Nitin Chhoda shares the basic fundamentals of having an effective practice management that will help increase productivity and efficiency within a practice.
Healthcare practice management is often a delicate balance between the human side of an efficiency equation and the problems or benefits related to technology.
For some practices, the introduction of the latest EMR technology is a difficult and frustrating experience.
For other practices, implementation can go smoothly and an EMR will start to improve efficiency right from the beginning. How can you determine that technology will actually benefit your practice? Good practice management will find out what the goals of the practice are before considering any new technology.
Common Reasons for Technology Improvements
Most practice management professionals know that technology is the way to greater efficiency. Communication via email is considerably more efficient than mailing a letter.
You would never consider going back to paper communication when email is an option, right? That is how most practice management professionals feel about using EMRs and practice management technology once they have implemented and adjusted to the changes.
However, at the start of the process, there will always be pushback. There are high start-up costs, and to answer the questions about whether or not EMRs are worthwhile, you will certainly need to ascertain that there are efficiency problems in the practice that an EMR can solve.
But think about investing in email. Email requires significant start-up investments, including computers, high speed internet, and software. Implementing an EMR may sound expensive, but the benefits almost always outweigh those initial costs.
What are the benefits? Most clinics find that the reduction in paper and the improved speed and quality of communication is the first thing they notice.
Additionally, for medical billing and accurate medical coding, an EMR can represent higher efficiency and better rates of accepted claims. In fact, the number one reason for implementing better technology, from a practice management perspective, is to reduce rejected or denied claims.
Ensuring That Technology Works for Staff
Of course, anyone in practice management will also want to think about how these changes will affect the staff. The idea behind technology improvements is to improve efficiency. But if the staff is not well enough prepared or if they do not find the EMR to be useful or intuitive to use, the outcome will not be improved efficiency.
Similarly, technology improvements can allow for incredible benefits for practice management reporting. Good practice management should include a reporting and review system so that you can focus on changing the things that are not working.
But if the staff doesn’t understand why they are adding more tasks to their day, they may not enter information correctly, leading to useless or even harmful report results.
Effective practice management will include human resources principles into the overall strategy of improved efficiency.
Rather than assuming staff will figure it out eventually, make sure they are an integral part of the EMR or practice management technology implementation process.