Digital Workflow

by Larry Emmott on April 18, 2011

in e-Services,Management,Paperless

The internet means that many time-consuming forms of white-collar drudgery have disappeared,

The quote comes from the Seth Godin blog linked below. I thought it was important because it reflects a truth that is often lost or misunderstood. Technology, good technology, frees us from mundane busy work jobs and allows us more time for relationships and creativity.

In the past when our office data was on paper or film or even a plaster model, it (the data) could only be in one place at a time and moving it from place to place was time consuming and relatively expensive. There was only one paper appointment book, only one paper chart. If one of the pieces is missing, say the chart is lost in a stack on the doctor’s desk the functions of the office stop.

When we switch to electronic records we gather digital data (the patient’s name, their insurance carrier and their next appointment) simply as a byproduct of doing business with a computer.

Once this is gathered it is accessible to a computer in your office or in the cloud. It can be used automatically with no additional involvement of a human being.

For example; your office computer has the digital information. That is a patient name, an appointment date, a scheduled treatment, the insurer and plan number. An e-service extracts the pertinent information from your local computer, contacts the appropriate insurance computer through the Internet and extracts the pertinent data from the insurance computer. That is; is this patient covered for this treatment and what is the coverage?

The e-service will then go back to your local office computer and download the information sometimes even going so far as to insert the data in the proper charts and appointments. So every day you can look ahead to the next day and know who and what is covered with no staff time, 800 numbers or muzak.

The team members are now free to interact with patients, one on one, building a strong relationship based practice. What allows them to build these relationships is technology and the Internet using e-services. Rather than being impersonal and dehumanizing (as it is often portrayed) good technology and e-services actually strengthen relationship.

For an example of e-services used to check eligibility and other tedious front desk tasks check out Dentrix e-services.

via Seth’s Blog.

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