Choosing a new practice management platform is never a straightforward process for any clinic. We spent what felt like an age searching for a suitable solution that would allow us to make bookings, record consultation notes, handle insurance forms, and accept deposits as part of online appointment booking. For me as a practice manager, I wanted to have access to various statistics to help me understand our clinic’s performance and plan our overall direction. In particular, I expected to be able to examine employee workload, the ratio of first-time to follow-up appointments, and the percentage of no-shows.
Choosing a Medical Practice Management Platform
To start with, we studied the market carefully to familiarise ourselves with all of the available solutions. Although this included out-of-the-box programs as well as bespoke and cloud-based clinic management systems, we didn’t and still don’t have the means to maintain our own servers. As such, the first two fell by the wayside and we opted to go with a cloud-based platform.
Next, we considered whether the platform would meet the following criteria:
- Compliance with GDPR and data security laws;
- Online Booking module;
- Ability to send SMS text messages directly from the system;
- Integration with digital phones (voice-over IP), labs and end-to-end analytics services like Google Analytics.
Medesk fulfilled all of these criteria, many of which we were able to test out during the free trial period.
The options to add online booking and direct text messaging were a nice cherry on top of the cake, but the deciding factor was the ability to integrate with booking portals, digital phones, labs, and end-to-end analytics systems.
Medesk easily integrates with Google Analytics and helps you to track and analyse all of the points of interaction between the patient and the clinic - from the visit source (patient acquisition channel) to the payment for services rendered. Find out more about our integrations here.
Implementing a Private Practice Management Solution
After having purchased a Medesk subscription came the question of its implementation in our clinic. I’d like to point out that this was all made simple and straightforward owing to the well-coordinated work of the Medesk support team, which was available at all times and solved all of our issues in a professional and timely manner. We spent just shy of two weeks at the implementation stage.
We transferred our timetable over to Medesk, migrated our patient database from another provider, configured our online payment integration, and added a wide range of documents like contracts, medical records, letter templates and all sorts. The platform was able to adapt according to our chosen workflows and business processes.
The support team helped me to develop learning materials for our front-line staff, starting with our call centre and receptionists. We have been using Medesk for just over a year now, having begun our subscription in June 2018. Since then, Medesk has been in daily use by just about everyone in our clinic.
The next stage of implementation involved teaching our clinicians how to use the platform. Medesk lets you use a range of pre-set consultation notes templates which can you can edit as well as creating your own templates from scratch. This process was rather slower than we had hoped as it does depend somewhat on the IT skills of the doctors who would be using each template. In any case, we overcame these difficulties quickly enough in the end and they were more than compensated for by the positive reactions from our team, who could now quickly access patient records and conduct appointments even in the case of walk-ins. That’s not to mention that patients no longer have to decipher doctors’ rushed handwriting when they request a full copy of their notes!
Now we are at the stage where we want to configure some more integrations between Medesk and third-party services like voiceover telephony providers and labs. Once this rather ambitious project is complete, we’ll have a whole range of business processes that can be considered genuinely convenient and transparent.
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