How cloud based medical records can cut costs when starting a practice
Are you thinking about running a medical practice but trying to save money? Setting up your practice using cloud based medical records could be a great cost-saving solution without compromising on quality. A new report released by Acumen Research and Consulting, “Healthcare Cloud Computing Market – Global Industry Analysis, Market Size and Forecast, 2019 – 2026,” highlights how increased pressure within healthcare settings to manage the sheer volume of health data is the main driver towards the cloud uptake trend. This is one reason investing in cloud computing technology has become an increased priority for healthcare organisations.
In this article, we’ll explore the role of cloud based medical software in private practice, including:
- Why you should consider cloud software in the early stages of your practice.
- How cloud based medical records can reduce operational inefficiencies, saving time and improving accuracy.
- How cloud based medical records can help you save on staffing costs.
- The evolution of cloud based software in the medical space.
Consider cloud software from the beginning
Professor (Dr) Martin Samy, founder of the Samy Medical Group in Western Australia, explains how a smart medical practice budget needs to consider cloud software from the start.
In MedicalDirector’s guide, ‘Calculating the cost of starting your medical practice’, Prof Samy says:
“When I started the Samy Medical Group, the first thing I did was look for cloud software I could trust. Cloud impacts everything, from staff resources and capital resources to wider strategic planning. With cloud, I eliminated server costs, IT support costs and staff support costs from the start. I could buy simple computer hardware and laptops – because all you need is the internet. Such a huge cost saving from the outset makes a huge difference to my business plan and operational costs.”
Cloud based medical records reduce operational inefficiencies
Dr Samy is not alone in reaping the operational efficiencies of the cloud. Recent research released by Acumen Research and Consulting, reveals that cutting the costs of patient data management is a key reason cloud adoption is on the rise in healthcare settings globally. The study found that the Health Cloud Computing Market is estimated to grow at CAGR above 14 % between 2019- 2026 to reach a market value of around USD 40 billion by 2026.
According to Dr Samy, this is because the operational efficiencies of cloud technology impact so many aspects of medical practice, from set up, to support, to wider strategic planning.
“I had quotes of $70,000 – $80,000 for my IT and phone systems alone. Instead, with a cloud practice management software like Helix, all I need is one network cable with the internet,” he explains.” Helix is so brilliant, it makes setting up a practice so simple and so cost-effective. I could get up and running with minimal costs. I could also enjoy many more operational efficiencies than if I had started with a traditional server-based system.”
A cloud solution like Helix not only delivers operational efficiencies, it’s designed to improve the flexibility of medical organisations and enhance evidence-based decision-making. Beyond this, cloud is eliminating the need for patient care to occur on site at a health care provider’s location. Telehealth, used more than ever throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, is just one way patients and doctors no longer have to be physically connected to deliver and receive care. Cloud facilitates the quick sharing of patient information between organisations, while also providing high level security.
Cloud based medical records reduce staff and administrative costs
It goes without saying that a major cost for any practice is staffing and these costs increase each year. If you have mixed billing, then you need to ‘double handle’ the patient, which risks doubling your administrative costs.
Prof Samy explains how he saved money on staffing with cloud. “Cloud software influenced how many patients we can forecast to see each day. It helped us see clearly from the outset how we could make money. It even impacted whether we wanted to go bulk billing or not,” he says. “We wouldn’t go for bulk billing if it wasn’t for cloud. That’s how much of an influence cloud has on your business plan.”
Automating and streamlining repetitive tasks can significantly boost efficiency and reduce time and money wasted on manual or administrative tasks. eReferrals, automated patient booking recalls and reminders, and integrating EFTPOS payments, are just some of the ways to keep processes within your practice simple, efficient and fuss-free.
For Prof Samy, a more streamlined and automated reception system significantly reduced his staffing costs, while improving the patient experience. A paperless cloud software solution, like Helix by MedicalDirector, also cuts costs associated with printing, the use of a fax machine and manual, time-consuming paper-based processes.
“Because Helix has seamless integration and automates so much of our workflow, it cuts down a lot of our admin and staffing costs. This means we only need one support staff member for four doctors,” Prof Samy says.
Cloud based medical records – an evolution
Healthcare has previously been one of the industries hesitant to shift to the cloud, but that trend is definitely changing. However, the security of sensitive patient health data, such as medical histories, allergies, blood types and other records, remains top of mind.
Curious? To find out more about how cloud based medical records could save your practice money, download our free ebook: ‘Calculating the cost of starting your medical practice’
Over to you
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