patient, and additionally lowers the number of visits a patient has to make to a practice.
Interoperability is a term growing in importance within the healthcare industry. Sending and receiving reports to labs, prescription orders to your patient’s pharmacy and patient information to a hospital in another state where he/she needs immediate treatment, all of this and a lot more is possible with this integrated software.
Through the use of technology, HIT in particular, the clinical and operational processes of your practice will be streamlined and will indirectly and directly help achieve the golden goal; that of optimal care delivery.