Efficiency is the name of the game in today’s modern medical practice. More and more, practice managers are leveraging technology to not only streamline their workflow, but maintain their sanity. One of Australia’s foremost practice management consultants, Katrina Otto, tells us how her clients are using tech savvy solutions to help their practices run more smoothly.
Gabriela and Nicole from Observatory Medical Practice, Sydney.
I spend my days visiting different medical practices. I’ve seen them all, from the large, sleek operations to the smaller, more personal ones. The one thing they all have in common is being extremely busy. When you’re dealing with patient invoices, words like ‘claiming’ and ‘reconciliation’ can make your blood run cold – but it doesn’t have to be this way! All it takes is that one crucial step: embracing technology. A case in point is Gabriella, a receptionist at the Observatory Tower Medical Practice in Sydney, NSW. Gabriella couldn’t have been happier talking about payments and claiming and how much she “loved” the Tyro Integrated EFTPOS and Easyclaim that the practice has had since 2010. It struck me that I’ve heard the phrase “we love Tyro!” a lot. How often do you hear people say that about a piece of technology? Since I’ve been in this industry I’ve seen new technologies and companies like Tyro completely revolutionise the way that practices are run. They understand how existing processes are broken and set out to fix them. One example is the process around gap billing. Do you remember what it was like chasing those cheques from patients? Well, I do, and trust me – no one loved that. Some of the horror stories I’ve heard include patients taking these cheques to the bank and having them cashed in by a clueless teller! One of my favourite things about Tyro is the ability to minimise gap billing. By providing instant real time rebates, patients can pay in full up-front and receive their Medicare rebate in 11 seconds. No more chasing patients for their cheques! The practice managers I work with say patients are now more than happy to pay their consultation fees in full. With Tyro, patients know that by the time they leave the practice their Medicare rebate will be back in their account. It’s a great for practice cash-flow and patient aftercare – and that’s an efficiency win in my book. Sometimes it’s about using multiple technology advances together that provide practices with the best outcome. Medicare’s Online Patient or Veteran Verification functionality (OPV or OVV) enables practices to validate patient details in their PMS. This means that they are aware (in real time) of any issues and can fix them before the patient leaves the practice. Tyro assesses patient paid and gap claims in real time, so practices that use OPV in conjunction with Tyro eliminate any problems with Medicare details. At the end of the day, less rejections and exceptions is what we’re aiming for. I’ve certainly got better things to do after 5pm! These are just some of the small technological tweaks you can make to turbo charge the efficiency of your practice. Sometimes it may take a bit of a cultural shift and extra training to take the step of embracing technology. But when the day to day running of your practice becomes so easy, and when staff say they love a piece of hardware – it’s completely worth it.
About Katrina Otto Katrina Otto has been working in medical practices since 1989. She is an experienced Practice Manager and qualified teacher who has also worked part-time as a TAFE Teacher, specialising in Medical Administration & Technology for the past 20 years. Katrina now works as a Practice Management Consultant & Medical Software Trainer with Train IT Medical and provides training and support for hundreds of different practices across Australia each year. This exposure to such a wide variety of differing medical office procedures and technology leads Katrina to experience the most efficient systems and keep up to date with the multitude of health IT products on the market. She thinks of herself as the support person for the support staff. As an educator she is focused on enhancing knowledge and helping implement quality improvements to make life a bit easier for those working in the medical field – whatever technology they choose. Read more of Katrina’s insights on the Train IT Medical website.