Treehouse Technology Group welcomes guest bloggers to contribute to our website. We’ve selected this piece from Mark Pawlowski, because at TTG we work with healthcare companies on their technology strategy, custom software development and systems integration. TTG provides both product and strategy consulting, in addition to technical implementation and project execution.
Guest post by By Mark Pawlowski
Going to the doctor’s office used to entail filling out sheets and sheets of paper with all of a client’s personal information, reasons for the appointment, and medical history. Most doctors would even require patients to get to the appointment ten or fifteen minutes early to allow for the time spent filling out the paperwork. The paperwork would then have to be input by hand into an online record keeping system or filed away into a giant filing cabinet for the next several years.
Times are starting to change. Now when patients enter a doctor’s office, there’s a higher chance they’ll be handed a tablet with a streamlined on-boarding process than a clipboard with a stack of papers. More and more doctors’ offices are becoming automated, leading to improved experiences for both patients and healthcare providers.
When data becomes automated there’s no more labor-intensive filing. Instead, doctors can now use software to analyze data trends in your healthcare services, patient experience, and business processes. This means data-driven insights are available to help doctors’ offices improve the patient experience.
Not only that, but it’ll become easier to see medical trends over a client’s lifetime. How often have they expressed feelings of depression? How many times has a child come in with the same arm injury? Has a client ever been unable to pay their bill?
Being able to easily see and understand quantifiable results makes it easier for a practice to improve.
Faster Patient Feedback
In the past, the only way for patients to give their healthcare practitioners feedback was at their next appointment or, if they were really unhappy, by leaving the practice. Automated surveys make it possible for patients to give feedback almost immediately through surveys and automated outpatient check-ins.
Faster patient feedback allows practices and hospitals to immediately remedy complaints and customize each patient’s experience. Remedying complaints in a time-appropriate manner may even prevent patients from leaving the practice- saving doctors money and making your customers happier.
Improved Record Keeping
Patient medical records are inherently sensitive information. In paper form, they can be easily lost, misplaced, or exposed to unauthorized personnel. However, when record keeping is automated, all patient records are securely placed into a secure online system for safe keeping.
On top of that, record keeping can be integrated with other systems, such as automatic patient check ins or appointment reminders and prescription refills. When these automated systems are integrated, patients will have a more comprehensive experience that addresses all of their needs.
Instead of a hand-written note reminding doctors to call in two weeks in regard to an outpatient surgery, now patients will receive an automated email with a survey about their symptoms. Based on that, doctors will be able to choose whether or not they need a follow up phone call.
Record keeping has always been a large challenge for doctors’ offices. The sheer amount of storage needed for an entire practices-worth of patient records can be a struggle. Automated records can be securely stored online without taking up space in the office.
Imagine no longer having to input records to an online system by hand. Or leaf through pages and pages of a client’s medical history to find out what prescriptions they’ve had in the past. Automation reduces the workload of healthcare providers through automatic online-record keeping, improved patient feedback, and automatic prescription refills.
Automation and systems integration are there to make life easier and improve the patient experience.
Higher Quality Patient Experience
Automation improves the patient experience overall. Faster feedback from patients creates a better doctor-patient relationship that can be customized to meet the patient’s needs. Automated check-ins can help doctors catch symptoms that may have otherwise gone unnoticed in a quick phone call. Online record keeping means doctors can easily access the entire medical history of their patient during an appointment or as needed.
Automation benefits the healthcare industry by improving the healthcare experience for both doctors and patients. Now hospitals will be able to easily access electronic records from the primary care physician’s office. X-rays can be sent over easily through automated systems that attribute the correct x-rays to the patient’s files.
Automation can help integrate the different systems that a physician uses to serve their clients. Integrating phone systems and the IT network means doctors will be able to track time spent on the phone with a client, emails that have gone back and forth, all through one user interface.
By Mark Pawlowski
Mark Pawlowski is the Director of Business Development at Medlin Communications, a leading commercial systems integrator and boasts an inside staff of professionals with more than 100 years’ combined experience in the telecommunications industry and has served over 3,000 customers nationwide. Take Medlin’s free network assessment for an easy way to uncover the pain points in your IT network today.