Make Your Patients Fall In Love With Your Practice: Part 1

Nowadays, technology provides a transparent channel for unsatisfied patients to easily share their experiences about their medical visits—anywhere and at any time. Whether they share it on, Twitter, Facebook, a blog, or an online forum, their unhappy impressions could bring negative consequences to the medical practice. Therefore it’s imperative to convert bad reviews into good ones to protect the practice in the long run.

Take a look at these statistics from and PWC:

  • 34% of patients are willing to switch physicians that offer a better patient experience
  • Patients are more likely to remember negative encounters than positive ones
  • Medical staff is the #1 contributor to patient satisfaction
  • 54% of patients are willing to go the ‘extra mile’ to share a positive and/or negative experience
  • 6 out of 10 patient experiences are likely to be remembered in the medical service industry compared to any other customer service industry

Is improving patient satisfaction a challenge you’re currently facing? Tune in to next week’s blog—Make Your Patients Fall In Love With Your Practice: Part 2—and learn the best ways to nurture your patient relationships.


A Trip Into Your Patients’ Future Doctor Visit

Most doctors haven’t appreciated their government-sponsored migration from paper charts to a clunky keyboard. The pointing and clicking is killing productivity in the name of data capture. But what if I told you that you can increase productivity by completely eliminating chart interaction?

I can easily imagine a not so distant future where your patients are automatically identified (facial recondition, RFID, etc.) and signed in as they walk into your office. A future where there’s no need to fill out forms because medical records will automatically be pulled from “the cloud” and displayed on a terminal in your exam room, while missing or outdated information is entered via a kiosk, a tablet/phone app, or text message.

This future office will even be capable of automatically collecting the majority of vitals. According to new MIT research, heart rate can be collected automatically by detecting the subtle changes in a person’s skin color. IEEEXplore claims height can be determined by computers that watch a patient walk around the waiting room, and fitbit proposes weight & BMI can easily be collected with pressure sensitive flooring or WiFi enabled scales. Any other vitals that require manual use of an instrument will have data automatically sent to your patient’s chart.

Furthermore, conversations with your patient will be transcribed on the fly using speech-to-text technology. Context sensitive parsers will organize the data into logical groups mining the care plan, prescription drugs, and other relevant data that comes up during the conversation. At the end of the visit, a physician will only need to quickly review the automatically captured data and approve it—generating prescriptions, clinical summary, insurance claims, and copay calculations at the same time.

Imagine that— a future with absolutely no patient charts left to manage. Once a pipe dream, today, it looks like we’re closer than you think!




Meaningful Use: Why It Matters For Patients

Meaningful use is difficult to understand, even for physicians. Its many measures have left doctors with questions like:

  • What regulations apply to my practice?
  • What is mandatory and what is optional?
  • At my practice, who is responsible for compliance?
  • How will meaningful use affect my workflow?

Another important question physicians should be considering is: How does meaningful use affect my patients?

The average patient may not have heard of meaningful use, but the regulations affect office visits, and physicians need to help patients understand the changes and what they mean. A patient may ask why his or her practice is requesting new information or what the summary received at the end of a visit means. If the practice uses ePrescribing, patients may wonder if prescriptions will really be sent to the pharmacy. Patients will also notice if a physician is typing during a visit rather than using a clipboard.

By being prepared, physicians can help patients see the benefits of change, while accomplishing the goals meaningful use aims to achieve.

What Practices Can Do

Focusing on the goals of meaningful use will help physicians convey its benefits to patients. Meaningful use was created to accomplish many things, including:

  • Engage patients in their own healthcare
  • Give patients more control of their healthcare
  • Share data between entities for patient convenience and safety

Physicians should answer patient questions with these benefits in mind. By showing patients what is available to them, physicians can get their patients excited about the direction healthcare is taking.

Stage 2’s patient portal requirements will make it even more vital for physicians to communicate the value of change to patients. Providing information during office visits and offering training sessions that teach patients how to use and benefit from the portal will promote appreciation for how meaningful use can improve the healthcare experience.

For more information on meaningful use, visit our online resource center.



