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Five ways medical tech partners failed medical professionals in 2020


Johannesburg, 01 Apr 2021
Read time 7min 20sec

There's no question that the world changed dramatically last year. As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated in March, and the need for easy access to your practice and effective patient-provider communication became more important than ever, did your technology partner deliver? Did they come through with the additional features that patient treatment in the COVID world now requires? Or are there still some unfortunate holes in your current platform that need to be fixed as we head into this second wave of COVID?

Many medical professionals felt the impact of having outdated technology systems when COVID-19 reared its ugly head. As such, we’ve put together this e-book highlighting some of the main ways technology partners let medical professionals down and what you can do to ensure your business doesn’t remain a victim of COVID-19 or future pandemics.

1. There wasn’t enough support when it was really needed

Why it matters

Were you left to fend for yourself when it came to managing the business side of your practice? Was your technology partner agile and proactive in providing support and solutions that were not only relevant to the situation, but user-friendly and simple to implement? Consider your experience with your current technology partner and how they helped you navigate the changes of 2020.

A true technology partner is equipped with dedicated support teams who work closely with clients. Their role involves enabling practices to not only set up and maintain the technology, but to have the skills to teach clients how to use the technology confidently and effectively to run their best practice

Ask yourself

  • Does my technology partner proactively suggest effective strategies and tactics to overcome unforeseen hurdles?
  • Do I get dedicated and prompt attention on my account queries?

How we help our clients

As a trusted business partner to over 5 000 medical practices, we are doing everything we can to support the business side of our clients' practice, especially during these difficult times. In fact, we mandate our business consultants to touch base with their clients at least once a quarter, and should our clients ever encounter an issue or would like advice, they have the business consultant’s direct details for speedy resolution.

2. They weren’t flexible enough to support telehealth visits

Why it matters

Telehealth is part of the ‘new normal’ in healthcare delivery. Billing and clinical software platforms that can’t support telehealth and associated workflows are simply not feasible going forward.

In the past, practice management platforms could get away with sending appointment-specific reminders with limited pre-visit details via e-mail/SMS messages. However, the rapid adoption of telehealth has made the inclusion of telehealth video links and other dynamic information essential. Although many technology partners recognise this need and are enabling this functionality, leading platforms have gone even further to offer an integrated telehealth solution as part of their overall practice management offering.

The reason for this is simplicity. Medical professionals need to be able to utilise multiple services, such as patient messaging, telehealth services and numerous other practice management and clinical tools without needing to deal with multiple tech partners. Finding a single end-to-end platform for all these engagements is a no-brainer.

Ask yourself

  • How am I getting telehealth appointment video links and instructions into patients’ hands today?
  • Do I need to work with an additional technology partner to provide telehealth services?
  • Do I need to log on to multiple platforms to access telehealth services?

How we help our clients

COVID-19 drastically changed the way medical professionals needed to work. Within the first few weeks of lockdown, our team of developers had developed a telehealth solution that was not only super simple to use as a telephonic or video base application, but it integrated seamlessly into our billing and clinical offering. Plus, through our integrated online calendar, patients receive automated SMS and e-mail reminders with the required links and details ensuring they are able to attend the consultation with ease and on time.

3. Their solution was desktop based

Why it matters

Cloud-based technology connects people and business to information, applications, storage and security – all via a Web browser or app, from anywhere in the world. Almost everything we do online is in – from storing photos and important documents to sending e-mails, shopping online and banking. Even your favourite TV and music streaming Web sites use cloud technology.

Medical practices benefit from using cloud-based practice management solutions because it enables you to manage, store, backup and recover patient and practice data from any connected device instantly and securely. This alone empowers medical professionals and practice teams to streamline practice management, improve patient care and communications, and find ways to increase practice revenue.

Ask yourself

  • Can I access my practice information from anywhere, at any time?
  • Am I still paying for costly installations, re-installations and upgrades?
  • Are software updates manual and inconvenient?

How we help our clients

All our standard software offerings are cloud-based. Our clients appreciate the cost savings of no more installs and reinstalls, but more importantly, we can seamlessly update our clients' software and price files without any interruption to day-to-day business.

4. They didn’t have integrated electronic medical record (EMR) software

Why it matters

Medical billing is a notoriously challenging task, even for the most experienced medical billing professional. Accuracy and attention to detail is of the utmost importance because even the smallest error can result in a claim being rejected. Thankfully, we've come a long way from the days of processing patient billing manually. But even with the use of practice management software, billing can still be difficult and complex.

That’s where an integrated practice management and EMR (or digitised patient files) system comes in. Using integrated systems enables you to capture patient notes and easily convert them into billing instructions, thereby drastically reducing the amount of time your staff require to process claims and capture payments. Using an integrated solution doesn’t only save time, you will also notice fewer rejected claims, improved data accuracy and, as a result, increased cash flow.

Ask yourself

  • Is your staff spending unnecessary time capturing duplicate data?
  • Are claim rejections impacting your cash flow due to incorrect information?

How we help our clients

We work closely with a team of medical professionals to ensure that our EMR software is integrated and easy to use, and is designed in line with the way medical professionals want to work. Medical professionals can keep their typical workflow when making use of our smart technology that enables i) quick navigation of organised patient files ii) quick & easy clinical note capturing iii) accurate and complete billing. To find out more, click here.

5. They were slow to respond to changing markets

Why it matters

One thing is for sure after COVID-19 – nothing is for sure. In a world that is constantly changing, you need to ensure that the technology partner you invest in today will be the technology partner that invests in your future. You want to partner with a provider that has a track record of innovation, continual improvement and valuable industry insights that enable medical professionals to run their best practice.

Ask yourself

  • Did my technology partner respond quickly enough to COVID-19?
  • Were their innovations relevant and helpful?
  • Do I have the tools I need to run the business side of my practice?

How we help our clients

Innovation is core to our existence. We take our commitment to helping medical professionals run successful practices seriously and are in a continuous cycle of improvements and/or upgrades to ensure that our technology meets your needs, no matter the market environment.

If you had to grapple with any of the above ways that medical technology partners failed you in 2020, or if these things have got you thinking about the future of your practice and you’d like to understand a bit more, click here to request a call back from one of our experienced business consultants. 

Editorial contacts
Brand and Digital Manager Liza de Beer liza@healthbridge.co.za
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