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Monthly Archives: February 2016

Reduce No-Shows With a Patient Appointment Reminder System

appointment reminderEstimates suggest that practices lose up to 14% of their annual income due to missed appointments, or “patient no-shows,” every year.  Patients who fail to arrive at their scheduled appointment reduce practice revenues and place an unneeded burden on admin staff.

A patient appointment reminder system can improve no-show rates and increase a practice’s overall profitability and efficiency. In fact, a 2010 study in the American Journal of Medicine found that the no-show rate dropped by 10% when an appointment reminder system was in place. Moreover, studies investigating no-show rates from a patient’s perspective found that many times, they just do not understand the scheduling system. These and other studies underscore the importance of selecting an effective electronic medical record (EMR) that includes evidence-based patient appointment scheduling software.

With such a large percentage of their revenue at stake, healthcare providers need to vigilantly monitor missed appointments, especially those offering services with notoriously high no-show rates including physical therapy, cardiology, chiropractic, and pain management. Choosing an EMR with a fully integrated alert and reminders system enables healthcare providers to improve preventive care efforts, increase practice productivity, provide better patient care, and increase annual revenue.

Why certain specialties may have a greater need for appointment reminder software

Physical therapy centers are well-known for having high frequencies of recurring appointments.  Similarly, providers offering musculoskeletal and rehabilitative services should consider a physical medicine EMR that includes scheduling software and an appointment reminder system in order to reduce this financial risk.

Pain management is another specialty that requires frequent follow-up appointments and faces a high number of no-shows.  Similarly, cardiology clinics tend to require a high number of tests in succession, many of which cannot be performed at the same appointment.  In general, the more appointments a specialty requires of a single patient, the higher profit loss they face due to patient forgetfulness.

Patient no-shows are troubling for chiropractors as well, with some practitioners reporting up to 12 missed appointments per week. Chiropractors should seek out appointment reminder solutions tailored to their specific needs and included in their Chiropractic EMR.

Selecting an effective EMR with built-in appoint scheduling and patient reminder software allows healthcare providers to spending less time worrying about their no-show rates and more time focusing on their patients.  For more information about choosing the best EMR to reduce missed appointments, contact us online or call us at (480) 782-1116.

Join 1st Providers Choice at AAPM’s 32nd Annual Meeting

American Academy of Pain Medicine1st Providers Choice is excited to announce that we will be attending the American Academy of Pain Medicine’s (AAPM) 32nd Annual Meeting. We look forward to joining over 1,000 pain medicine professionals this year in the beautiful Palm Springs, California.

This year, pain medicine professionals will hear from renowned speakers and have the opportunity to earn up to 34.5 continuing education credits. Educational sessions will cover ultrasonography and medication management, and primary care providers will have the chance to attend a special program called Essential Tools for Treating the Patient in Pain. The exhibit hall will be full of hustle and bustle as well, packed with over 160 scientific posters and 100 vendors.

Amid all the excitement, 1st Providers Choice will be at booth 214 exhibiting our specialized Pain Management EMR. We developed and designed this software in collaboration with experts in the field of pain medicine. Our EMR is tailored to the unique needs of pain management professionals with specialized templates, care plans, and patient education. It also includes providers to safely and securely e-prescribe controlled substances.

Our Pain Management EMR includes these additional features:

  • Quick documentation with built-in pain management templates;
  • Kiosk features for patients to check-in to their appointment on their own;
  • E-prescribing with dosing, allergy, drug interaction checks;
  • Sleep medicine specific patient education;
  • Preauthorization and referral tracking;
  • Bar coded ID cards;
  • Lab ordering and tracking; and
  • Document and image organization.

We are proud and honored to join you next week in beautiful Palm Springs. Between educational sessions and your much-deserved relaxation, please visit us at booth 214 for a free demo of our Pain Management EMR. We can show you are unique features and demonstrate how they save time and improve patient care. To learn more about the conference, visit the AAPM website or contact us at 480-782 -1116.

Join 1st Providers Choice at the Sleep Medicine Trends 2016

sleep medicine emr software1st Providers Choice is proud to announce that we are attending the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s (AASM) Sleep Trends 2016 conference! We look forward to joining over 400 sleep medicine professionals at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak resort in Phoenix, Arizona.

This year promises to be unlike any before. The AASM will be unveiling their pediatric medicine education track and the debuting their interactive simulation labs for attendees. Participants will have the opportunity to earn 19.5 continued education credits while hearing from experts in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of sleep disorders. The exhibit hall will also be full of excitement and bustling with leading sleep medicine vendors.

1st Providers Choice will be exhibiting our fully certified Sleep Medicine EMR software. Sleep medicine is a medical specialty with distinct technology needs. We designed our Sleep Medicine EMR in collaboration with experts in this field to ensure a comprehensive solution. Our EMR includes built-in sleep studies, templates, care plan, patient education, and even more features tailored to your needs.

Our Sleep Medicine EMR includes the following features:

  • Quick documentation with built-in sleep medicine templates;
  • Kiosk features for patients to check-in to their appointment on their own;
  • E-prescribing with dosing, allergy, drug interaction checks;
  • Sleep medicine specific patient education;
  • Preauthorization and referral tracking;
  • Bar coded ID cards;
  • Lab ordering and tracking; and
  • Document and image organization.

