Blog

21
Jun

Making the Most of Your EMR

Electronic medical records are much more than a regulation to comply with, they are actually away to bring your practice to the next level of efficiency and productivity. Plastic surgeons and dermatologists, in particular, can reap the benefits of EMR as it relates to patient acquisition and retention. In addition, the automated features of the right software will get you away from your computer and face-to-face with your patients, building relationships and providing the highest level of care. Check out some of the benefits of EMR when you make the most of this valuable – and necessary – tool today.

Convenient Scheduling

Scheduling can be much faster and easier with EMR. In addition to color-coded scheduling that makes it easy to see your patient list at a glance, you can use your EMR to send out automated patient reminders of upcoming appointments. This will significantly reduce your cancellations and no-shows, which is as good for your revenue as it is for the daily operation of your office. In addition, patients will be able to complete and submit paperwork online prior to their first appointment, making the introduction of new patients to your practice that much easier.

Safe, Efficient Prescribing

Electronic prescriptions are the wave of the future today and for good reason. Online prescribing allows for easier tracking of controlled substances and potential interactions with other medications your patient is currently taking. Electronic prescribing also ensures you and your patients are alerted to potential drug allergies. This procedure takes prescriptions right from your office to the pharmacy with less room for delays and prescribing errors.

Effective Patient Retention

You probably already know it is much more cost-effective to keep the patients you have rather than having to fill up your patient base regularly. EMR makes patient retention easier than ever if you know how to use it wisely. This technology automates the process of sending patients reminders when they are due for their next treatment, increasing office visits for you. You will also be able to more effectively track referrals to ensure none of those prospective patients slip through the cracks.

Enhanced Patient Engagement

Ongoing interactions with your patients is another good way to up your retention rates and EMR can make that process easier than ever. Use your software to send out blasts about your latest specials or new procedures you are offering. Develop a monthly newsletter to keep your patients in the loop of your practice happenings. Set up a rewards program for patients that come in for regular cosmetic treatments, giving them the incentive they need to set up that next appointment.

The Value of a Paperless Office

You may be apprehensive about the idea of a paperless office, but it won’t take you long to see the value of this new system. Storage of patient files no longer has to take a significant amount of space, while obtaining those files will be as easy as pushing a few keys on your computer. Coding for insurance billing will also be at your fingertips, as well as sharing information with other physicians and pharmacies.

EMR can be a huge adjustment for any medical practice, but most physicians find that the value of the system can be seen fairly quickly as your staff gets up to par with the new software. If you are looking for EMR software that can give you exactly what you need to bring your practice to the next level, contact PatientNOW at 888-644-2987.

13
Jun

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25
May

5 Bright Ideas for Patient Retention

Perhaps you have made a careful study of how to attract patients to your office and the increase in patient acquisition has been positive. Now, how are you going to keep those patients that have come in for a consultation or even an initial procedure? Patient retention is another important aspect of medical marketing and growing your practice that cannot be ignored. Fortunately, the team at PatientNOW has five bright ideas for how you can keep patients coming back to your practice time and time again.

Make Them Comfortable

When your patient comes in for an appointment, what is the experience like? Is your waiting room comfortable and equipped with options to help them pass the time while they wait for their name to be called? Make sure your office staff is well trained in how to make your patients feel comfortable from the minute they walk in the door. An initial greeting and a feeling that they are valued to your practice will make all the difference in whether they will want to return.

Value Every Encounter

Some plastic surgeons make the mistake of making the greatest effort to forge a patient relationship at the initial consultation. They set the patient’s expectations to a certain level of care, which slowly declines over the course of subsequent visits. Whether your patient is in your office for a first consultation or stopping in with a concern after a procedure, their visit should be treated with the utmost care and service every single time.

Celebrate with Them

Certain times of the year will make a patient think more about appearance and the aging process. This is particularly true of upcoming birthdays. Celebrate with your patient by sending out a birthday greeting ahead of the special day, complete with a sampling of the procedures you currently offer. Your patient will likely appreciate being remembered by your office and may even schedule one of those procedures as a gift to themselves.

Identify (and Fix) Problems

Patient retention is only as good as your ability to limit patient attrition. If you notice a number of your patients are not returning to your practice, find out why. Ask for patient feedback and use your analytics to determine whether there is something about your practice that needs to change to make patients more willing to come back.

Automate Your Retention Process

Patient retention is essential, but it may seem like just one more administrative task you and your staff do not have time to address. That is why automating your retention process as much as possible is a necessary step to ensure efficiency as well as a robust revenue flow.

