Key Takeaways from the 2019 AAOS Annual Meeting

April 22, 2019


Every year, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) holds a major conference for its members (and exhibitors) to meet, catch up on the latest industry trends, share information, and present new techniques and technologies.

The 2019 AAOS Annual Meeting was one of the largest orthopaedic conferences of the year. With over 1600 attendees and 120 exhibitors, this year’s conference was definitely one worth seeing. However, for those orthopaedic surgeons who couldn’t make it to the AAOS annual meeting, here are a few highlights:

Orthopaedic Surgeons and Admins Strongly Interested in Consolidating Software

One of the hot-button topics at this meeting (and other orthopaedic conferences in 2019) was the issue of consolidating software for the orthopaedic practice. Many of the orthopaedic surgeons at AAOS expressed concerns about logging in and out of different software platforms to get all of a patient’s data so they could provide safe and effective care.

For example, one clinic might have the physician and their assistants using different software platforms for:

  • Displaying the patient chart;
  • Capturing faxed patient information;
  • Setting up billing codes for the visit;
  • Processing charge capture requests; and
  • Handling patient sign-in.

This creates problems as each new third-party solution tries to integrate with the others. In the best case scenario, using different third-party software integrations adds mouse clicks and processing time to an already complicated task—making paperwork processing take so much time, doctors often spend more time processing paperwork than they do seeing patients. In the worst-case scenario, these integrations may fail and prevent orthopaedic physicians from being able to collect critical patient data, bill patients accurately, or help patients in a timely manner.

So, simplifying clinic workflows by consolidating multiple functions into a single software platform that doesn’t rely on unstable third-party integrations is a key concern for many physicians.

Improving Collections at Point of Care Another Focus for Orthopaedic Surgeons

Another key concern expressed by orthopaedic surgeons at AAOS 2019 was the collection of payment at the point of care. Like any business, orthopaedic practices need to have a healthy cash flow. However, physicians are constantly having their reimbursements squeezed by government regulations, health insurance providers making complicated rules for submitting charges, and even the forgetfulness of patients. This strangles cash flow for orthopaedic clinics, which makes it difficult to keep the practice open.

So, it’s only natural for many of the orthopaedic surgeons at the 2019 AAOS annual meeting to be concerned with improving collections at the point of care.

The Phoenix Kiosk and iPHax Showcase at the 2019 AAOS Annual Meeting

When Phoenix Ortho attended the 2019 AAOS annual meeting alongside Cheyenne Brinson, a leading practice management consultant and instructor at KarenZupko & Associates (KZA), one of the key focuses was on how the Phoenix Kiosk and iPHax AI solutions could help orthopaedic surgeons save time, improve patient satisfaction, and improve collection at the point of care.

At the AAOS conference booth, the Phoenix Ortho team showcased the Phoenix Kiosk solution’s ability to:

  • Eliminate Front Office Paperwork Bottlenecks. Normally, when patients check in at the front office, they’re handed a clipboard with multiple pages of information to fill out and disclaimers to sign. Once completed, the staff have to manually review these documents for potential errors and manually scan (or type) them into the practice’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) system—a process that takes considerable time and labor which delays delivery of care. Phoenix Kiosk makes this process electronic and automatically forwards the data the patient enters to the patient’s chart in the Phoenix Ortho EHR. Both systems are part of the same platform, so there’s no worry about compatibility or having to use a custom integration. Phoenix Kiosk even checks for required form fills and errors, saving even more time on checking paperwork.
  • Process Patient Payments. The Phoenix Kiosk has a built-in payment collection solution that allows patients to process their copays, outstanding balances, or installment plans right in the Phoenix Kiosk solution. An all-new Kiosk Dashboard provides orthopaedic surgeons and office admins with an overview of patient check-in progress and the status of any outstanding balances the patient may have.
  • Improve Patient Satisfaction. The use of Phoenix Kiosk can massively reduce the time it takes to process patient paperwork. This, in turn, helps to shorten patient wait times so they can get from the lobby to the exam room faster. By reducing wait times, orthopaedic practices can improve their patient satisfaction rates.

In addition to showcasing Phoenix Kiosk, the team at the 2019 AAOS annual meeting introduced orthopaedic surgeons to Phoenix Ortho’s new iPHax AI (inbound Fax Automation Intelligence) solution. This fax management solution scans and analyzes incoming efaxes for pertinent data (patient name, date of birth, originating entity, etc.), extracts that data, and then automatically associates that information with a patient chart in the Phoenix Ortho EHR, eliminating the need for front office staff to manually and painstakingly process incoming efaxes.

If a patient doesn’t have a chart in the EHR yet, data from the fax will be inserted into an “unknown” folder that can be easily merged with the patient’s chart once the patient is registered in the Phoenix Ortho EHR. Junk faxes and spam are sent to a special folder to save even more staff time.This iPhax AI solution was built for Phoenix Ortho’s EHR specifically to save FTEs and streamline processes in high volume orthopaedic practices..

These two solutions help clinics save a lot of time and prevent critical errors which would take hours to resolve. This helps orthopaedic surgeons save labor costs and spend less time filling out paperwork so they can focus on providing care—and go home on time without worrying about spending all night playing catch-up.

Try out Phoenix Ortho’s custom-built EHR solution by requesting a demo today!

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