Going digital in the medical field is an exciting concept that gets everyone from patients to providers excited! Blindsided by the shear complexity of implementing some of these systems its easy to get caught up in the going paperless concept, which gets you deeper and deeper into technology. If you are like most orthopedic and spine practices you’re staff ends up working out of multiple computer applications…….because the advantages of being paperless are so many: No more papers, printing off records, sending and receiving (losing) faxes, storing charts, requesting medical records from storage, etc.
Having digital systems in your spine or orthopedic practice has its advantages for sure, but the one big advantage every medical practice is sold on is that you won’t have to deal with paper any longer.
Some of the systems practices end up using on the digital (paperless) journey include:
- Multiple websites, landing pages, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, email marketing (Mailchimp, Constant Contact, etc)
- Email – sometimes multiple email accounts Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, AOL (hopefully not AOL)
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – Like Salesforce, Zoho, Microsoft Dynamics, Hubspot……
- Patient Portals – for new patient registrations, appointments, follow ups, accessing test results, etc
- MRI and XRAY systems (PACS)
- Faxing and eFaxing
- Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
Of the many practices we have worked with the reality is that many times computer systems create efficiencies in one area but more work in other areas.
So you invested thousands into an EMR system but are not using it to its potential. Sound familiar?
Here are the top 3 issues we see with digital systems in orthopedic and medical practices:
Problem 1: Half electronic/ half paper
- Not every provider or department uses EMR. Your stuck with half paper/ half electronic
- You don’t have an IT system specialist on staff
- Printing then scanning into your EMR (our favorite!)
- Your system has a lot of features but you are only using a few
Problem 2: Entering patient data in multiple systems
- Patient registration forms are filled by hand or emailed
- Entering patient info into your CRM, Patient Portal, Imaging software and again in your EMR system
- Your patient portal or telemedicine platform is not connected to your clinical systems
- You feel like you are stuck with a system(s) you hate because of the investment you made in it
Problem 3: You spend money on marketing but don’t know if it’s worth it
- Your patient inquiries go to email and you can’t keep track of them
- Report overload: you get reports from Google Analytics, Salesforce, Excel, Email, EMR, etc
- Your marketing staff spend weeks trying to tie together all data from multiple systems
- You are afraid to reduce marketing spend because your phone may stop ringing
The good news is that as technology and security improves systems can now be more easily integrated which helps to create more efficiency and accuracy across the spectrum of necessary platforms. APIs and Webhooks allow systems to share data and also allows you to unplug an unwanted system from your environment and plug a new one in almost seamlessly. It’s not perfect yet, but getting better.
Want to know if your marketing is working AND spend less time entering the same patient information into multiple systems? Find out if your systems can be connected, contact us for a no cost Medical Practice System Assessment.
Leave us a comment! What problems is your practice experiencing by going digital?