PatientNOW features PAR – Patient Acquisition and Retention software that prevents patients from falling through the cracks. Through automated campaigns, patients receive reminders for follow-up procedures without fail and may even have the option to participate in rewards programs that have been shown to build patient loyalty. Birthdays are easily remembered with this tool and e-mail blasts can be sent to notify patients of your latest specials.

PatientNOW has the technology you need to take patient retention to the next level. To learn more about our PAR software or other automated management tools available, contact PatientNOW today at 888-644-2987.

19
May

Staff Training Tips to Convert Patient Leads

While you have been focusing on your Google rankings to increase the number of patient inquiries to your office, have you been equally focused on converting those patient leads into actual appointments? Without effective conversion, your marketing efforts may not make a noticeable difference in your practice, other than keeping office staff busy on the phone all day. Make those leads work for you with staff training to convert patient leads into patient appointments.

Phone Training

Your website may initially attract patients to your practice, but what happens when the prospective patient actually picks up the phone? This is not an interaction to leave up to chance; instead, train your staff to handle all patient inquiries with the same level of professionalism and warmth. Many physicians even go as far as to script out phone greetings for staff to use so they are consistent.

Equally important is teaching your staff to ask the right questions to guide prospective patients to the procedures they might be most interested in. At the same time, collecting patient information is essential to allow for follow-up later on. Finally, you want your staff to know how to actually ask for the appointment and “close the sale,” so to speak.

What are Your Priorities?

If you want your staff to make patient conversion a priority, you need to convey that importance to your employees on a regular basis. You and your office manager should hold regular meetings to discuss patient conversion and provide results your practice has recently seen in this area. Regular training also shows your staff you value patient conversion and that you are willing to provide them the education and support they need to make this a successful component in your practice.

In addition to training, your staff will need the time to provide the kind of assistance prospective patients are looking for. If the same staff member that handles new patient inquiries is the same one that sets appointments, answers patient questions and handle patients that come into your office, you are not doing that staff member or the patients that visit your practice justice. Give patient inquiries the time and attention they deserve.

Incentive Programs

Motivation can become a challenge when it comes to patient conversion rates. Staff incentives can go a long way in maintaining your office momentum in this area. Consider setting a goal for your office for patient conversions each month and offer rewards for making those goals. In addition to allowing staff a chance to supplement their income with incentive bonuses, you convey once again just how important patient conversion is for your practice.

Effective Software for Patient Follow-Up

Another essential part of patient conversion is effective follow-up. Avoid letting any of those prospective patients fall through the cracks with software designed to ensure none of those leads are ever lost. PatientNOW offers PAR – Patient Acquisition and Retention software – for just this purpose. In addition to following up on patient leads, this software will help you retain the patients you acquire by bringing them in for future treatments.

Automating patient follow-up is a crucial step in getting those patients that call your office through your doors. It reminds patients when they are due for additional treatments and provides incentives via specials and advantage programs that encourage patients to try new procedures. In addition to retaining your current patients, you will likely grow your practice through word-of- mouth recommendations from those patients that feel well cared for by your practice.

Automation is the key to a successful, thriving practice today. To learn more about our software options specifically designed for plastic surgery practices, contact PatientNOW at 888-644-2987.

5
May

How the Right Plastic Surgery Software Can Grow Your Practice

While a well-constructed website and the right marketing can go far in building your plastic surgery practice, your daily operations also play a significant role in your success. Once patients find your practice, they need to feel like you are the right surgeon for their specific needs. The right software is essential to ensure you have ample time to spend with your patients without sacrificing the growth of your office. That is where PatientNOW can give you the support you need to bring your office efficiency to the next level and increase both patient acquisition and retention.

Patient Engagement

Developing a long-term patient relationship is easy when you have the right patient engagement software. These programs can track your patients, reminding them when it is time for their next round of treatment or offering additional procedures they might be interested in having. Software from PatientNOW even allows you to set up a rewards program offering patients discounts when they come in for regular treatments. With plenty of options for remaining in contact with your patients, you can rest assured your retention numbers will be on the rise.

Practice Automation

The era of getting bogged down in paperwork has long passed, thanks to the ability to automate your office with paperless procedures that will keep your records in order without the man hours needed to manually maintain them. From e-prescribing to patient scheduling, our software can help you make all of your processes more efficient so you and your staff spend less time staring at computer screens and more time interfacing with patients. Error rates will be reduced as human error is taken out of the equation as well.

Efficient Management

Whether you are getting new patients to complete paperwork or sending automated reminders, a comprehensive software program will make the daily tasks easier on both your staff and your patients. Online forms and e-signatures allow your patients to complete paperwork before their first appointment while automated appointment reminders reduce your patient no-shows. Our software even generates to-do lists for your staff, making their job more efficient by outlining the tasks they need to complete daily.

