Every business has it's fair share of problems. And one of the biggest challenges for a buisness can be narrowing down those problems and determining the root cause. As a leader in your practice you might see one problem from the outside and think you know what's causing it, but when you really dive in you realize the problem is due to something else entirely.
This can be true when looking at problems in your workflow as well. Some workflow problems might be due to the software that you're using, while other problems could be due to your staff or the processes they use to complete their daily tasks. It's important to be able to differentiate between the two causes so that you're able to come up with the best solution.
If you come to realize that the majority of your problems are being caused by software problems that are out of your hands it might be time to consider a switch. But if you find that more of your problems are due to your staff or your own habits and your workflow you might just need to reassess your internal processes. Let's take a look at a few examples of each.
Optometry Software Problems or Procedure Problems?
Procedure Problem: Staff isn't well trained.
This problem is one that can easily be mistaken for a software problem. Maybe your staff is often complaining about the software and it's limitations, but this could all stem from improper training of the system. Training is such a crucial part of purchasing a new software system that it shouldn't be overlooked. Or, if you've brought on new staff, maybe they weren't properly trained on the system from the get-go. Here's a few training resources to take a look at if this is a problem in your practice.
- The Anatomy of an Awesome EHR Software Training Program
- EHR Software Training Tips Straight from the Experts
- The Importance of Training and Staff Development
Software Problem: Poor usability.
With just about any software out there, there is going to be something about the system that you or your staff dislikes or think could be better. But the usability of your software needs to be modern and customizable to fit with the way your practice works.
Some EHRs are built as an all in one solution with a practice management system. This enhances usability as everyone in your office is working off of one system and information is easily shared between both. On top of that if your software comes with additional built in tools like frame catalogs, patient recall, patient education, or code verification it makes everything run a little more smoothly as you're not switching between multiple systems to get the job done.
Procedure Problem: Poorly managed data input.
This is a problem that can occur within any step of the workflow. Depending on how robust your system is, patient information entered at appointment check-in by your front desk staff is then visible to the tech for pre-testing, and then visible for the OD during the exam. If all the important information isn't entered at the start of the appointment it's going to cause more work for someone else later on. Same goes for the OD during the exam. If codes and prescriptions aren't entered and verified at the exam level it's going to raise questions and be more work for your opticians and billers at the end of the appointment.
Making sure that everyone does their part to include all of the necessary patient information is going to make everything easier in the end.
Software Problem: Hardware limitations.
When it comes to your software you might be limited by your hardware without really even realizing it. If you're running off a client-server software you might be subject to pricey hardware upgrades, server management and security, and limited access to your software on specific devices.
Managing a client-server system can be time consuming, and can ultimately take time away from other things that you could be doing. There are options of cloud-based software for your practice that would tak the burden of server management off of your practice. Cloud-based systems are secured and managed by the software vendor. Here's a few more resources about cloud-based EHR software and the benefits it could have for your practice.
- What Happens to Your EHR Software Data when it's in the Cloud?
- EHR Software: 5 Reasons Cloud-Based is Better
- 4 Ways Cloud-Based EHR Helps Small Practices Compete
If you're thinking about making a software change or if you've struggled with change management in your practice, check out our eBook!