There are three categories of bottlenecks which directly impact both the time taken to solve a patient's problem and your practice's profitability. Inter-office communication bottlenecks occur when we're interacting with another office: requesting consultation appointments with a specialist or requesting diagnostic tests or procedures with a facility, exchanging referral request letters/requisitions and consult/test reports and following up on consultations, tests and procedures. There are three sources of inter-office inefficiencies which create time delays. First, mismatch between office communication technologies. Paper fax, email, efax and paper mail don't 'talk' directly to each other. Second, inefficiencies inherent in each of these outdated technologies, particularly those that require paper anywhere in the process. Third: human error. People forget, or misplace.
Intra-office bottlenecks occur when we're interacting directly with patients. There are three sources of inefficiencies that affect how quickly patients see you. First, inefficient patient flow design. This can occur at any stage of the request-fulfillment cycle: triaging the appointment request, conveying the appointment information to the referring doctor and to the patient, reminding the patient of the appointment, patient intake, presenting problem & history documentation, testing and follow-up appointment creation, orchestrating a secondary referral or a procedure, obtaining the referral report, discussing the report with the consultant and then with the patient. Each of these steps involves a distinct process which should be optimized. Second, non-optimal use of staff time. This occurs when excessive time is spent performing repetitive, tedious tasks, many of which are mechanical in nature, generated by the outdated equipment mentioned above. Telephone-based appointment-making and reminders are an inefficiency category in its own right. Third, distractions. When you were watching the above video, did you find the floating "Imagine" text somewhat distracting? This is analogous to how just one phone, fax, copier, shredder, email or paper mail chore can disrupt your staff's focus.
Situational bottlenecks occur when we require our own long term patients to interact in person, face-to-face, within the traditional office environment, for every clinical encounter, including minor problem visits, some follow-up visits, the patient's request for test results, advice, information or letters to third parties by the patient. Situational bottlenecks are inevitable - in the absence of proper triaging - when patients are referred to specialists and when they're referred for diagnostic tests or procedures, because a finite number of referred patients can be accommodated in a day. As waiting lists expand and the government cuts more and more insured services, patients and their health care providers realize that cost/benefit analyses of proposed referrals are necessary. In many cases they lack the resources to do so.
The ConsultSTAT Platform was designed by a dual primary care/consultant physician-Lean Office Process team specifically to optimize health care communication by seamlessly incorporating efficient patient flow processes and minimizing staff distractions and inefficiencies... and to do this in a way which makes everyone's job more pleasurable and rewarding.
The Platform's three unique innovations that solve these problems comprise: (1) replacing multiple, cumbersome technologies and machinery with one online, unified, instant communication technology that you and your staff are already comfortable using; (2) incorporating Lean Office Process principles into all Portal workflows for maximal efficiency and economy and (3) telemedicine-enabling the Portals to permit you to conduct revenue-generating eVisits/eConsults in lieu of office visits and to participate in eConfers with specialists and with diagnostic test/procedure medical directors both to receive an opinion about the need for and the urgency of an office consultation/test/procedure and to receive alternative (less expensive, quicker and/or more effective) or bridging diagnostic/therapeutic patient management suggestions.
Combining the appointment scheduling-fulfillment functions of your Portal with the Platform's additional four telemedicine features will quickly transform your staff into expert Health Communication Managers and free your practice from costly process bottlenecks.
Please share this series with the specialists to whom you refer, so they too can...