If you’ve got it, work it…

We stumbled upon a blog post from MGMA (Medical Group Management Association) today that really emphasizes what we believe and promote here at (e)Merge. The post tells us how important it is to not only have a website, but use it effectively to streamline your processes. Most medical practices and networks have an online presence, but don’t utilize all that this technology has to offer.

Today, most patients expect to be able to find and contact a business through their website. Now take this convenience factor and move beyond the point of initial contact. Can I make an appointment? Can someone explain to me the services I’m looking into? Can I access my test results? What the article says is true: giving patients the freedom to take care of their needs online is beneficial to both patient and staff. It’s convenient for the patient, and when staff isn’t weighed down at the administrative end, they can focus on enhancing the patient’s experience in the office.

Focus on putting information that is commonly asked in telephone conversations on your website. New patients always need to know if your office takes their insurance, yet you rarely see a medical practice website listing the providers they accept. Patients can also be apprehensive about scheduling tests and procedures they’ve never had done before. Linking videos about these procedures to your website can put them at ease, whether it is a step by step explanation from one of your physicians or a generic online video of the actual experience. (“WOW” Patient Experience Tip: create a YouTube channel for your practice and have videos with YOUR physicians explaining procedures and tips for staying healthy!)

Let’s take it a step further with the resources you already have in-office. Some practices are sending out appointment reminders via text message, which not only cuts down on the amount of time your receptionist uses reaching out to each patient, but communicates with younger patients in a convenient way that shows you understand how they want to be approached. Of course, not everyone wants to be text messaged, but that’s the beauty of having options- personalization.

The key is to be resourceful and creative with what you’ve already got at your fingertips. Technology can be overwhelming, but it affords us so many options.

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