Revenue Management

Billing and collecting is an essential part of your practice, but likely the part that you enjoy the least. By implementing the right practice software, this process also becomes more automated, making it much easier and more efficient for you to track payments as they come in. In addition, less time on revenue management means more face time with your patients, which will increase patient satisfaction, referrals and revenue overall. At the same time, you won’t have to worry about missed payments that can interfere with your cash flow and the daily operations of your practice.

Running a successful plastic surgery practice is about much more than offering the procedures patients are looking for. You need automated practices in place that will enhance the efficiency of your office without sacrificing your personal time with patients. PatientNOW offers customizable solutions to automate the administrative part of your practice, reducing errors, improving efficiency and enhancing your patients’ experiences. To learn more, contact PatientNOW at 888-644-2987.

12
Apr

The Wave of the Future Now: E-Prescribe

Electronic prescriptions are now mandated in the state of New York and other states are poised to follow suit. Is your plastic surgery practice ready for e-prescribe? With many benefits to offer and mandates looming, now is the time to embrace electronic prescribing by selecting the software program that will make the process safe, efficient and easy for all appropriate members of your practice to learn and use.

Benefits of E-Prescribe

There are many potential benefits to an e-prescribe system. For the physician, benefits include:

• Streamlines your prescription process, freeing up your time for patient care

• Improves prescription accuracy and eliminates most potential errors

• Allows you to see drug interaction alerts instantaneously

• Improves the level of service you provide to your patients

• Allows you to send authorizations quickly, get medications to your patients faster

 

E-prescribe also offers numerous benefits for your patients, including:

• Save them time by making prescription process more efficient

• Eliminates paper prescriptions patients have to keep track of

• A safer way for them to request and fill prescriptions

• Provides them with an instant history of all their medications

• Easy access makes prescription process more convenient

 

This process can be particularly beneficial for plastic surgeons and their patients since the relationship between the two is often limited to the aesthetic procedures. Plastic surgeons get instant access to the patient’s full medication history, ensuring medications they prescribe will not cause any harmful interactions. This process is much more thorough and accurate than simply asking patients to list the medications they are currently taking from memory.

 

Components of E-Prescribe

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services names three basic components in the e- prescribing process:

Prescriber – Authorized members of your practice should be able to get into the eRx system with a username and password. You can also add additional identification tools to make your system even more secure. Once in the system, you should be able to review your patient’s medication history, prescribe new medication and choose the pharmacy where the prescription will be filled.

Transaction Hub – This is the link between the prescriber, the pharmacy and the pharmacy benefits manager. The hub will determine patient eligibility for the prescribed medication, based on the patient’s complete medication history, and send that information back to the prescriber.

Pharmacy – Once the pharmacy receives the prescription from the transaction hub, the prescription can be filled. Pharmacies can also set up alerts to let providers know when prescriptions are picked up, allowing for better patient care and tracking involving medications.

 

Why Choose RxNow?

For plastic surgeons looking to get ahead of the compliance train, PatientNOW offers e-prescription functionality with our RxNow feature. This tool is fully compliant with the federal mandates and is easy enough for everyone in your office to learn quickly. In addition to its efficiency and user-friendliness, RxNow offers superior security to keep your patients’ information safe and private. RxNow is a part of our medical practice software designed to keep your entire practice running efficiently and give you more face-to-face time with your patients.

E-prescribing may not be a mandate in your state yet, but rest assured that mandate will be coming soon. Get RxNow implemented in your practice now and you will be fully compliant before the mandate goes into effect. To learn more, contact PatientNOW at 888-644-2987.

1
Apr

Ransomware: Preventing Disaster

Ransomware is making headlines and striking fear into hospitals across the globe. These computer viruses do not actually steal information from databases, but they can block access by the hospital or practice to the very data they have stored and use every day to manage and care for their patients. If you are concerned about whether a ransomware could hold your practice’s data hostage, PatientNow has a few facts about this alarming trend that you need to know.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of computer virus that holds data “hostage” from its owner. The owner of the data must pay a stated amount of money, usually in bitcoins, to have the data released. This ransom is reportedly all the hackers are looking for, and data is returned rather than stolen completely in most cases. However, the data is compromised, and when you are a plastic surgeon with highly sensitive patient information in your database, compromise can be devastating for your practice.

