Capko & Morgan recently collaborated with MedData Group* on a physician survey about front office technology awareness and plans. The results seemed to confirm what we see among our clients: many physicians are unaware of the full array of excellent innovations that have recently emerged to support the medical practice front office.
Check out this chart from the infographic that MedData created from the survey data.
It’s interesting to see that even the tools that are most commonplace, check-in tablets and automated reminders, widely available for a decade or more, still barely passed 50% awareness. This is consistent with what we experience when we talk to practice administrators and physicians about front office technology solutions. Often, administrators and physicians also assume that such tools are aimed primarily at large health systems or hospitals and aren’t affordable or even feasible for independent practices — but this is not the case.
As technology has proliferated among consumers, so have ways to use it to make working with your practice more convenient for patients, and to make processes more efficient for you. For example, studies from other industries have shown that consumers mostly prefer to pay electronically, and reward the businesses that let them do so with more loyalty and more reliable and prompt payment. Most practice management systems offer email statements, payment portals, and other tools that make offering online payments very easy, but practices too often assume that implementation will be difficult. It usually isn’t complicated at all — in fact, we’ve worked with two different practices recently that were able to get their online payments solutions up and running within an afternoon. These practices found money waiting for them, deposited via online payments from patients, when they arrived at the office the very first morning after implementation!
There are many other front office technology solutions that can help practices enormously, but that aren’t getting the attention that they should. These tools can make some of the most frustrating and tedious practice challenges — no-shows, patient collections, payment plans, front desk paperwork — a lot more manageable. And they impress patients as more modern and convenient as well. (Does it go without saying that this is a big win-win?)
I’ve been working on a series of papers on various aspects of front office innovation and how it can transform practices for the Medical Product Guide. If you’re interested in reading them, visit this link and click on “Resources.”