What is patient management?
Patient management is an umbrella term that refers to the experience of patients within the healthcare industry. From the moment a patient walks through the doors, care management has begun; it includes pulling up their files, delivering care services, managing payments, and following up after appointments. As a healthcare practitioner, it can be easy to forget just how important patient management is, especially when you are responsible for numerous other tasks. However, understanding how patients want to be treated and actively guiding them through the system is one of the best ways to improve the patient experience and establish yourself as a reputable business. The other side of patient management refers to specific tools for private practitioners that have been developed with the aim of elevating the patient experience. These tools are sophisticated and integrated with a number of features that have been shown repeatedly to not only lead to greater patient satisfaction but also better efficiency and organization within the practice. In this guide, we’re going to discuss some of the advantages of patient management and provide a list of the different tools available to you so you can focus on improvements within your own business.
Benefits of patient management for a healthcare business
Patient management systems have various benefits for healthcare businesses. Fundamentally, all the functions integrated into patient management are aimed at speeding up administrative tasks and making communication more effective. Particularly for small healthcare businesses, this can save significant amounts of time whilst reducing the need for administrative staff, thus saving overhead costs. These systems are usually integrated with electronic health records (EHR) and electronic medical records (EMR), allowing for instantaneous transfers across departments and facilities. In response, patient coordination of care is significantly improved, and healthcare practitioners can communicate more efficiently, even across different practices. Additionally, these systems manage appointment scheduling - allowing patients to book their own sessions online, sending out reminder emails/texts, and generating team calendars. These functions will help in the creation of more efficient schedules, eliminate the need for administrative staff to spend hours on the phone, and most importantly, reduce the risk of no-shows. The final advantage of a patient management system is the direct impact that it has on patients. It empowers them to have a more involved role to play in managing their own care, through online scheduling, refilling prescriptions, and contacting their healthcare provider directly. Facilitating a positive patient experience will lead to good reviews, and hopefully more patients! As you can see, there is a wide range of benefits associated with practice management software for therapists, general practitioners, chiropractors, and nurses - in fact, any healthcare professional at all!
Top patient management tools for medical practitioners
Perhaps the hardest part about improving patient management is deciding what tools to implement! With the increase in focus on the patient experience, there has been a correlating rise in patient management tools, and it can be overwhelming going through all of these. To help you with this search, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common patient management tools and their benefits.
Cloud management solutions
Cloud management solutions refer to the use of remote servers that can be accessed via an internet connection. They are becoming increasingly popular in the healthcare industry, as they update in real-time and can be used to improve communication across departments and facilities. HIPAA compliant cloud management storage solutions will ensure that patient data is kept safe and secure at all times, whilst still being accessible to authorized users.
Electronic Health Record software
Electronic health records are digitized versions of a patient’s medical information that can be stored using cloud technology. EHR is being adopted by healthcare practices increasingly often, and this is for good reason. Not only do they reduce the risk of handwritten mistakes on patient records, but they also eliminate the possibility of being damaged or lost. Additionally, EHR can be used across different healthcare practices, which is ideal if a patient is being treated at numerous facilities. By streamlining the documentation process and improving coordination of care, EHR software has undeniable benefits for both patients and practitioners.
Data collection apps
There has been a recent surge in the usage of data collection apps within the healthcare industry. Although these apps vary, they typically can conduct patient screening, generate intake forms and collect pertinent patient medical history information. Collecting this kind of data streamlines many administrative processes and allows patients to be treated faster and more accurately. However, it is essential that the data collection app you use is HIPAA compliant and has security measures to protect patient data.
Software for patient communication
Patient communication software refers to systems that are designed to improve communication between patients and practitioners. They are often integrated with practice management software and can provide patients with a secure platform from which they can directly access their healthcare provider. Patient communication software helps to ensure patients are being heard, and their needs are being met, allowing you to focus on delivering high-quality care.
Software for remote patient management
Remote patient management software is a system that allows healthcare providers to continue treating and caring for their patients outside of the typical healthcare facility. This type of software has become particularly important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as an increasing number of patients require care from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Remote patient management may include video conferencing appointments, using remote monitoring devices, and conducting tests virtually. Familiarizing yourself with remote patient management software can take a bit of time, but it is an essential component of dealing with and responding to the impacts of a global pandemic.
Customer Relationship Management software
Customer relationship management software is solely designed to elevate the experience of patients within your healthcare practice. These systems are integrated with all of your patient data, allowing you to access any information that you need from a single platform. It assists with preparation and organization, ensuring that you have all of the information necessary to deliver high-quality care. CRM software for medical practitioners has been shown to be a key factor in increasing patient satisfaction and improving the quality of care and treatment outcomes.
Take home message
Patient management is an integral aspect of working in the healthcare industry, but it can sometimes be difficult to manage. Fortunately, the development of new and sophisticated software that specifically targets patient management allows you to take a step back whilst still observing improved patient experiences. There is a wide range of different tools available for you to choose from, and we highly recommend having a look into each of these before deciding which will best suit your practice The final tip we want to leave you with is the importance of HIPAA compliance. When you are conducting research into different patient management tools, you need to ensure that they are HIPAA compliant and can demonstrate to you the security measures that are in place. Many, if not all, patient management tools store some kind of confidential patient information, which requires protection at all times. Fortunately, the majority of vendors are aware of this requirement, so you should find that most of the tools you are considering have adequate security measures in place.
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