The newest methods of ransomware attacks have proven much more difficult to detect than earlier ransomware viruses. In addition, more recent types of viruses are designed for maximum impact, with a goal of shutting down as much of the business as possible so the owner has no option but to pay the ransom and retrieve the information. Law enforcement is advising against paying the ransom, since there is no guarantee your data will be unlocked and ransom payments are likely to encourage other ransomware viruses to follow. However, when you are a medical provider unable to access patient information, refusing to pay a ransom is not always the easiest option.

Attacks on Hospitals

Many of the most recent ransomware attacks have been on hospitals and medical groups across the country. In February, a virus hit Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles. The attack was potent enough to force the hospital into paper and pencil mode for a large portion of the operations. The facility ended up paying the $17,000 in bitcoins as ransom to have their systems restored.

Earlier this month, Methodist Hospital in Henderson, Kentucky, faced a similar attack. In this case, the hospital was able to fend off the attack without resorting to paying ransom, by declaring an internal state of emergency and working through their limited Internet access. Eventually, the hospital was able to regain control of their systems.

Just this week, the self-proclaimed largest healthcare provider in Maryland and Washington D.C., MedStar Health, was the victim of a ransomware attack. The group, which operates 10 hospitals and 200 outpatient offices in the area, was forced to disable their network to prevent the virus from spreading. The group has no reason to believe any of its data was compromised at this time. The FBI is looking into this attack as well as some of the other attacks that have left medical providers vulnerable and unable to provide their full scope of services to their patients.

Keeping Your Practice Safe

Experts will tell you the best way to deal with a ransomware virus is to prevent it from happening in the first place. To lower your risk of an attack, you can follow these steps:

Refrain from opening any foreign email attachments or Word documents
Always keep your software up to date with the latest versions of your browser, OS and browser plug-ins
Never enable execution of macros in documents without verified senders
Perform your daily activities from a limited user account

The Importance of Secure Software

When you sign on with the secure software from PatientNow, you are also taking an important step in preventing any type of virus attack, including ransomware. Our sophisticated, state-of-the-art packages feature the best security in the business, ensuring you and your patients are safe from theft. If you would like to learn more about how PatientNow can help protect you from cyberattacks of all kinds, contact our office today at 888-644-2987.

17
Mar

CRM Trends for 2016: Is Your Practice Ready?

CRM software is a must-have for your plastic surgery practice today, allowing you to automate many of your processes in both customer acquisition and retention. As technology is constantly evolving, so is the way in which CRM is used by businesses and medical practices. If you want to remain at the front of the pack in your industry, it is important for you to stay abreast of the latest in CRM trends. What is trending in 2016? Take a look at these developments and make sure your practice is ready to deliver.

 

CRM will become more social.

The use of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook will continue to be a leading component to successful CRM this year and probably beyond. As social networks are one of the top ways adults stay connected to friends and family, they are increasingly using them to interact with businesses as well. Social media outlets are an effective way for your practice to track customer interactions or attract new customers.

Social networks allow your CRM to move beyond basic information to actually forming relationships with your patients. In addition, these outlets allow your patients to interact with one another, building a community for your practice. This is one of the most effective channels for getting information about new procedures or specials to your patients, with the ability to spread that news across networks for even more exposure.

 

CRM will become more mobile.

Mobile CRM is going to the next level, offerings more functionality than the early adaptations of desktop versions. Now, customers expect the same level of service from their mobile apps as what they see on their computers, forcing companies and medical practices to step up their CRM game. Mobile CRM allows you to interact with your patients even more effectively, as they can connect with your practice wherever they are.

Mobile CRM offers a variety of benefits to you as you focus on patient acquisition and retention for your practice:

• Everyone in your office and all of your patients have real-time access to the practice

• You are able to manage your office and interact with your patients on the go

• Mobile CRM allows you to stay connected to your basic network from any location

• You and your staff will enjoy better communication and collaboration abilities

• Better monitoring of key metrics to help you build your practice and retain happy patients

Mobile CRM is the wave of the future that is already essential to plastic surgery practices today. The more efficient your mobile apps, the more efficient your practice will operate overall.

 

CRM will become more integrated.

Integration is the name of the game in CRM this year, as patients want to be able to move across your platforms seamlessly. At the same time, you want access to all of your platforms without the need to download and upload from one system to another all the time. By integrating your platforms, your entire practice will become more efficient and your customer acquisition and retention will be free to increase.

An integrated CRM system allows you to manage a wide range of patient data from a single platform. You can track information and interact with your patients as necessary without interruption or delay. You will be able to respond to patient questions and provide efficient billing for services, without missing a beat in your daily operations.

 

CRM will become more vertical.

CRM is becoming more streamlined to specific industries, allowing you to implement CRM solutions that are designed for your plastic surgery practice. At Patient Now, we offer software that was created by plastic surgeons for plastic surgeons. Our instinctive tools provide exactly what you need to build and efficiently operate your practice.

