Efficiency in your eye care practice is more important than ever. Cost to maintain a practice continues to rise, while shrinking reimbursements require you to deliver quality care to more patients just to keep the lights on; you need to retain existing patients while recruiting new ones. Here’s how you can optimize your practice.
Place your practice on one enterprise-level IT platform
The last thing you want to do is double your work. By having multiple platforms—still common among eye care practices—you’re forced to enter information at least twice. Choose a health IT partner with a platform that incorporates all the needs of your practice—both clinical and operational. Think of an enterprise-level platform as a means to connect ophthalmology, optometry, ambulatory surgery center (ASCs), and the optical shop—according to the demands of your business model.
Integrate your clinic with your ASC
Whether you’re in private practice or part of a larger organization, a health IT solution that includes the ability to integrate your clinic with your ASC is essential. For example, with an enterprise platform, you can enter surgical orders and details in the patient’s clinical chart knowing this information will seamlessly travel into the patient’s ASC chart—eliminating the need for staff to move this information manually. Such capabilities free valuable time for you and your staff, so you can focus on patients instead of on paperwork.
An enterprise platform allows you to keep charts separate between clinic and ASC, as well as operational data such as tax IDs, but with information rolling up for purposes of operational and financial reporting and analysis. Your administrative staff doesn’t need to merge reports that come from multiple departments within your practice or multiple practices within your organization—this saves time and improves access to business information.
Take advantage of financial and operational analytics
To gain better visibility into how your practice is doing and uncover how to improve performance, you need financial and operational analytics. Information obtained via analytics provides the foundation you need to make future business decisions, increase productivity, and decrease costs. Not only will you have a better ability to see the big picture, you can drill down to location- or provider-level to derive targeted insights you need to better manage your organization.
Create opportunities to meaningfully engage with patients
Once you free up more time for your providers and staff, it’s time to increase your patient load. But first take steps to retain current patients. You need the right health IT tools to engage meaningfully with them.
Give your patients time back in their busy schedule. When a patient decides to schedule their next appointment, give them a platform that makes it easy, without spending time on hold. The right patient experience platform will give patients the ability to schedule their appointments online or pay a bill with ease.
By keeping in touch with your patients, you convey a simple but important message—you matter to us. This message can be delivered with a monthly newsletter, birthday messages, or special offers from your optical department. A solution that automates these messages will give your patients the extra attention they deserve without slowing down productivity. It also gives your patients that good feeling that leads to word-of-mouth recommendations and, especially, positive online reviews—which can be essential for competing in today’s marketplace.
Having the best tools in your practice will give you the ability to increase revenue while decreasing out- of-pocket costs. An enterprise health IT platform, tight integration between clinic and ASC, financial and operational analytics, and meaningful patient engagement will help your practice grow and thrive.
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