We certainly look forward to the warm weather awaiting us in Phoenix this year at Sleep Trends 2016. Amid all the excitement, please stop by our booth in the exhibit hall for a free demo of our Sleep Medicine EMR, and we will demonstrate how our software can streamline your workflow and improve patient care. To learn more about the conference, visit the AASM website or contact us at 480-782-1116.

Streamlining Workflow with Multi-Specialty EMR Software

multi-specialty ehrMulti-specialty group practices are comprised of healthcare providers from a variety of backgrounds and expertise. Following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, more primary care offices are integrating with mental health centers to offer a more holistic treatment approach.

While multi-specialty practices like this are known to improve patient satisfaction and enhance interprofessional collaboration, they also make choosing an appropriate electronic medical record system (EMR) difficult.

Generally, it’s advisable for group practices to choose one multi-specialty EMR as opposed to several single-specialty EMRs. Multi-specialty electronic medical records software is designed to address common issues faced by practices whose medical staff fall under different specialties. The systems are designed to streamline workflow by:

  • Decreasing data entry errors;
  • Reducing administrative tasks;
  • Improving patient medical record security;
  • Offering better patient care;
  • Retrieving patient records swiftly; and
  • Creating simple but thorough backups of data.

Key features to look for when choosing a multi-specialty system

Multi-specialty EMRs are effective only if they include certain software features. When selecting this type of EMR, healthcare providers should look for customizability and integration with a multi-specialty patient portal in addition to the standard EMR features (like medical record security, appointment scheduling, and excellent technical support services).

EMRs designed for multi-specialty practices should be highly flexible, and able to address the unique needs of multiple providers. Data should be easily accessible by all authorized users and automatically pulled from relevant sources and pre-populated where appropriate.

Look for a system with pre-installed billing codes, templates, letters, and patient forms geared toward the specialties that you need. Another great feature would be multi-specialty care plans that automatically generate patient education handouts based on different clinical diagnoses or conditions.

Integration with a multi-specialty patient portal enables patients to access their treatment plan and take a more active role in their healthcare. Typically, these patient portals allow patients to view their visit summaries or lab results as well as request medication refills. Research has demonstrated that these portals increase both patient satisfaction and loyalty to a particular practice.

Selecting an effective  multi-specialty EMR with the best features allows healthcare providers to streamline their workflow and spend more time with their patients. For more information about choosing the best multi-specialty EMR, contact us online or call us at (480) 782-1116.

5 Ways a Patient Portal Can Help Your Practice Grow

patient portalThere is a demand in the healthcare industry for practices to keep up with the on-the-go lifestyles of their patients while simultaneously communicating the importance of making time for their health. Many healthcare organizations have turned to a patient portal, which is a secure online environment that allows patients to access their medical records and contact with their healthcare providers.

Below we highlight five benefits that both patients and practices can get from using a patient portal:

1. Patient portals save practices time and money.

Patient portals streamline several systems into quicker and more efficient processes. For example, live online appointment scheduling reduces time-consuming expensive phone calls and allows office staff to more productively allocate their time. A portal also allows patients to view lab and test results online as soon as they are available, and decreases a practice’s printing and mailing costs for the results, which can quickly add up.

2. Patient portals foster an environment of constant, purposeful communication between doctor and patient.

Thorough communication is essential for patient progress. With the patient portal messaging feature, patients can directly contact their doctor and receive a faster response to their questions, ultimately avoiding unnecessary office visits. Further, office staff can send email or SMS text message reminders to patients to notify them of upcoming or suggested appointments. For example, a gynecology patient portal can send reminders to female patients to schedule their annual mammogram encouraging higher patient engagement.

3. Patient portals increase the likelihood of a healthier outcome for the patient.

Patients who feel more empowered are more likely to make healthier choices, experience higher levels of satisfaction, and recommend their doctor or practice to a friend. Patient portals can provide their patients with educational materials, such as brief descriptions of videos, tailored to their specific conditions or health concerns.

Doctors can also use the care plan modules to encourage patients to make healthier decisions. For example, a cardiology patient portal can create a heart health care plan and send patients email reminders to complete To Do list items such as logging their weight in the mornings and exercising for 30 minutes daily.

4. Patient portals help practices meet Meaningful Use requirements.

Practices implementing an EMR system with the intention of attesting to Meaningful Use should consider whether a portal could help them meet Stage 1 and 2 requirements.  Successfully meeting these requirements means that the practice can qualify for federal funding to offset the cost of their EMR.

5. Patient Portals keep all conversations between a patient and his/her doctor HIPAA compliant.

HIPAA regulations forbid doctors and patients from sending ePHI (electronic protected health information) via email or text message.  This includes not only medical records, but any references to the patient’s medical conditions or treatments, however informal or vague.  

Messaging through a secure patient portal is a great solution for practices that want to allow patients to communicate with their doctor online.  Using a portal for doctor-patient messaging allows medical practices to implement the technology that their customer base is used to without violating HIPAA.

What Are Your Goals?

Ultimately, practices should reflect on their organizational goals to determine whether or not a patient portal would be beneficial for their agenda.  But with healthcare shifting more and more toward electronic methods of communication, implementing a portal is one way to adapt to the changing model of healthcare and encourage a healthier patient base.