5 Medical Software Features that Will Boost Revenue & Productivity
While there is an emphasis on basic face-to-face contact that defines the relationship between patients and the health care providers who offer services to them, a great deal of the interaction between you and your patients and the staff will be mediated through advanced software and computer technology.
It’s no wonder that staffers would focus on the human aspect when considering their careers as well as the daily machinations in their office. But it’s important to understand basic medical software features, so you can determine which of them are most applicable to the work you do. This is the best way to help your practice improve and stay competitive among local health care providers in your community.
With that in mind, it’s worth getting an overview of five medical software features that will boost revenue as well as productivity in your organization. The focus is on electronic prescribing, the patient portal concept, a claims denial manager, healthcare analytics and voice recognition.
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1. Electronic Prescribing
You’ve undoubtedly heard your fair share of jokes about physicians having just about the messiest handwriting of any type of professional. While there is certainly some truth to the idea of rampant poor penmanship among doctors, modern advances in computer and software technology make it much easier to generate and submit prescriptions.
With e-prescribing, there is no longer a need for the doctor to handwrite the instructions to the pharmacy on paper. The information is all stored and transmitted electronically.
This is vastly more efficient than the old-fashioned system. While the patient is getting ready to leave (such as making a follow-up appointment on the way out), the staff instantly transmits the RX information to the pharmacy. It can be processed by the pharmacy staff while the patient is on route. This saves the patient from having to wait in line to get the needed medication.
It benefits your practice and patients because e-prescribing allows for more accurate prescriptions, with no worry about misinterpreting handwritten details. What’s more, patient safety improves, because the system will alert you if there is a contraindication with the new prescription and the medications the patient is currently taking.
The more convenient you make it for patients to obtain their medication, the more likely it will be that they will stay with you and your staff.
2. Patient Portal
A patient portal is an electronic system that runs on standard desktop and laptop computers as well as being accessible by the patient’s smartphone or tablet while on the go.
It provides a number of time-saving conveniences, including:
- Supports appointment requests: Patients can request an appointment from the comfort of their home by signing into the portal.
- Helps patients communicate with the practice and vice versa: You can automatically message patients through the portal with reminders about vaccinations, tests, and follow-up appointments.
- Enables patients to view their medical test results: Patients who are anxious to see the results of their latest blood test don’t have to wait for a member of your team to call them with the news. If your policy allows this information to be communicated online, they can call up their information at will.
- Patients can edit their own demographics and insurance information: Patients who are moving or changing their medical insurance can settle the matter quickly by typing it in themselves at their convenience.
- Patients can get ahead and complete their paperwork online: Allowing your patients to enter all of their information via the computer saves them from having to fill out a stack of paperwork, which often asks for the same “emergency contact” and other details on multiple pages. What’s more, your team doesn’t have to type in the details from the patient’s handwritten notes, since the portal already allows them to provide it electronically.
Your practice will run much more efficiently with a patient portal in place. Staff no longer will need to answer phone calls and take down messages for the doctor, nurse or assistant, for example, and patients do not have to waste time on hold just to leave a message.
3. Claim Denial Manager
The timely flow of revenue in your organization depends on your staff avoiding commonly made errors. This is where a claim denial manager comes in handy. Your medical software should have a claim denial manager feature to speed up payments. A claim denial manager instantly discovers when there is a problem with a claim, such as an incorrect code.
The system will show your employee an alert along with a suggestion about how to fix the problem. From this point, it’s a simple matter of making the correction right there on the spot for resubmission and ultimate reimbursement.
Your practice will now be able to easily view all denied claims and get a sense of common reasons for these denials. Furthermore, the denial manager will be invaluable in assisting you in discovering patterns of denied claims so you can then make adjustments to your processes.
4. Healthcare Analytics
Information is power, and this is clearly the case when it comes to healthcare analytics. A powerful medical software feature that no modern practice should be without, healthcare analytics bring your practice into the 21st century.
Healthcare analytics harnesses big data and strong computer processing capability to tabulate, compare, and analyze relevant information about your patients. The numbers become meaningful statistics that will aid your team in managing the business and financial aspects of your organization.
To be worth its inclusion in your medical software, a healthcare analytics feature should provide dashboards including:
- Executive Dashboards: These give your leaders instant access to all relevant processes in the practice in a single glance. It’s also useful to help executives share information with one another, giving everyone access to the same data from a central location.
- Business Intelligence and Performance Management Tools: Those weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports that you’re tasked with keeping up on will be easier to generate. Whether it’s a question about evaluating a particular team member or department, you’ll have the details needed to manage the situation.
- On-Demand Revenue Cycle Analysis Reports: Having a clearer view of your current profitability (or lack thereof) will be enormously useful. You can spot trends of non-payment and figure out ways to speed up the flow of revenue based on the data.
- Patient and Customer Medical Billing Reports: How are various patients doing at meeting their financial obligations? This type of reporting is designed to give you the details in case you need to adjust your follow-ups to obtain payment.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Benchmarking: The standards you set and expect each team member to adhere to won’t be worth much if you don’t keep track of performance indicators and see where people measure up and where they need improvement.
- Enterprise “Roll-up” and Divisional Reports with Aggregate Data: Managing all of this data for use in the enterprise environment is only possible when you get a grip on all the aggregated data currently being generated and stored in your computer systems.
- Physician Productivity and Practice Operational Data Displays: How well the practice is functioning and to what degree your physicians are meeting their productivity goals is more manageable, thanks to analytics in these categories.
5. Voice Recognition
When you call a company, such as to sort out a recent bill or to make an inquiry into a specific department, chances are you’ve interacted with a voice recognition feature to speed along your request.
Voice recognition involves a sophisticated software system that records audio as people speak and then instantly understands what they are saying, translating the sounds into text on the computer screen. It’s come to be an essential part of medical software packages used in today’s practices.
When you consider the way we used to draft notes and then have an assistant type them into the patient’s records, or have the physician dictate notes to be transcribed by an outside transcription team, voice recognition is a much more convenient way to handle this data input.
With speech recognition, the physician can use a range of voice commands to enter the data. Doctors can also use the mouse, keyboard, or touch screen if that is preferable in any situation, of course.
Voice recognition boosts your practice’s efficiency, because it will cut down on errors that are associated with bad handwriting. It also saves you time, since you no longer have to wait for the transcription service to return the work to you.
In support of claims management and billing, voice recognition is an essential feature of medical software, and it will improve how your staff communicates as well as share patient data, going forward.
- By now, most healthcare service organizations recognize the value of using dedicated medical software to improve revenue as well as boost productivity.
- Paying attention to medical software features and getting proper training in their usage will help the staff use these tools most effectively.
- Electronic prescribing is a chief feature that your medical software should include.
- A patient portal gives patients more control over the information they input and will help speed up interactions between them and your staff.
- With a claims denial manager in place, your medical software will enable you to quickly determine the nature on a denied claim so you can correct it on the spot and instantly resubmit it for payment.
- Take advantage of healthcare analytics in your software system to help your staff process data more efficiently and get a better view of how the organization is running from a financial perspective.
Clearly there are a lot of moving parts to consider when evaluating medical software features and keeping tabs on the latest developments from application developers. You can stay current on medical software features that will help make work more efficient and increase both revenue and productivity more easily by keeping up with the content in this blog. To ensure you won’t miss a thing, click here to subscribe to the blog today.
About Stephen O'Connor
As a Director of Digital Marketing at Advanced Data Systems Corporation, Stephen spends his day's planning, writing, & designing resources for the modern healthcare professional. He has a strong affinity for snow crab legs, the ocean, and Rutgers Football.