Top revenue boosting tips for your specialist medical practice
Every year, you’re getting busier and busier. But are you getting financially smarter? In this article, we take a look at how simple changes can help you work smarter, not harder, financially empowering your specialist medical practice while opening up more time to offer more personalised patient care.
Keeping on top of the day-to-day tasks of a busy specialist practice can be challenging enough, but having the right financial, workflow and referral strategy can be critical for maintaining and growing your specialist practice. At the same time, putting in place smart ways to boost efficiency, increase income and cut administration costs can help boost your bottom line, while easing the stress of a time-poor practice.
Give your finances a health check
It’s a great habit to do a regular ‘health check’ of your expenses. Take a detailed look at your daily, weekly, monthly and annual expenses and think about new ways to ensure that your outstanding debts are as close to zero as possible. You can also take the time to review the costs of banking fees, telephone costs, as well as fixed versus ongoing costs.
Monitoring important statistics and data around the efficiency of your practice is another simple to do, but can often be overlooked in a busy practice. To accurately assess and improve your returns, it is essential to regularly review aspects of your billing such as patient numbers per hour, billing per hour and costs versus patient numbers.
Save time and money by going paperless
While many specialists may still be in the habit of paper-based health records, faxing and printing, effective continuity of care can become a significant problem. Paper-based records may cause particular inefficiencies for providing personalised care for patients with complex medical conditions and chronic conditions, who often have very large records.
One example is the Respiratory & Sleep Medicine Practice, which first started on a paper- based system. However Practice Manager Melinda Campbell said it was getting harder to manage as the practice became busier. That’s why the practice decided to go paperless and implement Bluechip practice management software from MedicalDirector.
“Bluechip is definitely a scalable solution that helps a growing specialist practice,” Melinda said. “Plus through the software, we’re able to run reports to track our growth as well, and offer that as a spreadsheet to the practice owners. This helps give us a true reflection of the growth, and gives us more direction as to which way we should be heading.”
Reduce patient no-shows with SMS recalls and reminders
Patient no-shows can also put a significant administrative, time and cashflow burden on managing a specialist practice, yet it’s becoming all too common in today’s busy, fast-paced modern life for patients not to turn up to their appointments.
You can save the time, cost and energy of sending letters for recalls and reminders with digital forms of communication with patients such as SMS.
For instance MessageNet integrates with MedicalDirector’s Bluechip software, allowing specialists to easily send SMS notifications for recalls and reminders. The software also allows specialists to automate administrative tasks and reduce the time your staff spend on the phone with SMS. You can also simplify staff rostering, reduce your agency costs, and quickly fill your empty shifts with SMS outreach.
Boost workflow efficiency with automation
Automating and streamlining repetitive tasks can significantly boost efficiency and reduce time and money wasted on manual or administrative tasks.
For Chelsea Heights Day Surgery and Endoscopy an efficient way of managing the patient journey, from booking through to billing, invoicing and running reports meant finding a way to cut down those many micro-moments of workflow. The Surgery turned to Bluechip, by MedicalDirector, as their go-to practice management solution for boosting practice efficiency.
“I’ve always used Bluechip and love its simplicity, but the previous software the practice was using couldn’t do day surgery seamlessly,” Practice Manager Nina Tong explained. “It couldn’t do simple things like opening up more than one patient’s file. You’d have to manually close another one – it didn’t allow us to have multiple pages open.”
Even printing was complicated on their legacy system, and it couldn’t run reports easily either.
“So, all these things added up to make daily workflow tasks quite complicated,” Nina said. “What we needed was one day-surgery friendly software solution designed specifically to meet the needs of our specialists.”
Discover a better way to manage billing, reports and finances
When the Northern Peninsula Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery was implementing its IT infrastructure, it wanted a solution that was not only quick to set up and use, but was specifically designed to meet the workflow, billing and reporting needs of for specialists.
“Our previous system wasn’t ‘medical-friendly’, in the sense that it understood some of the dental aspects of our workflow, but it didn’t meet our specialist medical needs like integrating with Medicare and WorkCover, and bulk-billing,” Practice Manager, Chrys Richards said.
