While third-party software products come with a price tag, technology investments can help your practice to stay competitive instead of falling behind.
You do the math. With services like telemedicine, Skype consultations and giving patients the option to schedule appointments online or through apps, you free up your time and resources to help more patients. You’ll also have more time to develop strategies to build a smarter and more streamlined practice.
FURTHER READING: It's time a real investment is made in primary care
Nonetheless, the growing role of technology in the delivery of care introduces cybersecurity concerns. More than 27 million patient records were compromised in reported healthcare data breaches in 2016, so establishing a strong cyber security program is crucial. Restricting access to protected health information, implementing firewalls and training employees on IT security best practices can help protect your patients’ health information.
2. Think creatively when approaching your practice’s organizational structure
When was the last time you examined your practice’s office locations and hours? Taking a closer look at patient needs, emerging market trends and more can reveal opportunities to assist more patients and increase revenue.
· Open additional types of service sites. Consider establishing your own urgent care center so your practice can take care of patients in critical times of need instead of losing their business to competing healthcare providers.
· Expand office locations. Research market trends and population changes across surrounding areas. Opening office locations in underserved areas experiencing population growth asserts your presence before other practices follow suit. Also take a look at demographics and see how you can tailor your new office’s design and services to meet particular needs. For example, older patients may respond well to quiet, comfortable seating areas in the waiting room while younger patients might prefer phone charging stations.
· Reevaluate office hours. Take a look at appointment patterns. Do most of your patients prefer appointments later in the day or earlier in the morning? Should you offer weekend hours? What about extending services later in the evening, when people are out of work? Instead of becoming complacent with standard office hours, test new hours and see how patients respond. Tailoring hours by office location will better serve patients while maximizing your staff’s time and resources.