“But we’ve always done it this way before….”
Sometimes called “the seven most expensive words in business”, this phrase is one that seems to be the chief operating philosophy of many organizations, including the business side of your medical practice. At its root is the general fear of change and the comfort we all seem to take from familiar things. The other phrase you might hear related to this same idea is the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” line, which again is about not making changes because things are “good enough”. Of course the problem with these mindsets is there are binary – either something is fine/working or it is a complete disaster/broken. The truth is much more nuanced.
Take the business side of running your medical practice. You are making appointments, seeing patients, sending out claims, depositing insurance checks, doing follow up, billing patients, giving financial reports to the doctor and have been doing those tasks for years. Your practice is still in business, so clearly whatever you are doing isn’t broken right? The actual answer is most likely a resounding “maybe”.
Yes, you are making appointments, but how often do patients miss their appointments and available time on your doctor’s scheduled goes unused? Or how long does a patient typically have to sit in the waiting room before the doctor sees them (or complains to the front desk staff and storms out)? How often do elderly patients need help filling out paperwork for ten minutes just to get checked in? What percent of your copayments are being collected at the check in window? How many claims are getting rejected due to insurance coverage changes? What are your most common reasons for insurance denials? What incentive programs are you not taking advantage of? What process are you still doing today the exact same way you were doing a decade ago?
Improving how efficiently your medical practice operates is not a simply manner of “this works or it doesn’t” but rather a scale of effectiveness. Just as there are constant innovations in both medical procedures and new medications to treat the same medical problems people have, the business side of a practice should also always be on the lookout for new tools and strategies they can utilize to make their operations better. And perhaps the best way to do that in today’s world is by better utilizing newer technology.
One of our primary goals here at Antworks is to help practices better understand and utilize technology to improve their business operations. There are so many more tools and strategies that are possible today that simply didn’t exist 7, 5, or even a scant 2 years ago that odds are quite high you aren’t taking full advantage of things that would make your life easier … because you don’t know they exist! Technology is our business, and it is a fast-paced, ever changing world. If you are still using the same Practice Management system and tools that you have had for 5+ years, we would love to do a system review with you to help identify ways to better utilize the technologies available today, and to show you where it can take you tomorrow.
I’ll leave you with one last quote: “Change is scary, but not as scary as staying the same forever….” – Ms Moem
- Mark Sangston, Sr. Training and Implementation Specialist