Implementing a Self Service Practice Part I

Grocery stores, banks and other outlets have now implemented a self-service option for their customers.  It’s no wonder that physicians are doing the same.  More and more physicians are offering patient Web portals, which saves time for the staff and also for patients.  It can reduce the administrative errors as well.

These Websites make it possible for patients to communicate with a nurse, the physician, request a refill of medication, access medical records, they can make an appointment, register their insurance information and get lab results online 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Physicians have found that Web portals has shown to save time and that the office has become more efficient.  Physicians have also found that it can change the way they practice medicine because it’s allowing them to help patients in ways they never expected that they could.

These portals are secure and HIPAA compliant online applications that allow patients to communicate with their physician.  Some portal applications are a stand-alone Website and others are able to connect to their existing Website. 

The patient portal allows patients to directly perform functions that will ultimately save the office time and can be more accurate in these functions.

Most offices provide a clip board with multiple sheets that the patient must fill out for their registration, this would eliminate that step.  A new patient could access the Website and fill out their registration before they are even seen at the office and at their own convenience.  This cuts back on the mistakes made which in turn cuts back on the number of denied claims.

The portals also help the physician to receive payment faster from the insurance carrier.  When a new patient registers on the portal, it’s easier and more efficient to check the person’s insurance eligibility.  If there is a discrepancy, it can be caught before the patient even comes in office for their appointment.

Implementing this plan can save time for the office staff, the physician, the patient and the front office receptionist.  Cutting back on the “paperwork” aspect of the patients visit makes more time for the physician to spend with the patient, the physician is able to see more patients in a day and the office staff has more time to prepare for the day and not have to spend so much time on each patient as the patient is sitting in the waiting room.

Some physicians believe that this is a good investment for their practice.  Anything that helps to cut back on things that are so time-consuming is worth it.  Another advantage is the accuracy of it all.  Cutting back on mistakes always saves time and money.