Ever since the economic slowdown in 2008, group practices have seen a steady rise throughout the United States. This trend occurs when practices strive for efficiency in a competitive landscape. However, during this transformation, even when accounts have been collaborated and marketing efforts have been coordinated, most group practices still work on systems inherited from their individual stakeholders. This means a set of non-compatible solutions have to be coordinated.
There is a reason why an individual outlet of Walmart functions more efficiently than a consortium of local businesses – They run a uniform system across their locations, that is built for efficiency at scale.
How does a system built for scale help a group practice?
1) Customer Experience
A coordinated system shows a visible improvement in customer experience. Patients become less frustrated when they know what to expect from all your locations. This means they will try to stick to your brand, even if they relocate or a provider changes. We all know what to expect in any Starbucks. We walk into an outlet with full confidence of knowing what to expect. It makes our decision to walk into a Starbucks easy.
2) Better use of manpower
Another major improvement is in human resource management. There is a steady and well tracked utilization of manpower, from both providers and support staff. This is the biggest header for cost of any dental practice.
3) Increased Production
A well coordinated system and a single database ensure faster processing of patients pre and post treatment. This increases production and directly increases your revenue.
4) Better Cash-flow
A central billing office and claims management center will allow revenue to come in faster and cash-flow cycles to be shortened. This increases available cash, that can then be used to expand further. Group practices need to expand at their fastest possible pace in the current market and establishing a system built for scale goes a long way in helping you get there.
What are the key features any Group Practice should look for?
It is difficult to narrow down to a specific set of features that group practices should look for, as requirements vary based on the organization. Requirements mostly fall into three main functions – centralizing control, streamlining operations and automating tasks. Some of the features to look for under each of these areas are listed below:
Monitor and manage all operations across sites through a central console. A few examples of functions that can be centralized are:
- Marketing and campaigns
- Billing & Financial Reporting
- Document management
- Access control and data security
- Administration and business management
- Analytics and BI
Standardize administrative, clinical and ﬁnancial workﬂows across locations. The following are some of the solutions to usually mismanaged areas to ensure better streamlining and integration into the system:
- Slot finder, wait-list and ASAP list management
- Charting and treatment planning – with easy templates
- Care notes with clinical decision support
- Template based communication for patient engagement
- Custom forms for capturing patient conditions or allergies
- Business rule manager for standardizing operational workflows
Perform tasks automatically based on pre-set triggers and conditions. Automation is the next level of streamlining, where you eliminate the need for manual intervention in repetitive processes and thus frees up your employee time:
- Rule-based workflow management
- Campaign management
Group practices must adopt a system that is built for scale. A cloud-based scalable practice management solution that features workflow automation and streamlining, along with integrated marketing and back office functions will be the ideal fit for any group practice.