How smart start-up healthcare practices keep new patients (and save hundreds of hours of admin time)Aug 26, 2021
How many times have new practice owners wondered how to keep new patients returning for more? Here, you’ll discover how successful start-ups in healthcare use clever information technology (IT) systems and data management to do just that.
Your data tells a story
By now, you’ll know that an integrated approach to the operation of your practice is essential. Great IT systems will provide data which paints an accurate picture of your practice’s performance. Once you begin to understand what it’s saying, you’ll be well equipped to evaluate and tweak your processes.
Ami Assigal, Director, Practice Partners, says the first step for a new practice is the feasibility study’s financial forecast.
“Then, make a narrative of the data that comes through month by month. This data is the facts about how your practice is going. Get used to looking at it and knowing what story it’s telling. It will tell you a lot of things and you’ll be able to tweak your processes according to what it’s saying,” says Ami.
“Data from your software can show:
- Nurse utilisation
- Doctor utilisation
- Fee per patient
- Appointment utilisation, including ‘did not attends’
For example, a newly transferred patient’s data may show they’re in need of a diabetes care plan, a mental health care plan review, a health assessment, cervical screening or diabetes education — all opportunities to maximise your income and to provide comprehensive patient care.
Be diligent and purposeful in implementing strategies to make the most of opportunities that your data shows you. Make sure you’re doing more than items 23 and 36. Knowing how to use your MBS Schedule will increase your fee per patient. Develop a good relationship with your PHN, they will be of tremendous help to you in this area. Use the QI PIP for continuous quality improvement so you can be the best you can be,” she says.
Information technology delivers clever communication and easy efficiency
Investing wisely in practice IT systems will ensure a return on investment of your marketing costs and will prove beneficial in the future when selling your practice. When you choose the right systems in the beginning, you’ll see a long-term benefit. Automation and efficiencies can release staff from up to 90% of bookkeeping and reception phone calls; decreasing human error and increasing staff job satisfaction.
Easy efficiency with practice accounting and operational software
The right kind of software can remove hours of manual work at the press of a button, making it so much less effort for you and your staff. So, it makes sense to purchase the best system you can at the outset.
Systems such as KPeyes (a tailored app built by accountants for the healthcare industry) does doctor disbursements, bank reconciliations and daily P&L updates, and, as a third-party Best Practice partner, integrates with Best Practice software.
Shannon Murphy, Director of MLPC and KPeyes, says the seamless experience when technology is involved makes a huge difference to both staff and doctors, with the ability to delve into data and make easy and instant doctor disbursements through the software.
“KPeyes is multifunctional. We provide financial overviews, payroll and doctor disbursements as well as operational data such as room utilisation, appointments per hour and ‘did not attend’ rates. And underpinning this is training that we provide,” says Shannon.
“Our system offers doctor information and support, MBS item numbers and monitors practice revenue, tracking the performance of each of your consulting doctors by determining how many patients they are seeing and how busy they are. This allows you to review on a real time basis and tweak as necessary,” he says.
Clever clinic communication makes it easy for patients, easy for staff
Most importantly, to keep patients returning, and for making a first visit, it’s important to have the right communication channels. Besides your website, newsletter and social media, patient engagement and booking systems like Hot Doc are a must for successful practices in 2021 and beyond.
Aiden Sommerville, Product Specialist, Hot Doc, says Hot Doc integrates with 33 fields in Best Practice, and describes it as a toolbox for practices to use for their benefit. Besides the booking function, there are CPD webinars for General Practice, Specialists, Dentists and Allied Health, plus free kits and guides to help practices thrive.
“At our core, our mission is to improve the health care experience for everyone in Australia. We do this by giving practices access to online bookings, telehealth, appointment reminders, SMS recalls for clinical reminders and results, mobile and kiosk check-in, digital new patient registration forms, online prescription renewals, and tools for encouraging preventative health,” says Aiden.
“These days many people prefer booking appointments online when it suits them, with the number 1 benefit to patients being the ability to see the doctor’s full calendar. Booking software like Hot Doc doesn’t aim to replace receptionists (the face of the practice). Rather, it frees them from phone calls, allowing them to concentrate on face-to-face customer service and other tasks in a calm and unflustered manner. Imagine the time created from 500 less phone calls! We’ve calculated we can save the average practice 370 hours in admin each year,” he says.
The seamless experience when technology is involved does make an enormous difference to patients and healthcare professionals alike. It’s the convenience and integration, reducing effort and making life much easier, that contributes to the wow factor of your practice.
For more information and advice, the presenters below would be very happy to speak with you:
Director MLPC & KPeyes
0408 200 379
Book a meeting with Mike Herman at KPEyes, click here
1300 468 362
0401 825 105