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MANAGING THE OFFICE

Top 5 digital tools to increase medical practice efficiency in 2019

By Lisa A. Eramo, MA  bio

Busy practice managers are constantly searching for ways to increase efficiency. Sometimes it feels like an unattainable goal. Just when you begin to streamline a process, another challenge arises, and you’re immediately drowning in backlogged claims and increased patient wait times yet again.

The good news is that practices can leverage a variety of free and low-cost websites and apps to increase productivity. Consider signing up for one or more of these five digital tools in the New Year:

1. RxVantage. Spending too much time scheduling and managing life science reps? Toss out your paper calendar, and forget about unanticipated interruptions at the front desk. RxVantage is a free tool that allows reps to self-schedule appointments based on your practice’s specified rules and times. Reps simply access your calendar and select a day and time that works best. The app sends an automatic reminder to the rep and requires confirmation for every appointment. If a rep cancels or needs to reschedule, they can do so without having to call your practice. Bonus: Other reps are notified immediately of the available time slot and can book something right away. Practices can also easily access rep contact information and control the frequency with which certain reps can visit. Use it to tap into the valuable education that life science reps provide without having to spend hundreds of hours annually to manage the scheduling.

Cost: Free for medical practices.

2. Wunderlist. Every medical practice has a growing list of tasks to accomplish, and although there are many ‘to-do list’ apps available for download, Wunderlist is one of the most straightforward and easy to use. Keep everyone in the office organized and on task with this app that lets you create and share digital to-do lists that include due dates and reminders. You can also assign tasks, create subtasks, and upload files. Use it to set goals and manage projects within the practice.

Cost: Free (Premium version is $4.99/month or $49.99/year).

3. Doximity. Advertised as the ‘professional network for healthcare professionals,’ Doximity is so much more than a network of providers on which physicians can rely for peer-to-peer consultations and connections. Physicians using Doximity can also send and receive HIPAA-secure faxes from their mobile device and call patients from their personal cell phones while displaying their office phone numbers. Use it to increase physician efficiency and satisfaction.

Cost: Free for U.S. physicians, medical students, and clinically-practicing healthcare professionals.

4. OhMD. Are physicians and staff tired of playing phone tag? OhMD’s HIPAA-secure texting app allows you to communicate easily and efficiently with patients, colleagues, care teams, referring providers and others. Use it with patients to schedule and confirm appointments, share educational materials, or answer health-related questions. Use it with other providers to coordinate care and streamline communication.

Cost: Free (with additional cost for upgraded versions).

5. RescueTime. Ever wonder how staff spend their time each day, including what tasks consume most of their working hours? Or why certain staff members seem more productive than others? RescueTime can help. The app runs in the background on your computer and mobile devices tracking time spent on various applications and websites. Then, it provides detailed reports and data based on staff member activity. Use it to identify tasks that drain productivity so you can refocus efforts on patient care and revenue.

Cost: Free (Premium version is $4.50/month or $36/year).

Make efficiency a priority in 2019
Take the time to sign up for one or more of these digital tools to boost productivity in 2019 and beyond. Remember: A productive medical practice is one with happier patients and staff.


Editor’s picks:

How to Maximize the Impact of Life Science Reps & Resources at Your Practice


Keep things moving: reduce wait times while still giving patients the attention they deserve


2018 MGMA conference inspires practice leaders to transform the healthcare industry



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