But, times have changed, and if you're still running your practice off of outdated habits and norms you could be scaring off potential new patients, and wasting a lot of time and money. We've put together a quick checklist of some of the things that progressive practices are doing to stay on top of optometry practice efficiency.
Annual Checklist for Optometry Practice Efficiency
1.You've Ditched Paper
There are still a lot of practices out their running their office on paper, because that's how they've been doing it for years. And, some view the change in technology as something that might make their practice more complicated than it needs to be. But in reality, once you get past the hurdles of learning a new software, it's going to make your life easier! EHR software is available to store all of your patient files in a secure location on your computer, instead of on paper. Not only will moving to an EHR free up space in your office, but it will make it easier for you to sort through and search all of your patient info.
Taking it to the next level is cloud-based EHR software. Cloud-based software eases the pain of needing IT knowledge to maintain a server in your practice that you would need with a client-server software. Cloud vendors handle all of the maintenance and security of your system and data so that you don't have too. And, you have the ability to access cloud systems from any device with an Internet connection, making it easy to access information you might need when you're not in the office!
2. You Allow Your Patients to be Proactive
Patient portals give patients secure, online access to their health information, education materials, treatment instructions, lab results, and more. As this survey shows, 57% of Americans would be much more interested in and proactive in their personal healthcare if they had online access to their medical records. Of that 57%, 35% did not know a portal was available, and 31% said that their physician had never spoken to them about portals.
Long story short, patients are increasingly wanting access to their health information. It's not enough to just have a patient portal, you need to make sure that your patients know it's available to them and how to use it.
3. Online Ordering is the Only Way You Order Products
Back in the day, the only options for submitting your ophthalmic product orders was over the phone or through the fax machine. Then, the Internet arrived and labs started creating websites so that you could place your orders online. But now there are free online ordering tools that connect you will all of your labs on one website. That way you're not hopping around from site to site submitting your orders! Best of all, your labs are going to be happy that you're ordering online because those orders get sent straight into their lab management system without any work on their end transcribing a fax or taking a phone call.
4. You File All Claims Electronically
In the same way that ophthalmic ordering has evolved, claim filing has too. Today, you're able to submit all of your claims electronically through a clearinghouse so that you're not hopping around all over the web to get your claims submitted. And, if you're submitting all your claims online that means you can track their status and progress online too without having to call around for claim status updates.
5. You Have a Lot of Friends on Social Media
90% of respondents from 18-24 years of age say that they would trust medical information shared by others on social media networks.
41% of people said social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facility.
Those are just a few stats about the affects that social media has on healthcare. If your practice doesn't have a presence on social media, you're giving up the opportunity to provide information to your patients (and future patients). Information on social media is easily shared and is a great way for you to show your practice's personality, knowledge, and experience.
Looking to make your practice more efficient? Start with ordering your products online with a free ordering solution.
Originally published in January 2015