When your CRM is customized to your practice, you can rest assured patients will not be falling through the cracks. You will be able to increase both acquisition and retention of patients, while enhancing the overall productivity and efficiency of your practice. When your operations become more automated, you and your staff spend less time in front of a computer and more time face-to-face with your patients, delivering the highest standard of patient care and building long-lasting relationships.

 

CRM will become more instinctive.

Predictive analytics move beyond the basic tracking of information to actually foreseeing the future in plastic surgery. Instead of just tracking procedures your patients have asked for in the past, predictive analytics will give you a clue as to what type of procedures they might be requesting in the future. The benefits of predictive analytics are almost limitless, once you realize you can begin catering to the specific needs of your patients before they even ask. Predictive analytics take your relationships with your patients to a deeper level, allowing you to provide the services they will be looking for through every step of the process. This personalized approach will lead to better patient retention as well as more new patients seeking out your practice.

 

CRM will become more prevalent.

CRM has proven itself as the top method of building a successful plastic surgery practice today. As you learn to interact with your patients, build relationships and meet their needs on a more personal level, your patients will grow in terms of numbers and loyalty. CRM is going to continue to thrive across all industries, including plastic surgery practices, as its value continues to be discovered and refined.

If you are not using CRM to your fullest advantage, rest assured other plastic surgery practices in your area are likely moving ahead in terms of grabbing the greatest benefits from this tool. Now is the time to focus on getting the most from your CRM options, by choosing a company that can help you implement the tools and programs you need to give your practice every advantage. To learn more about how we can use innovative CRM tools to build your practice, contact patientNOW today at 888-644-2987.

4
Dec

CIOReview Covers patientNOW!

Jerry Jacobson, CEO, patientNOW, relates to a statement made by a surgeon, “I can get home early and can spend time with my family instead of spending hours on my notes in the office. That makes the investment in your software worth every dollar to me.” Working with plastic surgeons to develop software that meets the needs of these doctors from the beginning of their career through the development of their aesthetic medical practices, Jacobson realized that time is money for these physicians. The patientNOW software package is a platform that combines all the needs of a plastic surgery practice from a complete certified electronic medical record (EMR), to practice management and a patient engagement system all automated so as to free up staff and doctors from manual tasking and increase profitability through these efficiencies. Jacobson spent two years in a plastic surgeon’s office designing the software specifically for elective medical practices. In the ensuing eleven years the company has had thousands of improvements and enhancements to the software thanks to the feedback and suggestions from the practices that use the software as their office solution.

The CEO reports that most of their clients do not receive referrals or leads from any insurance company or hospital, these are small businesses that must generate their own leads and convert those prospective patients into procedures. Understanding these issues, patientNOW has built into their software platform an automated follow-up process called PAR that stands for Patient Acquisition and Retention.

This system sets patientNOW apart from their competition and is one of the reasons they have been endorsed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
The PAR system makes sure that no one falls through the cracks. Once a prospective patient has made an inquiry of a plastic surgeons practice and has been entered into the patientNOW system, they will be automatically touched through follow-up emails and/or texts through a professional process that promotes the surgeon, practice and the procedure of interest.

From the initial inquiry the PAR system can automatically send branded and customized emails that provide education on the doctor’s qualifications, the practice and staff, and education on the procedure of interest. All of these touches are designed to get the prospect to schedule and show up for a consultation.
A powerful tool for the surgeon to use in converting a prospect to become a patient is through before and after photos that are part of the patientNOW photo management software.

Before the patient has their procedure the patientNOW platform continues to compliment the patient experience. From the comfort of their home, the patient can conveniently provide their medical history, medications, electronically sign general consent forms and other information the physician requires through the patientNOW portal. The information is transmitted securely through an encrypted link directly into the patient’s medical record.

The PAR system will automatically follow-up and send procedure anniversary emails and even birthday emails. The patientNOW philosophy is to continue to touch the patients in a professional manner in order to retain them and to gain their referrals.

The original article can be found here.

9
Nov

MASTERING YOUR CRM WITH THE ART OF FOLLOW UP

If your marketing is working, your phones are ringing and emails are coming in from prospective patients. How are your staff following up with all of these patients? Yellow sticky notes on your patient coordinator’s desk with patient names and phone numbers are a big red flag. Most patient coordinators do not follow up regularly.

As a plastic surgeon, typically your most profitable place to be is in the OR, and that’s where most plastic surgeons prefer to be. The only way this happens is if your patient coordinators are keeping your schedule full. Read more