While the healthcare space is quite profitable today, its potential to generate consistent revenue relies on appropriate administrative methods and improved finance management. Clinics often ignore the rate at which the operating costs may rise and this is likely to put pressure on the staff to manage more than they can handle. Infact, the challenges that these organizations may face lie in an entirely different realm of possibilities, thus leading to massive revenue losses over time.
Where most medical practitioners chase the bottom line of avoiding revenue losses, they are misled by the old ways of administrative clinic management. This means that doctors may sometimes fail to address the factors that truly cause revenue losses.
1. Lack of Workflow Automation:
Automated clinical workflows achieved by the installation of a Practice Management Software have become the norm in recent years. Every clinic must have an automation solution that assists in delivering better and faster healthcare that allows doctors to handle appointments, clinical workflows, and patient engagement and data at the click of a button.
These automated workflows are designed to adapt to the doctors style of practice and identify patterns in consultations & appointments by providing suggestions as the doctors work. This makes the consultation process, patient history evaluation, diagnostics, reporting and prescribing medication cumulatively faster.
The lack of such a digital workflow automation would make the practice less productive and therefore rake in less money. When most of a doctor’s time is spent in retrieving patient history from a filing cabinet or in the re-evaluation of a returning patient’s illness using paper records, there is a lot of money lost along with the time spent on tedious activities. Not only is this counterintuitive to running a practice; patient loyalty takes a massive hit and can dent the reputation of the business.
2. Incorrect billing practices:
Incorrect billing can severely affect the bottom line of a practice. In a manner of sorts, this can be attributed to a lack of productivity or a burden on the receptionist to handle damage control every time a procedure or service is erroneously charged for.
It leads to administrative staff letting go of more practical tasks at hand and spending time fixing the time-consuming errors while responding to grievances from patients. This leaves a bitter impression on the staff as well as prospective returning patients and can in extreme cases lead to legal trouble.
For example, if a patient is charged for a procedure he didn’t request, it can be viewed as a fraudulent practice. Similarly, if a patient is not charged for a treatment that he availed, it is a monetary loss for the practice.
3. Lack of Online bookings and Automated Patient Registrations:
The online consultation and appointment booking space has been completely digitized as of today. There is even a deviation in the old trend of having to book an appointment by making calls. This is primarily due to the increased pace at which treatment is delivered and the immediacy that patients require to book an appointment.
A practice management software can today offer completely online appointment options for patients by allowing them to choose an available slot as per the clinic’s schedule and convenience. Healthcare is an industry which runs on the urgency of the service provided. So making it efficient and effortless for both the patients and clinicians is necessary. Lack of automation that enables online booking management can lead to an image of complacency and therefore lead to a reduced inflow of patients.
Software vendors therefore offer doctors a proprietary mobile application with the clinic management software that allows doctors to engage with patients from anywhere and at any time. They also offer an application made specifically for patients to help with consultations more urgently. When patients receive the acknowledgement of a doctor within time, it boosts patient satisfaction and loyalty.
When the going gets tough… practices may recruit more employees to micromanage each and every aspect of the clinic. While the initial impressions may lead to higher patient satisfaction scores and increased staff morale, over time this trend may become very expensive for the practice.
With having to pay excess to hired staff, revenue generated may be constant but the expenditure may increase. This tips the scales negatively and affects the bottom line. Automating the practice with a clinic management software is the best solution to have menial tasks be automated using AI algorithms and the priority work be taken up with worthy and efficient staff members. This reduces labor costs and improves ROI.
5. Petty Thefts and Inventory Mismanagement:
Pilferages and petty theft can be detrimental to a practice. It’s one of the few instances where having a ‘once bitten, twice shy’ attitude will be profitable and help re-evaluate employee reservation and termination statuses.
Whether it is a syringe, a vial or even rubbing alcohol, you need to make it clear to your staff that any kind of theft is grounds for termination and a criminal offence. It’s always good to keep the bigger picture in mind while taking administrative decisions such as this. In the long run, any staff member who resorts to stealing can cause a hole in the revenue generated which cannot be recovered.
Inventory mismanagement and miscalculations in the finances allotted for inventory costs can also lead to severe financial downfalls. Since clinical inventory is expensive and must be reported upon usage or depletion. The best way to avoid such mishaps is to ensure the presence of an inventory management module within the practice management software that your clinic relies on. It helps get in-depth reports and analysis of daily operations, inventory used or purchased and spends/profits and losses incurred on the above.
It’s surprising how one seemingly tiny loophole can cause a ripple effect and perpetually uproot a practice due to mismanagement of resources, time and financial negligence. These problems are easily avoided with the latest offering in telemedicine and assistive technology of the same caliber. It’s always good to have a practice management system that is tailored to your requirements and can increase revenue in a carefree manner.