Build Stronger Relationships with Your Plastic Surgery Patients
Here’s how the right plastic surgery software can help
Taking advantage of major advances in technology should not cost you in terms of patient interaction. When you choose the right software, you can maximize your plastic surgery EHR and practice management system without minimizing your face-to-face time with your patients.
Some plastic surgery software systems claim to improve ‘patient engagement,’ but you end up interacting more with a screen or keyboard in the end. That’s not good for you, your patients or the online reviews of your practice.
It’s no surprise that only about 1 in 3 healthcare leaders and clinicians believe patients are ‘highly engaged,’ according to a survey. If that is true, what are the possible solutions?
Increasing the odds that your patients will be more involved in your practice – and their own care – could lead to better outcomes. In addition, fully engaged patients can report greater satisfaction with their healthcare provider. These people could, in turn, refer friends, family and others to your plastic surgery practice. A positive reputation and word of mouth marketing are invaluable.
The good news is that the right high-tech tools can help you increase patient engagement with minimal effort or time on your part. It all comes down to efficiency.
When you are searching for the best plastic surgery EHR and plastic surgery practice management systems, consider the following patient-friendly features.
Increase Face Time With Mobile Technology
At first, accessing plastic surgery software on an iPad while you’re in the office might seem like an advantage primarily for you and your staff, but consider how your patients could benefit as well.
“Mobile first” technology that allows full access to your plastic surgery EHR on an iPad, for example, frees you up to speak face-to-face with your patients during a consultation.
It’s about technology that enhances, not replaces, your time with each patient. No longer being tethered to a keyboard means you and your staff can interact at appropriate points throughout a patient’s time in your practice. It even helps with patient education and showing before and after photos. This kind of experience can improve your patient retention and loyalty.
See for yourself in this minute-and-a-half video that shows how mobile technology can increase patient engagement and practice efficiency, including integrated technology that helps you show patients a treatment plan visually.
Increase Satisfaction With a Patient Portal
Part of a patient-friendly ‘digital front door’ strategy for your plastic surgery practice, includes well-designed patient portals which offer a number of potential advantages to your patients. Patients know that waiting on hold for a long time to schedule an appointment or get test results can be frustrating. It’s also not efficient for your office staff.
Think of a patient portal as an effective tool to improve this customer service aspect of your practice. Communication can become more convenient for everyone – patients can gain around the clock access to online scheduling if you offer that option. In addition, you can answer non-urgent patient questions at your convenience – helping to minimize disruptions throughout the workday and helping give patients peace of mind before their next appointment.
Selecting a portal that allows patients to schedule online appointments could increase satisfaction as well. One survey found that 80 percent of patients will choose a doctor who offers online scheduling over a competitor who does not.2
Tip: Make sure the plastic surgery EHR you select features encryption to keep messages between you and your patients private.
Furthermore, when a portal is fully integrated with a plastic surgery EHR system, patients can also review and update their medical records at home. No more calling your office to spell out their name and slowly dictate their insurance group numbers and member ID numbers.
Patient portals can also help patients gain a sense of control over their health and wellbeing. Research shows that 78 percent of patients with access to patient portals report they have helped them take a more active role in their healthcare.3
Enhance Efficiency With Automated Patient Reminders
The practice management software system you select for your plastic surgery practice could also send patients automatic appointment reminders via text, email or voicemail. This avoids the traditional back-and-forth of telephone calls between your staff and your patients to remind them of an upcoming consultation. Again, it’s about more convenient and more efficient communication.
Your staff could benefit too – when they spend less time on the telephone confirming future appointments, they can more effectively greet and interact with the patients currently in your office. This strategy also fosters more face-to-face time between your front office personnel and patients.
What about patient no-shows? Automated patient reminders have the potential to reduce the number of people who miss appointments – by reminding patients in different ways at different times. Missed consultations can not only cost your plastic surgery practice financially, but they can get in the way of providing the best care.
It is unlikely any strategy can completely eliminate no-shows. But you can spare your office staff from the awkward phone calls after the fact. Choose a plastic surgery practice management system that automatically sends out a text or email asking if they would like to reschedule the consultation. It can be easy for patients if one click in the message allows them to call your practice directly.
Save Time With a Patient Kiosk
Speaking of technology that can save time, signing in patients, confirming contact information and checking insurance status can squash efficiency for your front office.
It’s time to retire the clipboard and paper forms in your waiting room. Instead, consider an app patients can use to check in on an iPad. Updating information is easier when the app connects directly to your plastic surgery EHR, and it can help reduce the likelihood of errors when your staff has to transfer information from paper to computer later on.
Handing patients an iPad to update their information while they sit in your waiting room also sends a message that your plastic surgery practice is modern and up-to-date. That can be reassuring for patients who are trusting you with their healthcare, and thereby improve patient satisfaction and engagement once again.
A recent survey of over 12,000 patients found that the more technology the physician is perceived as using to manage the patient’s healthcare, the higher the trust level patients have in their provider.5
Filling out paper forms for new patients can be particularly onerous. Surveys done by Modernizing Medicine® about the modmed® Kiosk demonstrate that practices can save up to 15 minutes* per new patient using this technology-based and patient-centric approach.
It’s not only time consuming for new patients. In fact, all patients spend eight minutes filling out paperwork at an average visit, plus eight minutes telling their doctor their medical history, a survey reveals.4
Using the kiosk app, as this brief video shows, helps to involve patients in their own care. They can check the data in their record each time they visit and understand that they remain responsible for keeping it accurate. This encourages them to keep their data complete and up-to-date, which, in turn, saves everyone time during the clinical consultation.
Get Direct Feedback From Patient Surveys
When a patient pays your plastic surgery practice a compliment directly or through an online review, it can boost your confidence that you’re on the right track. Although these anecdotal praises can make your day, how do you know that overall most or all of your patients feel this way? How do you know where you can improve your customer service if you don’t have reliable data and feedback from a representative sample of your patient population?
Tip: Opt for plastic surgery software that can send patients satisfaction surveys via text or email. The findings can help you become more certain about your performance. It could even help address unsatisfied patients directly and privately, avoiding a negative online review in the process and help turn your patients into advocates.
Strike the Right Balance
One key to improving patient satisfaction and engagement with your plastic surgery practice is providing the right balance between technology and true human interaction. Efficient plastic surgery software can make it easier for your staff to focus on the patient encounters that boost engagement and satisfaction.
In other words, technology can boost efficiency, but should never completely eliminate human interaction. An almost fully automated practice could be seen as impersonal by patients and is not a realistic venture. Instead, adopt the right plastic surgery software tools to help you can streamline your workflow without leaving patients feeling left out in the cold. Finding the right combination of automation and personal touches can help you excel at engaging your patients.
Plastic Surgery Software Can Make More Sense
While you’re searching for the best plastic surgery software for your office, why not choose plastic surgery EHR and plastic surgery practice management systems designed by plastic surgeons, for plastic surgeons?
It can mean the difference between working for your software versus your software working for you. In addition, such software can help you achieve the patient engagement and patient satisfaction you’re seeking – by offering options that include many of the features outlined in this blog post.
Learn more about the award winning plastic surgery software available from Modernizing Medicine that offers greater provider freedom, patient engagement and more. Request a free demo of our plastic surgery software solutions.