With the start of the new year, offices are thinking about how to work smarter and make improvements in key areas to increase their efficiency. Some ways are tried and true – cutting down on duplication of efforts, training staff to streamline processes – and others are newer to many offices that have implemented technologies in recent years. To make sure you are getting the most out of your practice management software, keep in mind the following:
One thing that many offices find when reviewing their software is that they are not using it to its full potential. This is true of everything from accounting applications to word processing. There are features available to help enhance user experience and save time, but sometimes staff members don’t feel they have time to learn how to use them. One simple but effective way to get more out of your software is for each user to share some tips. If one person in the practice has found a feature useful, chances are that others will too. It’s easy to ask a few staff members to demonstrate how to use their favorite tricks – especially if some users enjoy exploring software features in depth to find shortcuts or “hidden” tools. This can be overlooked easily because we assume everyone else knows the same things we know. But taking a few extra minutes to say, “Did you know we could do this with our software?” can make a big difference if even one person learns something new that helps with their daily workload. For example, using automated reminder calls for upcoming appointments could free you up to make updates to your company Facebook page and work on growing your practice even more.
It seems like common sense to keep software, security and other systems up to date, but regular updates can get off track quickly if you aren’t paying attention. Make sure your office IT person (or consultant) is keeping the latest and greatest updates installed to ensure the workability of your office technology. Setting updates to install overnight, or ensuring alerts will make you aware of critical changes as they are needed, are two good ways to keep everything running smoothly.
When working between programs, it is easy to confine yourself to just a few processes that you use all the time. But what if you can do more? What if you can export a file to not only your accounting software to track claims, but to Word or Excel to generate correspondence and invoices? Built-in templates – or those you create yourself – take just a few minutes to learn, but can be a major timesaver down the road. Exploring just what your software is capable of when it talks to other applications can cut back on the time you spend on some tasks so you can move on to other duties.
Finally, take advantage of any training or help available from your software company. They want to make sure their product is doing its best for you, and can offer help with creating templates, reports and other features that will keep things running smoothly and at peak productivity. Dermatology Practice Administrator and Duxware client Annie Richard notes, “After six years of being on their system, I can say that they continue to maintain their commitment and dedication to their clients by continuing to offer assistance, training and access to their team anytime we are in need.”