Advancements & Innovations in Urology
If you had told your great grandfather’s urologist that the future of urology would include robotics to help perform surgeries and 3D printing to assist with training, he probably would have asked you what robotics even is…and then found it unimaginable. The advances in urology over the last few years have been staggering, with new technology in diagnostics, brachytherapy, pelvic reconstructive surgery, laparoscopic prostatectomy and nephrectomy, innovations in this field are happening at what feels like warp speed.
But is your urology EHR and PM software working as hard as you are to keep pace with new urology technology?
Recent innovations in EHR platforms, including fully integrated telehealth solutions, robust analytics to understand your clinical, financial and operational performance and advances in patient engagement tools to reduce no-shows are designed to keep your practice ahead of the curve and help position your practice for growth.
Telehealth for Urology: Changing the Landscape for How You Practice
Prior to the pandemic, telemedicine for urology was not something that many urologists or their patients regularly took advantage of. But as COVID-19 persists, telehealth is helping us stay connected. The benefits of a telemedicine platform with real-time audio and video capabilities beyond the obvious advantage of minimizing risks of infection, include:
- Providing personalized care as you would in an in-office setting
- Meeting with patients post-op to discuss their health concerns or symptoms to understand what may constitute a medical emergency
- Caring for and potentially screening patients
- Reaching vulnerable patient populations, including those with chronic illnesses, mobility challenges or transportation challenges
- Consulting with patients regarding prescriptions
According to a white paper published by the AUA, “Telehealth in Urology”, telemedicine may also help address the anticipated shortage of urologists in the near future. The study reports:
“It is crucial to focus on those who benefit most from this new technology (i.e. underserved populations) and ensure equal access…As limitations dissipate, and as new technological solutions are developed, it is possible that telemedicine will become completely integrated into urologic training and health care delivery to fulfill the proposition of access and quality urologic care.”
View up-to-date information related to the current waivers from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Analytics that Help Shed Light on Clinical, Financial, and Operational Performance
Locating patients lost to follow-up for high-risk diagnoses is one of the biggest challenges—yet one of the most important ways urologists can manage population health.
In-depth analytics that provide structured data can bring your clinical, financial and operational metrics together to provide comprehensive reports. It can also help you analyze the clinical and financial impact of your treatment decisions over time. You can also compare your performance with other urologists to gain insights on how you increase your income under MIPS.
Robust urology analytics can also help you:
- Drill down from practice to patient level, apply filters and compare outcomes with peers
- Find which specific patients need follow-up care
- Determine the clinical and financial impact of your treatment decisions over time and more
Patient Engagement Tools to Help Reduce No-Shows & Prevent Revenue Losses
Nobody likes being stood up. But when a patient misses an appointment, it creates a ripple effect that impacts your bottom line. If you ever added up the amount of lost revenue due to missed appointments, you would probably be in for quite a shock. In fact, a study by the AUA at a large academic medical center revealed that approximately 18% of their outpatient appointments were no-shows, which equated to a potential loss of at least $429,810 per year. While this study may not be indicative of specific results at your practice, it may give you a sense of how important it is to have the right tools to help prevent no-shows.
So what can you do to ensure your patients show up for their appointments? Well, you could hire more staff to work the phones. And do you really want your team spending time on tasks that can be easily automated? Probably not.
Why not take advantage of some of the advanced tools that put patients in the driver’s seat to keep them involved in managing their care? Convenient patient self-scheduling tools enable patients to set their schedule themselves, and even allows them to request or reschedule appointments through a patient portal. Patient Reminders, an automated appointment confirmation system, reminds patients about appointments and empowers them to reschedule through text.
This technology is having extremely positive results, for practices and their patients. According to Relatient, using text messages to confirm appointments has been shown to be 295% more effective than phone calls. and some practices are seeing a reduction in their patient no-show rates by 40-50%. And practices who offer these tools may also see higher levels of patient satisfaction.
“Giving your patients the freedom to manage their schedule empowers patients and could help reduce patient no-shows and improve compliance, which can have tremendous operational and financial impacts to a urology practice.”
-Nadeem Dhanani, MD, MPH, Medical Director of Urology
Your urology practice may benefit from patient self-scheduling by:
- Giving you the ability to view last-minute cancellations so that you can try to fill them
- Providing flexibility to approve appointment requests automatically or manually
- Supporting productivity with waitlist options to fill gaps in your schedule
Patients may benefit from 24/7 access to make in-office or virtual appointments as well as the:
- Capability to search for the next available appointment with accurate, real-time availability
- Ability to request multiple appointments
- Mobile-focused design for smartphone users
The field of urology has benefited from major advances in medical technology, resulting in improved quality of care through earlier diagnoses, non-invasive surgeries and quicker healing times. Make sure your practice is also keeping pace with the latest IT technology with urology-specific EHR and integrated Practice Management software. Learn more about how modmed Urology can help you deliver your best care faster.
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