How software can help providers serve more patients and improve outcomes

Health outcomes should be dictated by the care provided — not by administrative inefficiencies.

There are more than 60 million Americans living with disabilities who are receiving care and need varying degrees of support from their physicians. These individuals often face many difficulties, and finding care is a common pain point. Problems can range from transportation to delayed responses caused by navigating information discrepancies within legacy systems. These challenges often are the reasons why patients avoid physician visits and skip regular check-ups. When people have timely access to routine medical care before situations become emergencies, not only are health care costs reduced but individuals can stay healthier, longer. The adoption of technology by the organizations serving these populations has proven to create efficiencies, reduce error, improve experience, and save costs.

Many of the systems and processes that offices currently use are legacy, and require manual input into excel sheets. This transfer of information from one format to another can generate problems which stem from human error. These mistakes can mean delays when scheduling appointments, transportation, or entering vital information. These barriers can discourage individuals with physical and/or developmental disabilities from seeking healthcare. The unmet needs of these individuals has increased a quarter compared to those without. As physicians, health outcomes should be dictated by the care provided — not by administrative inefficiencies.

Myth: Adding New Technology is Expensive

The adoption of anything new can be a frightening thought, especially when considering the upfront investment. Yet when weighing the overall benefits, the decision should be clear. Some of the benefits increase patient engagement, improve patient retention, maximize referrals, improve quality of care, and reduce administrative burdens.

While medical technology can range in price, a management software system usually has an upfront cost of up to $33,000, with a $4,000 per year cost after the initial investment. These numbers can be off-putting, but when compared to the cost of mismanagement and lost time, it's a relatively small price to pay. Initial integration requires an investment that will ultimately save revenue in missed appointments, reduced errors, and staff time.

Patients want physicians to be reliable. Beyond medical care, the administrative side of the office can play a large role in their overall experience. A digital solution that modernizes the logistical process creates efficiency, flexibility and ease of use for both staff and patients.

What to Consider When Looking for a Digital Solution

The most critical aspect is that your scheduling system be patient-centric, meaning it’s easy for your patients to use and offers a variety of choices in timing and scheduling options. Individuals with physical and/or mental disabilities value their autonomy as much as anyone else, and providing flexibility in when and how they see their physicians is important to building a trusted relationship.

To reduce an office’s staff load, a HIPAA-compliant solution is necessary. Options to easily change, track, and coordinate transportation schedules on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis can make a huge impact in the lives of those with disabilities. A solution built around compassionate care will also feature driver check-ins — from pick-up, to arrival, and drop-off back home.This provides peace of mind to staff and families so they know patients are safe and accounted for at all times. Mobility services that customize transport preferences and adapt routing to the needs of users with different abilities is the ideal solution.

Adopting New Technology is a Journey

Once you identify the benefits of adopting technology in your practice, there are additional items to consider. The rollout of your chosen system can make or break the success and effectiveness of the tech. Upending existing systems is rarely the best way to introduce anything new in an office setting. The best way to replace legacy systems is to do it slowly, one function at a time. This is best because it gives employees who will be managing these systems the ability to acclimate and learn how to best use the features in an effective manner without feeling overwhelmed. Employee education and providing support is key. Long term, this will create efficiencies within your practice that allow your employees to focus on more important matters, such as providing excellent patient services.

As more health care providers see patients on an outpatient basis, ensuring that those with physical and mental disabilities have on-call access to transport is essential. Many of these individuals manage chronic conditions that require frequent and regular monitoring. Knowing they can get to their physician when needed relieves anxiety about their mobility. Lowering stress and being able to show up at their doctor’s office are incredibly beneficial to one’s overall health.

Nicole Leisle, VP of Product Marketing, Centripoint:

As VP of Product Marketing of Centripoint, a Bitwise company, Nicole and her team oversee and execute all aspects of the company's national marketing, branding and public relations. As a results focused leader, Nicole brings her 16 years of business-to-business marketing expertise to the table as we rapidly grow and carefully scale the organization. In her free time, Nicole enjoys reading and being outdoors with her husband and kids.