Improving clinical workflows at an orthopedic clinic is a challenge for most offices, especially as technologies evolve around HIPAA regulations. But outdated practices and inefficiencies don’t have to slow your orthopedic practice down.
There are many ways to eliminate manual and repetitive tasks that eat up your time. Improving your practice management practices and workflows can help you save more time and spend it with your patients and deliver the care they need.
Common Time Wasters in Orthopedic Clinics
If you don’t have the right software or are doing a lot of tasks manually, then your office may be seeing longer wait times for patients. Some common time wasters in orthopedic practice include:
- Paperwork from patient visits. Did you know that 32% of doctors spend at least 20 hours per week on paperwork and administrative tasks? Paperwork can be a major time suck that fills in the time between patient visits.
- Errors in manual data entry. While human error is normal, it is only amplified in fast-paced, high-stress environments. Combine that with mountains of patient paperwork, and it’s easy for mistakes to be made when data entry happens manually.
- Patient no-shows. If you’re waiting for a no-show, it takes away time that could have been spent administering care. This happens when patients are not engaged, either with your clinic specifically or with their healthcare in general.
- Claims rejections. If an insurance claim is rejected, it not only takes up time trying to determine if the billing codes were wrong or if something else happened, but it also lowers your ROI. Working with an integrated clearinghouse prior to submission can help to prevent claims rejections.
- Pending approvals. Dealing with insurance on approval for orthopedic surgery and care can take up a great deal of time, even delaying patient care if their insurance rejects something that should be covered. Having a one-click eligibility check that you can use before the patient visit can help prevent delays of approvals.
While many of these tasks are unavoidable (like handling patient paperwork), they can be improved with technology and modern practices.
5 Tips for Saving Time in Your Clinical Workflows
If you’re interested in saving time with your orthopedic practice management, try implementing these practices.
Add Telemedicine To Your Service Offerings
Telemedicine is when you use telecommunications, like video calls, to offer patient care. A telecommunications visit should work no differently than an in-person visit would, and are ideal for situations like patient follow-ups. Telemedicine can eliminate barriers to care for many patients, which can help reduce no-shows.
Update Your Communications Systems
Communication channels like fax machines and pagers may be slowing you down. And while voicemail and email are still beneficial, especially for less tech-savvy patients, your team should consider implementing secure HIPAA-compliant messaging systems.
A patient portal can help your clinic save time by getting in touch with patients faster. Patient portals often include secure messaging platforms so patients can instantly get in touch with their clinicians. Your team will be able to manage more patients faster this way, too, with secure communications to your patient's primary care physicians instead of using slow fax machines.
Gather Patient Information in Advance
If you’re wondering how to save time on paperwork, try updating your patient intake forms and even digitizing them. Patient intake forms should be detailed and thorough since patients will be able to provide most of the information that you need in advance. This way, you don’t need to spend as much time during their visits filling out paperwork—just the necessities.
A great way to do this is by offering the patient intake form online. You can send this to your patients in advance via the patient portal, text message, or email and instruct them to fill it out ahead of their visit.
Save Time With AI
Some health care practices are adopting artificial intelligence (AI) to help with the clinical workflow process. AI can review digital paperwork and documentation and extract the information you need, so that way, you don’t need to manually comb through every last detail.
Inbound fax management AI solutions can even help sort information from faxes and associate it with the appropriate patient chart to further save time on paperwork management.
Optimize Your Workflows with Orthopedic Software
Electronic Health Records (EHR) and other software solutions can be safe and secure ways of storing and accessing patient health files. They’re available at any time and make it easier for patients to access their health records and communicate with their orthopedic doctors. EHR also minimizes healthcare costs and increases patient engagement.
With the right orthopedic software platform, you can even make delegating tasks to others in your practice faster and easier. For example, a surgeon could set up a task to have a nurse or assistant perform a pre-op evaluation and upload the data to the orthopedic software—making it available to the surgeon without them having to lift a finger themselves.
Start Saving Time with Phoenix Ortho Now!
While EHRs are a great solution, as an orthopedic organization, you have specific needs that might not be included in multidisciplinary EHRs. This can result in wasting even more time, which defeats the purpose of EHRs.
At Phoenix Ortho, we offer a comprehensive solution for orthopedic practice management. With our holistic platform of solutions, orthopedic surgeons can save time and focus more on their patients. If you're experiencing bottlenecks and find yourself spending too much time trying to log in to systems that prevent you from working to your full potential, then Phoenix Ortho can help.
Our platform for orthopedic clinics include forms specific to orthopedic care, an integrated practice management solution, a kiosk engagement app for patients, and more. See how we can help with a free demo.