Analyzing 2013 as the “Year of the Great EHR Vendor Switch”

Healthcare and Information Technology are two dynamic industries that directly impact providers on a daily basis. In this post, I would like to analyze some fascinating research and commentary from Healthcare IT authors that spend their lives deciphering flaws in the Healthcare Information Technology industry.

Susan Hall of FierceEMR believes 2013 could be the “Year of the Great EHR Vendor Switch” based on a recent Black Book Rankings report and she’s not the only one. The majority of high-volume specialists, such as orthopedists and ophthalmologists, also agree. Lack of feature development, poor implementations, and unresponsive client support are just a few of the main complaints plaguing nearly 17,000 EHRs users of hundreds, of HCIT firms. High-volume specialists reported that they are experiencing disrupted workflow, poor patient retention, and a drop in revenue.

She continues stating that “One-size-fits-all systems don’t fit many practices–especially those of specialists…” In the same report, high-revenue specialists were among the 79% of the 17,000 EHR users surveyed who conceded that their existing EHR was purchased without fully analyzing the practice’s needs.

Doug Brown of Black Book reasons that “the high performance vendors that will emerge as viable past 2015 are those dedicating responsive teams to address customers’ current demands.” He continues saying that the top three compelling reasons for practices to consider switching from their current EMR are:

  1. Solution does not meet the individual needs of this practice, including workflow (80%)
  2. Practice did not adequately assess our needs before selecting the original EHR (79%)
  3. Design of solution is not suited for their practice specialty/specialties (77%)

He also presents that the top three “must haves” in 2013 beyond basic EHR functionality are:

  1. Vendor viability (84%)
  2. Provider data integration and network data sharing (83%)
  3. Demonstrable return on investment and clinical improvements (78%)

From this data, we can conclude that an EHR Revolution has indeed begun. This is the time for high-volume specialists to find the right Healthcare IT partner. Critical analysis of the EHR’s ability to align with their practice’s objectives is crucial as government incentives and penalties evolve over time.



Blogging for Medical Practices—6 Simple Steps to Success

Blogging has become a popular and widely used social instrument for sharing thoughts, making a statement, and documenting our lives. But few practices may know that blogging can be a very useful channel for marketing a medical practice. Here’s why it’s important.

In my opinion, company blogs have many benefits: a major one is the increase in brand awareness. Think of a blog as giving personality to your brand, or a face that will help differentiate your practice from the competition. Having a blog can also create links between your site and search engines that in turn creates practice visibility.

A blog can be used to educate readers and promote the thought leadership of your practice. Have I convinced you to start blogging? Good, let’s get you started! Here are 6 steps to a successful blog:

  1. Don’t directly talk about your practice—readers aren’t interested in reading about your latest office party because it won’t help them on a day-to-day basis. Remember, a blog is for educating people, not selling them. For example, if you are an Ophthalmologist you can focus your blog on related research and day to day tips for patients as opposed to writing about treatment pricing for your office.
  2. Always respond to comments—Responding to comments is important because it builds relationships with current and potential patients—this can lead to new patients and higher patient retention.  Comments also add value and content to your posts which keeps readers engaged. As your blog receives more comments search engines will pick up on new terms and phrases increasing the likelihood of showing up in popular search results.
  3. Add Social Media buttons—remember to always have visible buttons directing to your practice’s social media sites. This allows readers to easily tweet and like your posts which can lead to an increased number of readers.
  4. Write frequently—posting new blogs on a frequent and structured schedule is important to building a following and retaining readers. If you post sporadically and rarely, it will discourage any readers from becoming loyal followers.
  5. Use images and videos—posts that have pictures and videos draw in readers and make your page more appealing and interactive.
  6. Create inviting titles — the titles of your blog posts are like your waiting room: if it’s dull and dingy no patients will want to visit. Now, if the waiting room is bright and inviting, patients will be more willing to come inside.  I recommend that your titles explain the blog post, be relevant to your readers, and include popular key words which will increase your search engine ranking. A good tool to find highly ranked keywords is Google AdWords.

Now that you have some key rules to building a successful blog it is time to gather some content and reach out to readers. Remember to have fun with your blog and always keep the reader in mind.