Sep 25, 2014

The Customer Comes First

Catering to Your Referrers with Advanced Reporting and Speech Recognition

Welcome to the first installment in our series

Although it’s often just a single sheet of paper or digital document, the referring physician’s final report is among the most crucial factors affecting your referral stream and the profitability of your practice.  If your reports are not timely, precise, well-organized and geared towards your referrers’ preferences, then your entire medical business can suffer. Reports can make a major difference in the success or failure of your practice.

So not surprisingly, a robust reporting platform powered by advanced speech recognition is vitally important in the current competitive healthcare environment.  If you're not leveraging all of today's innovative tools, your competition may have an unfair advantage—and not just on paper.
All speech recognition and reporting solutions are not created equal.  Evaluate systems, and look for key features and functionalities.  The best systems will enhance your own practice’s workflow by providing the flexibility to support each physician’s reporting preferences through customized protocols, terminology unique to your specialty and practice, easy embedding of key images and more.  Faster workflow accelerates report generation and results communication to your referrers.  Through advanced templating, a good system will also support reports that are more precise, consistent and easy-to-understand.  That’s another major benefit for your referrers.
Most medical practices will benefit by minimizing the time and expenses of maintaining and upgrading a reporting platform.   A cloud solution like IDS Voice2Dox will shift this responsibility to your vendor and enable easy anywhere, anytime availability of transcribed reports.  Industry leading Voice2Dox also offers a host of important productivity-boosting features for any medical practice.  Many of these have extra value for physicians who work in multiple locations or provide virtual consultation or teleradiology services.   

Today, a state-of-the-art reporting platform should include:

·      Support for the medical speech recognition engine—or engines—of your choice.  Some practices prefer the flexibility of cloud-based technology, while others will choose an onsite solution.  The best engines will help your practice ensure overall accuracy and correct medical terminology.  Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2 is among the best solutions for local installation, while SpeechAnywhere is a high performance cloud-based recognition engine.  Voice2Dox supports both, and will offer compatibility with a full range of additional voice engines in the future.

·      A broad selection of easily customizable report templates specific to your practice area to enhance reporting efficiency.

·      Powerful and robust template management capabilities to ensure easy access to all templates throughout the practice or department.  This not only speeds workflow but provides all physicians with access to consistent reporting features—leading to standardized reports.

·      Roaming profiles that deliver the same familiar work environment in any location, whether office, hospital or home, and universal PACS worklist compatibility to assure appropriate prioritization of exam reading.

·      For teleradiologists—support for simultaneous communication with multiple PACS and other image viewing solutions on the same workstation.  This will enable use of a single familiar reporting and robust speech recognition platform with all client image viewing platforms for familiar, ultra-fast workflow.

·      Easy Crop and Paste addition of thumbnail images.  Often, a picture really is worth a thousand words for your referral base.

·      Automated reminders about exam specifics such as modality, types of studies, and imaging location to speed workflow.

·      Floating checklists of key report content based on modality and exam type.

·      Advanced editing functions such as drag and drop repositioning of phrases, and report availability on mobile devices for revisions on-the-fly.

·      Built-in Critical Findings workflow to ensure compliance, while allowing workflow to progress.

·      Physician portal for remote signing, editing and archiving. 

·      Automated routine sharing, including public, mentor-follower and explicit share.

·      Automated distribution to ensure reports reach their intended recipients quickly and efficiently.  Choose a system that caters to physician preference with delivery via email, fax, remote printing, referring physician portal and EMR interface.

·      Analytics to track productivity and eliminate bottlenecks in your workflow and radiology team.

·      Affordable transaction-based pricing.

Quite simply, if you depend on referrals, it’s smart to focus on your reporting and to cater to your referrers!  

Sep 12, 2014

The Customer Comes First

. . . Practicing Medicine with a Retailer’s Mindset – Part II

The rules of medicine have changed.  To remain successful, physicians must be concerned with not only quality-of-care but also the quality of the referrer and patient experience. Consider these strategies for leveraging technology to deliver an extra measure of customer service to your patients and referrers.

  • Use state-of-the-art voice recognition and reporting systems to ensure that your patient report is timely and easy-to-read. Choose a system that caters to physician preference with delivery via email, fax, remote printing and EMR interface.  Also, look for one offering automated critical results communications.
  • If your practice provides diagnostic testing, enable easy access to the full test results online, again possibly through a physician portal.
  • Online exam ordering or scheduling is a major convenience for referrers  and immediately locks in your new  patient relationships—avoiding patient shopping for other providers.
  • Take advantage of analytics technology to eliminate workflow bottlenecks, helping boost appointment time turnaround and avoid long office wait times as well as speeding referring physician reporting.
  • Make all patient forms available digitally for completion before an appointment—either through email or a patient portal.
  • Train your team to provide a pleasant patient interaction, from the first phone call to the time patients leave the office.
Also, while a physician contact management system delivers a real boost for referral marketing, you can also use it as a customer service tool. Automating periodic referrer and patient appreciation emails is essentially service with a smile, and a great way to keep your practice top of mind.

Join us next time for a detailed discussion on choosing a voice recognition and reporting platform to optimize interaction with your referring physicians. 

Sep 11, 2014

The Customer Comes First

. . . Practicing Medicine with a Retailer’s Mindset – Part I

The rules of medicine have changed.  To remain successful today, physicians must consider not only all-important quality-of-care but also the quality of the referrer and patient experience. For many, that’s a new mindset and an added challenge in an already difficult environment. Physicians have to learn to think like marketers and deliver added value and service. 

Drawing on our years of experience supporting not only the clinical but also the business aspects of medicine, IDS has seen many of these challenges up close and helped practices thrive in difficult business environments.

In our new blog series, The Customer Comes First, we draw on this background and offer insightful advice on how to rise above these challenges . . .  and the competition.  We invite you to return for our continuing series. Please enjoy…and prosper! 

Let’s be frank – It’s a new world in medicine.  Patients are playing an ever-increasing role in their own healthcare decisions, including choosing the specialists who treat them.  While most have insurance, some are paying with cash and even shopping around for pricing. 

Additionally, the doctors you depend on for referrals are also increasingly demanding. They clearly understand the value of their recommendations and expect you to cater to their needs and preferences, from a rapidly returned phone call to timely patient reports in the style and format of their choice.  They also expect their patients to receive high quality service—not only clinically but on a personal level as well.  The patient experience you deliver reflects both on your practice and on referrers, who in turn want to keep their customers happy. 

Granted, you have years of training, advanced equipment, IT technology and carefully devised workflows that keep your practice functioning effectively and efficiently.  But in today’s competitive environment, physicians would be wise to take a cue from the from the retail industry. Customer service is king—or at least gives you a strong competitive edge.  Today, Have it Your Way is more than just a slogan.  It’s an integral part of business . . . so make sure you hold the pickles and add the onions if that’s what the customer wants.

Of course, while catering to referrers and patients, you can still practice medicine with conviction, passion and for profit.  But making smart choices is key.  Technology can go a long way to boost your customer experience, from initial exam scheduling right through referrer reporting. And it can even help you manage your marketing to both physicians and patients.

This blog continues tomorrow, when we’ll provide a sampling  of the tactics we’ll cover in depth going forward as this series continues.