There is little doubt the idea of moving from a paper to an electronic office is an overwhelming one. You and your staff have worked with those paper files for years and everyone is accustomed to and comfortable with that system. Moving to electronic filing often raises questions about what will happen if the technology doesn’t work the way it is supposed to function. Despite the understandable trepidation involved with making the switch, there are some significant benefits to transferring your plastic surgery office to a paperless system.
Think about the amount of space you are currently using to store your paper files. How could that space be utilized more effectively? Do you need more room for your administrative staff or another examination room? Have you been putting off the purchase of a new device due to lack of space in your current office? By removing your paper files, you will free up substantial office space that can now be put to good use to expand your practice and your patient experience.
Reducing your storage needs can also benefit your bottom line as you eliminate additional space and staffing to maintain those files. Even the cost of the supplies to assemble the paper files will be eliminated as electronic maintenance becomes more efficient and cost-effective. A University of California study in 2003 found that some physicians saved as much as $20,000 per year by transferring to electronic records.
Office efficiency is a primary benefit of transferring to EMR. Your staff will no longer have to spend time searching for patient files; instead, they will be able to pull them up on any office device. Patients will not be left waiting while you search out pertinent information from their medical history. Even sharing information with other physicians when necessary will be faster and easier through the electronic process.
Electronic medical records provide you with more face-to-face time with your patients, as information is readily accessible during consultations and other appointments. You may also find your electronic system provides you with additional time to see more patients, allowing you to grow your plastic surgery practice without compromising patient care. Your staff will be free to focus their attention on your patients as well, rather than tedious paperwork.
Electronic record keeping can enhance patient care in a number of ways. A reduction of errors due to poor handwriting, elimination of lost files and the ability to see a patient’s medical history at a glance are just some of the improvements offered by EMR. Allowing you to spend more time directly with your patients also gives them greater confidence in the procedures they choose and comfort in the process. When your patients are receiving the highest level of care from your office, they are more likely to return for subsequent procedures and tell friends and family members about your practice.
At PatientNOW, we understand that EMR plays a key role in bringing your plastic surgery practice to the next level. Our software packages combine easy-to-use EMR with patient engagement tools that will help you build your practice and your reputation. To learn more about our products, contact PatientNOW today at 800-436-3150.
It may not seem as though you are building the same patient relationship in plastic surgery as you do in other areas of practice, but if you are serious about growing your patient base, relationship is a must. Patients that have one plastic surgery often come in for additional procedures over time and a good relationship with you is a key factor in ensuring your patients will return to your office for those subsequent treatments. There are a number of additional ways patients that have an ongoing relationship with you can impact the success of your practice.
Patients are more likely than ever before to share their experience with your practice on popular review sites like Yelp. At the same time, patients in search of a plastic surgeon may check Yelp for information about the doctor they are considering from a patient’s point of view. This knowledge can be concerning to physicians since it seems like there is no way to control the information that is shared by your patients on these channels. However, maintaining a positive relationship with your patient after a procedure can go far in ensuring any reviews that are posted about you and your practice will be a help rather than a hindrance.
Social media is another channel where patients might be inclined to share information about their experience with you. When you consider how many friends and friends-of-friends a single Facebook post or tweet can reach, maintaining positive information on these sites is essential as well. At the same time, you can use your own social media channels to engage your patients, providing you with additional exposure and the potential for new patient acquisition as well as current patient retention.
When your patients are happy with your service and the results of their procedures, they are more likely to share their experience with friends and family members. Maintaining a relationship with your patients ensures that your name is at the forefront of their minds when discussing procedures with family and friends. It also leaves a positive impression on previous patients that might send others to your practice through word-of-mouth referrals.
There are a number of ways to boost your patient retention, which can increase your patient acquisition at the same time:
Developing and maintaining positive patient relationships can be easier than you think, with the help of a few simple automation tools. PatientNOW specifically designs software products for plastic surgeons interested in keeping the patient engagement intact long after the first procedure. Our Patient Acquisition and Retention (PAR) software efficiently manages the patient life cycle, creating a positive experience through every step of the process.
Don’t allow patients to fall through the cracks any longer. With PatientNOW solutions, you can maintain positive patient relationships both now and in the future. To learn more, contact PatientNOW today at 888-644-2987.
The specialty of plastic surgery is no longer listed in the bottom 5 specialties reporting usage of electronic health records software, according to a report from SK&A.
In October 2010, only 25% of plastic surgeons reported office use of EHR. Listed among the bottom specialities at the time were psychiatry, plastic surgery, osteopathic manipulation, baritatrics and holistic medicine.
Within one year, plastic surgeons evidently adopted EHR at a rate that lifted them out of this bottom five, while the other specialties remained. Primary care physicians are believed to be leading the way in EHR adoption.
SK&A has a federal contract to measure EHR adoption. You can view the report document in PDF here: Physician Office Usage of Electronic Health Records Software
Last summer, 111 plastic surgeons responded to an ASPS survey regarding Health Information Technology and Electronic Health Records (HIT/EHR). The survey found that plastic surgeon’s use of the technology was “lighter than expected.”
The ASPS task force that conducted this survey and research on plastic surgery EHR encouraged more plastic surgeons to embrace electronic health records and its associated technology.
Their survey revealed 5 key functions that plastic surgeons value from their EHR system.
Regarding customer support, 81 percent of the respondents listed “initial training” as most important, followed by phone support, screen sharing and software updates.
Contact us to find out how the functions of PatientNOW can improve the efficiency and organization of your plastic surgery practice.
2010 will see new cosmetic procedures and uses of a variety of injectables. Seeing this list of Plastic Surgery Trends for 2010 gives only a glimpse of the ways in which cosmetic procedures will be used to help individuals seeking cosmetic enhancements.
We’re seeing that physicians from a wide range of specialities are understanding how cosmetic procedures can be combined in their practice. They see how cash procedures can augment their insurance based business and increase their overall revenue for the practice. Since doctors already have an existing client-base, they can easily market these new procedures. The hard part for many doctors is filtering their existing clients and targeting the right ones for specific cosmetic procedures.
Some practice management software solutions have the ability to identify existing patients for new marketing campaigns. The software sets predetermined workflow timelines for email to be sent, an automated or manual call to be made, or a flyer to be dropped in the mail. This type of marketing workflow allows the practice to be pro-active in promoting new procedures or services. Makes the old way of conducting marketing seem so….2000?s.
Check out the list and we’ll revisit in a year to see what happens.