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Using Your Practice Management System to Avoid No-Show and Late Patients

Keeping your office on schedule involves more than just careful planning on your staff's part. Late and no-show patients can set a perfect schedule behind, stressing out your staff and causing your on time patients to wait longer. It's frustrating to know that those most affected by late and no-show patients are your patients who actually do show up on time, and your hard working staff. While there isn't a way to completely eliminate this problem, there are some practice management system tips you can use to reduce the number of late and no-show patients in your practice.

undefinedHow Your Practice Management System Can Help with No-Show Patients

Have a Policy

If you are utilizing a patient portal and practice management system to allow patients to fill out pre-appointment paperwork ahead of time, be sure to include a late and no-show policy. This policy should be easy for your patients to understand, and can be as strict or as flexible, as your practice can handle. You might consider having a late or no-show fee if patients don't provide cancellation notification at least 24 hours ahead of their scheduled appointment. When money is involved, people tend to have more incentive to follow through. Another idea is to require your patients to reschedule if they are more than 15 minutes late to an appointment; this will help your practice from getting too far behind schedule if a patient shows up way too late.

4 Functionalities Every EHR Software Should Have

EHR software can change your practice in ways you might not have thought possible, but not all software is created equal. So it's important that when you are shopping for a solution, you are taking into consideration your practice's unique, individual needs. While every practice has different requirements, there are four important functionality features that we think are necessary for every EHR system to have.

4 Key Ingredients of the Best EHR Systems

1. Clinical Decision Supportundefined

Clinical Decision Support (CSD) helps to increase the quality of care you provide your patients by giving you recommendations for patient-specific information. This feature is able to give you alerts and reminders, guidelines, reports, diagnostic support, and summaries for each patient that visits your office. This knowledgeable technology is great for helping reduce errors and improve efficiency in your practice, which in the end will increase overall patient satisfaction.

2. Patient Recall

Think of how much time your staff spends each day calling patients to remind them of appointments, or filling out recall cards to mail out. Having a patient recall system built in to your EHR software means you can automatically send out appointment reminders, which will help save your staff a lot of time. This type of tool often has a variety of different areas that you can customize, so you can contact your patients through the method they most prefer, including text and email.

3. ePrescribing

Filling out prescriptions by hand leaves so much room for error, but with ePrescribing you don't have to worry about pharmacies not understanding your handwriting or making a mistake transcribing the prescription. Sending prescriptions electronically is also a faster method, meaning your patients receive their care faster. When the ePrescribing tool is built into your EHR software, patient specific information, like allergies, automatically shows up along with medication history, so that you're able to provide the safest care for your patients. 

4. Mobility

Cloud-based EHR software offers mobility that client-server solutions can't. Being able to access your system on tablets, and at home, can greatly improve your overall office workflow. Having the freedom to access your system and information from any device with an Internet connection means you can work from virtually anywhere!

There you have it. Those are the 4 key features to keep an eye out for when shopping for new EHR software. What features do you look for that we didn't mention?

4 Ways Practice Management Systems Save Your Practice Hours

In any industry, time-management and efficiency are critical factors for trying to produce a solid business model. But, sometimes it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. While we all know this feeling, have you ever sat down and really thought on how your own practice is wasting time on a daily basis? Understanding where you and your staff are losing time can help start the process of gaining back that precious work time that will lead to a more productive practice!

So how does one create a more efficient practice without sacrificing any quality of care? Practice management systems are leading the way to a more efficient office. Integration between practice management and EHR software is now becoming a common option for EHR buyers, especially those considering cloud-based services. So if you’re still running your office with paper, submitting orders by phone, or not using a patient portal then you can turn things around quicker than you think with optometric practice management and EHR software!

How Practice Management Systems Can Help You Save Time in Your Practice

Put Down Your Phoneundefined

The method of submitting your ophthalmic product orders via the phone or fax machine is quickly becoming a thing of the past. These days, there’s online options and software available to help you place and manage your ophthalmic orders. Practice management systems can have built in ordering tools that allow you to place your orders without ever leaving the system. You'll be able to place orders quickly and error-free, helping improve your patient satisfaction and retention rate almost overnight! Using an integrated ordering solution will not only save you valuable time in your practice, but also increase the workflow in your dispensary!

Throw Away All of The Paper

In order to really speed up the workflow in your practice, and save time, it is recommended that you and your staff stop using paper for day-to-day business. Not only is it wasteful, but it can hinder how quickly you get information to your patients, and around your office.

Making the switch to practice management and EHR software from paper can reduce duplicate data being entered, instantaneously pinpoint a patient among your patient list, and generate reports that help you prepare and understand the business side of your practice. No blue-print is available for the “correct” type of practice management and EHR system, as each practice’s needs are unique and require different approaches. So make sure you take the time to determine what type of system is right for your practice.

Are You Ignoring These Hidden Fees When Shopping for Optical Software?

There are a lot of things that go into purchasing new optical software for your practice. And while we know budget is definitely on the top of the list when it comes to narrowing down your options, it's important not to just look at the initial price tag of a practice management and EHR software. There's a lot that can go into the total cost of ownership of a software on top of just the initial sticker.

We put together a list of hidden fees that you might have overlooked along the way when evaluating different software. Have you thought about the hardware costs, annual fees, upgrade fees, training and support costs? Each of these things can tack on extra dollars to the software's total cost. Let's look at each cost a little closer.

5 Fees You don't want to Forget about when Picking New Optical Software

1. Training and Supportundefined

One of the more important things about buying new software is knowing how to use it. You won't be happy if you and your staff don't take full advantage of training resources before diving head first into your new software. How does the vendor handle training and support? What resources are available, and are they included in the cost of the software? The vendor might charge extra for training and support on a yearly basis, or for higher priority levels of support. While other systems include these costs in the fee of the software. So make sure you're asking each vendor what's included!

2. Software Upgrades

New versions of the software are going to be rolling out after you make your purchase, and you don't want to be running your office on an outdated system. When new versions roll out you might have to purchase new licenses of the software, and new versions could affect the hardware that you're using in your practice. Cloud-based system updates happen automatically within your system and are most often included in the cost of your software purchase. Client-server systems are usually going to require you to purchase the latest version.

Why Not Having an EHR or Practice Management System is the Wrong Decision

EHR and practice management software solutions are saving eyecare professionals time and money. If you haven't already switched from paper records yet, you are really hindering the expansion and success of your practice. Your paper record system might be the comfortable option, but in the long run it could really be hurting your practice.

You might fear making a transition to a new software, but the benefits greatly outweigh the costs. Not only will getting a new practice management system help your staff stay more organized, avoid Meaningful Use penalties, and speed up patient intake and appointment times, it also gives you, as an OD, incredible advantages.

4 Ways Not Having an EHR or Practice Management System is Hurting Your Practice

undefinedIt's Costing You Timeundefined

Without a practice management and EHR solution you're wasting time duplicating and entering data that you shouldn't have to record more than once. Your patient comes in and fills out paperwork before their appointments that you then enter into a system later, or have to manually sift through to find the information that you need. What if your patients could fill this data out online before they even walk into your office? You wouldn't have to deal with deciphering their handwriting, or entering the data in yourself. Depending on the system it can also take any necessary information and populate the entire patient record throughout the exam so that you only have to enter in data once. Think about all the time you could save!

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