5 tips to thrive as an independent medical practice
Is it possible to remain independent and control the course of your practice in the new health care reality? According to athenahealth, the answer to that question is yes.
In a recent report, the leading provider of cloud-based services highlighted five essentials for running a successful independent medical practice.
1. Strong financial performance
According to the provider, independent practices need to maximize efficiency and financial performance while also being prepared to handle new methods of reimbursement.
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“Independent practices should look to practice management solutions with both front-end and back-office knowledge and support that can be seamlessly integrated into practice workflow,” states athenahealth. “This allows physicians and practice staff to streamline their administrative responsibilities, boost productivity, and focus on patient care.”
2. Connectivity and clinical integration
Lack of care coordination can result in fragmented health care, treatment errors, preventable hospital readmissions and unnecessary costs.
Some independent practices assume that sharing patient information effectively requires providers to be on the same EHR system, but that isn’t the case. Cloud-based, service model solutions can meet these requirements.
athenhealth advises practices to establish reliable, efficient electronic connections with payers, hospitals, labs and other referral partners and work with an EHR system that enables them to exchange data easily, accurately and securely.
3. Ability to thrive in a risk-based environment
To succeed under risk-based payment reform, independent practices need to have:
- An EHR that streamlines workflow for the practice, gives providers access to evidence based guidelines, and offers intelligent work delegation to maximize practice efficiency.
- Secure communication and interoperability with multiple clinical partners, including seamless and secure data exchange with local ACOs, to meet care coordination requirements.
- Health information technology that facilitates tracking and monitoring of patients both within and outside the practice, so that practices can measure and report on patient outcomes. Future reimbursement will be linked to patient outcomes and care quality.
4. Competitive edge
As an independent practice, you must be an attractive choice for patients and referral partners. In addition to having strong financial performance and clinical outcomes, that means promoting a culture of patient engagement.
Having the right technology and services are central to successful patient engagement. Patient portals enhance patient-provider communication and enable patients to check test results, refill prescriptions, review their medical record, and view education materials. Patient portals can streamline administrative tasks such as registration, scheduling appointments, and patient reminders.
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5. Adaptability to change
Independent practices need to be ready to adapt to new payment models, new clinical care models, declining reimbursement, and initiatives such as Meaningful Use and the transition to ICD-10.
“The key to thriving in the current environment is having a flexible, robust system in place to anticipate and stay on top of new requirements without large, ongoing investments,” states athenahealth.
The successful independent practice of the future needs tools and services to help manage growth and support efficiency, care coordination, patient engagement and the transition to value-based payment models.
LG launches purpose-built smart TV for hospitals
LG Business Solutions USA has announced two new hospital TVs that are designed to improve patient management and engagement while adhering to critical safety standards for healthcare facilities.
One of the TVs is LG's biggest ever screen for a hospital - the 65-inch 4K Ultra HD model. It has LG’s NanoCell display technology, enabling it to display vivid pictures, and provides built-in support for hospital pillow speakers and embedded broadband LAN capability, so hospitals can deliver video on demand without requiring a separate set-top box in the patient room.
It also includes configuration software with an intuitive interface for setting up the TV to work in a hospital setting, plus a software-enabled access point feature that turns the TV into a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The second TV screen is the 15-inch Personal Healthcare Smart Touch TV with a multi-touch screen. It is designed to be installed on an adjustable arm for use in shared spaces or smaller patient rooms and will support LG's new, modular LG AM-AC21EA video camera, and HD video communication.
Both include support for video conferencing, and are UL Certified for use in healthcare facilities, a global safety standard. They also feature LG’s integrated Pro:Centric hospital management solutions, allowing hospitals and LG’s patient engagement development partners to personalise a patient's room, providing entertainment, hospital information, services, patient education, and more.
Additionally its communication platform makes it possible to conduct video calls between patients and clinicians or family.
“Our newest LG hospital TVs reflect ongoing feedback from the industry and include capabilities integrated to meet the unique needs of a critical market” said Tom Mottlau, Director of Healthcare Solutions, LG Electronics USA.
“Our healthcare patient engagement development partners requested an upgradable version of webOS for our Pro:Centric smart TV platform so they could more easily introduce new features for their hospital customers. For the latest versions of webOS, LG worked closely with our partners to make their request a reality and to deliver a hospital TV platform that can evolve over time.”