sourceaditya: Increasing ROI on your clinic through EMR

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Increasing ROI on your clinic through EMR

Return on Investment is a very savvy term these days with everyone investing in the share market. Doctors too have been on this bandwagon and closer to home they traditionally invest heavily in their clinic and practice. So what do they invest in?

As a Doctor you would invest in a place, interiors, chairs and tables, medical equipment, cabinets, maybe some staff, etc. And the clinic is flourishing and doing well. So what more can be done by you; to increase your return on the investment that has been made? Well one option is by using technology effectively. Off course, this might require an additional investment but it is minuscule compared to the items given above. This can especially be closely tied with two aspects of the practice, increasing base through customer satisfaction and improving efficiency and productivity of the clinic leading to time and money savings. How you ask? Well first we can discuss the usual plus points, then some interesting aspects which tie into the process of the clinic and finally a good example at a radiology setup where EMR can improve ROI.

The usual plus points of an EMR system run something like this:

a. Better Management of Time – All reports and data in one location for easy search and recall, easy patient registration process, quick look up and reference of historical information, easy creation of bills and receipts, MIS reports generated instantly for tracking and decision making

b. Better Management of Space – Less Paper = More space, also less people in the waiting room now that reports are given instantly and appointments are better managed.

c. Better Management of Money – Know where you earn and spend by looking ledger reports across income and expenses, keep track of who refers you more patients, generate reports in Excel, and increase footfalls with better customer service.
d. Better Management of Patients – Integrated SMS and Email features allow you to keep the patient informed, provide reports in double quick time, generate and give old reports instantly, know your patient history before they walk-in.
All the above go a long way in increasing tangible and intangible returns on investment made on your clinic.

So now this was at a very macroscopic level, how about some interesting micro examples?

a. You as a doctor recently invested in a smart phone. A good EMR system will help you make your smart phone clinic smart. Now get SMS alerts about appointments, Emails of reports or images generated by your assistants for you to approve. Use the camera to take images of an X Ray or a Paper report and store it with the EMR instantly, no extra typing required.

b. You invested in an Internet connection, now use the power of the Internet to maximize your business. Imagine an EMR system which allows patients to access their records remotely, no more crowding in the clinic, or sends Email Reports to patient from abroad, may be this can be the start of your very own little medical tourism practice.

c. You recently invested time in creating just the perfect form to help you manage patient history and details so you can improve decision making. Now imagine if this form is a toy, inserting it into an EMR will be like animating the toy, huge return I would say if you were a kid . Use the power of the PC to capture data and display it in forms which help you maximize the benefits of the template you created. Smart little things like auto-completes, graphs, history look ups help managing information better.

d. You invest in staff, trusting them is an integral part of the learning curve. Get the most out of them by making them enter information which is safe and secure in to the EMR system, it is tangible effort. Also they get trained faster in your field using forms and information provided in the EMR system. Our EMR system comes with AV help files which help learning fun and easier. More importantly, save money in terms of possible loss due to the inventory and accounting modules in the EMR system that help you track all inflow and outflow preventing pilferage and stealing. Be on top of your clinic management because after all it is a business.

Now for the Radiology Clinic example I promised:

At a radiology clinic, the entire business revolves around the Sonography machine or X-Ray machine and the reporting system (On paper or on the PC). The doctor has invested in his/her place, interiors, assume a PC (using Microsoft word for reporting), Sonography Machine, along with other fixtures. So how can a EMR system help here?

Well, I am just going to outline a few points here:

1. Many clinics lose patients especially if they are small because of over crowdedness, patients waiting their turn and also for their due reports. Using a good EMR system like Ultrasite from Plus91 would allow them to better manage their appointments and create a good streamlined flow of patients. Also faster and quicker report generation using the EMR system means less waiting time for patients. This ensures that patients do not undergo too much waiting.

2. A good machine generates images, but the imaging and reporting using these images is what creates solid productivity. Using a good EMR system allows you to over time improve your ability to know what size images and how many are required for report generation. Also tools allows you to now directly import or attach images into the patient report, hence minimizing time required to separately print them from the machine. This is also further improved since to access the images you do not need to search for the image and the report separately but they are available at a single location in the EMR system. All this helps to improve the efficiency of the process in using the Sonography machine. It also saves time and indirectly money leading to better ROI.

3. Government rules require each and every sonography machine to be registered and the clinic to generate Forms and Reports for all female sonographies done as per the PNDT Act. This can be long and tedious with doctors investing manpower, time and stationery in creating this. Imagine if you could increase your ROI even on a government dictum. Ultrasite EMR system allows you to generate the PNDT Form Fs and the final report as part of the normal patient reporting and billing process. Save time and resources to invest in other work, increasing ROI. Also strictly followed formats as per the Act and Alerts keep you informed and in check with the Act. Also No Stationery is wasted due to overprinting or spoilage.

4. Radiology centers usually invest in staff due to the nature of their clinical process; now maximize the ROI on this investment, as staffs provide better reports, keep appointments, track referrals and accounts upto date in the software. Reports and MIS generated through the software is good ROI, which would never have been possible on paper.

5. ROI on time? I think almost all the points above lead to better efficiency and time management. So now you can invest this wisely in creating other avenues for growth.

6. And I think the biggest no brainer is for the PC. Most radiology clinics have a PC either being unused or being used to burn, print images or make reports using MS Word. I think to really use the power of the PC an EMR system is a must, in fact not using one is under utilizing a vital resource that you have!

1 comment:

  1. Hmm... nice article dude .
    its really great to see some one with same interest . me too developed software almost with same criteria and intention . But i never thought about commercializing it. Especially that sync idea , templates ... we did almost same work . as my brothers and sister-in-laws are all doctors ,and observing them from past 10 years , for me it wasnt difficult to understand what they want or what tools they appreciate . i really appreciate your insight in this field . all the best .