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Medical practices are embracing patient-centric technologies


Focus is on improved patient outcomes, smoother administrative functions

The health care industry has undergone massive transformations during the past three years. After scrambling to meet patient needs during the pandemic, health care providers have become acutely aware of how technology can impact–and improve–the administrative side of a medical practice as well as patient outcomes. In 2020, many private practices were forced to adopt new technologies geared toward patient engagement, from telehealth platforms to accepting digital wallet payment options.

These same health care providers are now leveling up their technological capabilities – a move that is positively impacting productivity, delivering more accurate patient data, and driving measurable revenue gains. But it’s not only technology moving us forward. In the coming year, we expect to see a resurgence in independent practices. Also, as mental health takes a larger role in treatment programs, private primary care practices looking to offer more integrative services will bring behavioral health care under their wing.

To help physicians and health care providers gain a broader perspective on the industry as a whole, here is an overview of the top six trends impacting medical practices in 2023:

#1: Medical offices are adopting a broader selection of patient-centric payment options.

As expectations rise among younger, digitally native patients, medical offices and health care providers are searching for more patient-centric payment models that make it easier to distribute billing information and receive electronic payments from patients. To meet customer expectations, practices are quickly adopting digital wallet payment capabilities and other “card not present” payment options that integrate with their EHR and practice management platforms.

#2: Behavioral health is becoming an integral component of the patient experience with many practices extending services to include mental health programs.

Physicians and health care providers are leaning more heavily into integrative practices and extending their services to include behavioral and mental health services. Because health care providers are witnessing improved outcomes when incorporating mental health services into their practice, it is a natural extension of their treatment programs, enabling them to deliver a more holistic patient experience.

#3: The industry is seeing a resurgence of independent practices with more physicians choosing to take full ownership over their offerings and administrative processes.

With massive advancements across the health tech space that streamline workflow and enable more efficient billing, patient engagement and electronic health records processes, staff physicians are reconsidering corporate-owned employment. Instead, they are making the choice to be their own boss and avoid the burnout that often comes with managing a practice that is part of a larger network of providers. In fact, STAT reported last October that physicians who shifted to corporate-owned organizations to avoid burnout failed to achieve the work-life balance they sought: “Viewing employment as a solution to work-related stress and burnout has proven simplistic and many of the clinicians seeking shelter from these problems have not found it.”

AdvancedMD adoption rates by private practices make evident that more physicians are taking control of their careers.By launching autonomous, independent practices, physicians are able to remove the barriers of corporate-owned health care practices and processes – getting more say when it comes to the number of patients they treat, the processes they implement, and their day-to-day work life.

#4: Medical practices are adopting workflow and process automation improvements that enable informed decision-making capabilities based on highly accurate data – significantly boosting the practice’s financial performance. 

Automation technology has proven to be a key component of an effective practice management strategy, delivering measurable productivity gains and improved patient outcomes. For example, by automating telehealth workflows, the practice's primary schedule is updated to reflect accurate online schedules for patients, appointment reminders are automatically triggered with full appointment access details, and payments can be easily collected. Also, many practices are advancing their automation capabilities after seeing how automated workflow processes substantially boost data accuracy – resulting in more informed decision-making capabilities.

#5: Remote patient monitoring solutions are gaining greater popularity, vastly improving patient outcomes and care management.

Serving as an extension of telehealth services, remote patient monitoring (RPM) – the ability for physicians to monitor patient health data in real time – is becoming ubiquitous across the health care landscape. Sophisticated RPM devices that monitor patient stats in real-time greatly improve outcomes for patients suffering from chronic illnesses, including diabetes, heart conditions, and hypertension. Today’s technological advancements enable RPM data to be integrated directly into patient charts within EHR systems, bolstering the physician’s ability to treat the patient, as well as increasing the patient’s overall quality of care.

#6: Medical offices are adopting comprehensive self-service capabilities that give patients more control over their health care experience.

To improve patient engagement, health care providers are implementing more self-service patient tools, offering digital portals that allow patients to complete intake forms, access health care records, pay invoices, schedule appointments, and receive telehealth services. These self-service platforms provide an integrated patient experience, with ambulatory care providers, in-patient hospital services, and other medical providers all able to connect on a single patient portal. In addition to their patient-centric benefits, self-service platforms and apps also elevate data accuracy which positively impacts all aspects of patient care and practice management procedures.

The health care trends playing out today

in real time bring into focus just how impactful technology is to medical practices, health care providers, and the patients they serve. Implementing the right EHR, practice management and patient engagement platforms not only improve the financial health of your practice, but lead to improved outcomes and, most importantly, exceptional patient experiences.

Amanda Hansen is president of AdvancedMD

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