Since implementing Bluechip, the specialist surgery not only found managing its workflow easier and more efficient, but maintaining the financial aspects of the practice was also more transparent.
“It’s so easy to generate reports and quickly access patient records,” Chrys said. “From an accounting perspective, you get a clear snapshot of how much you’ve made in a day, which makes managing our financial flow so much easier.”
Make payment processing easier with integrated EFTPOS
Selecting an EFTPOS machine that’s bespoke to your practice needs not only makes life easier for you and your staff, but enhances the patient experience and make life easier for your patients processing payments.
The right EFTPOS system needs to be able to integrate with your practice management software. A solution like Tyro works seamlessly with clinical and practice management software from MedicalDirector, ensuring fast, accurate accounts and billing.
When researching what EFTPOS suits your practice, it’s important to be conscious of the following features, these can determine how effectively your practice accepts patient payments:
- Seamless Integration your Practice Management Software
- Investment In Payment Infrastructure & Data Centres
- Customised Solutions For Your Industry
- Easy Terminal Set-up
- Quick Transaction Speeds With Tap & Go
- Not Having To Change Bank
- Transaction Security
- 3G & Wi-Fi Connection & Support
- The Ability To Accept Different Payments
- Dynamic Currency Conversion
- 24/7 Local Customer Support
- No lock-in contracts
- Instant & Segmented Reporting
- A Mobile App for easy transaction and balance management on the go
Boost referral rates with electronic referrals
There are a number of reasons why having a referral management system is important. Slow, inefficient referral systems can lead to long lead times, which are inconvenient and frustrating for both patients and providers. A referral process that uses the right digital tools and software can save time, streamline communication between primary care providers, specialists and other health providers, and ultimately, optimise the patient journey and enhance both quality and continuity of care.
Other key benefits include:
- Increasing transparency
- Streamlining processes
- Reducing operational inefficiencies
- Reducing administrative burden
- Saving time for busy health professionals and practice managers
In the last few years, more effective referral management solutions have emerged, which are integrated into MedicalDirector’s clinical and practice management software.
For instance, HealthLink allows GPs to send specialist referrals and receive electronic reports, including radiology, pathology reports, discharge and event summaries. HealthLink seamlessly integrates into MedicalDirector’s Clinical software, which works effortlessly with Bluechip specialist practice management software to create a cohesive, empowering solution for busy specialists.
Used by over 90% of Australian GPs, HealthLink software also provides access to new generation Smart Forms, enabling the referral process to take place within your workflow while interacting with the patient during the consultation. This allows electronic referrals to be easily and instantaneously submitted to a growing list of hospitals and government agencies.
Add your practice to GP referral directories
GP referral directories like Healthshare are comprehensive and include the details of every private practicing Specialist in Australia. Integrated into MedicalDirector since 2014, Healthshare’s Specialist Referrals Directory is accessible to approximately 65% of GPs Australia-wide when referring patients to a specialist.
But while Healthshare’s directory includes the details of every private practicing specialist in Australia, specialists should be proactive to ensure they are listed, and shouldn’t assume that their information is automatically up-to date across all referral directories. GPs legacy address books are not automatically updated, nor do they allow specialists to differentiate their unique services or the reputation they have worked hard to build.
Business Unit Manager, Practitioner Solutions at Healthshare, Rhys Staley recommends specialists verify their details at least a few times a year. This is particularly important when you’ve changed your details when starting your own practice.
“It is common for specialists to add new practice locations, upload patient ratings, update their qualifications and add additional special interest areas so we always advise them to verify their details with Healthshare,” he says.
Another benefit of verifying these details is that the reach for specialists extends beyond MedicalDirector GP software. The directory is also available on Healthshare’s consumer platform, visited by over half a million patients and consumers per month, and in the Practitioner Directories of Australia’s leading Private Health Insurers.
For more information about how MedicalDirector’s solutions integrate with our Marketplace partners to help empower specialists, visit: https://www.medicaldirector.com/marketplace