For most clinics, payment collection is a critical issue. If the payment collection process takes too long or is too complex, it can easily result in missed payments—reducing the clinic’s income. Even if all other aspects of your orthopaedic practice are operating flawlessly, if your payment collection slips, then the practice as a whole may suffer.
Here’s an all-too-common scenario for doctors in an orthopaedic practice: It’s 8:00 pm on Friday night, and you’re stuck in your home office filling out paperwork. As a matter of fact, you’ve just had to cancel dinner plans with the spouse for the fifth time in the last two months because if you don’t get this paperwork done, your clinic won’t be able to get paid for the services you’ve rendered—and payday is coming up next week for your staff.
Physician stress and burnout is a critical issue for many orthopaedic clinics. In fact, according to a study featured in the US National Library of Medicine (NLM), “Of the 1,792 physician respondents (43% response rate), 26% reported burnout.” This means that more than one in four care providers is experiencing stress on a level that may drive them to retire early or look for a new career. So, naturally, there are numerous “physician burnout resources” being created to help address the issue.
Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software are supposed to make managing patient data faster, easier, and more accurate than the old hardcopy records systems medical practices used to rely on. However, many orthopaedic surgeons and practice managers seem to have problems with EHR systems—running into recurring issues that cause delays and impact the quality of care that they can provide their patients. This is part of the reason why organizations such as Software Advice created their EHR Buyer’s Guide to help healthcare facilities choose the right EHR system for their needs.
In the operating room, doctors need to have accurate and reliable patient data if they are going to provide optimal care. For orthopaedic practices, this often means having access to the latest information from the patient’s chart as well as their most recent x-ray, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies. These medical studies provide crucial information for orthopaedic surgeries and play a key role in improving operating room efficiency.
It is a well-known stereotype that many doctors—especially older ones who were trained in traditional record-keeping and patient charting methods—do not like to use complicated software such as Electronic Health Record (EHR) solutions.
Payment collection is a key issue for any healthcare facility. However, a major part of effectively collecting payment for medical services is applying the appropriate Evaluation and Management (Office Visit) medical billing codes for each patient visit.
For a busy orthopaedic doctor, there never seems to be enough time in the day to do everything they need to do. A busy general practitioner might see 10-15 patients in a day—a busy orthopaedic specialist might see 60-80 patients in a single day. If the paperwork to process each one only took 5 minutes, that would still be roughly five to six and a half hours of paperwork on top of the time spent helping patients.