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Health Care Practice Management Present and Future
Nitin Chhoda shares the state of health care practice management from the past and how it will affect the future. He shows how the role of management and its staff are evolving as technology enters the physical therapy business.
Even though the tasks assigned to health care practice management staff have been around for as long as hospitals have existed, the job of health care administrators is relatively new and is constantly changing.
Handling medical records and medical billing is a big job. For very small practices, these jobs used to be the tasks of the health care practice management, usually in the form of an office manager.
But today, health care practice management involves so much more, and tasks like medical billing and coding are handled by specialists.
The current role of the health care practice management staff involves a lot more analysis and efficiency management than ever before, largely due to changes and improvements in technology.
The role of electronic medical records (EMR) in this change cannot be emphasized enough. Electronic health care practice management technology has allowed health care management to take advantage of data that was previously too time consuming to extract.
Health Care Management Focuses on Patients
Of course, all these technological improvements might lead health care practice management consulting professionals to spend more time with charts and graphs than dealing with patient concerns. But that is not entirely the case. In fact, analyzing performance of the clinic will serve two purposes.
Firstly, identifying problems with efficiency will provide many advantages to the doctors, nurses, clinicians, and entire staff of a hospital or practice. Many health care practice management professionals will be quick to look for ways to save money, which is another advantage of EMRs and using the technology that is available today. But most of the changes that help the practice’s bottom line have other benefits, too.
The second purpose of looking for inefficiencies by using data on outcomes, re-scheduling rates, and visits per patient is to identify where patients can be better served. This is the tangible benefit that technology can bring when used the right way.
Number of Patient Visits
As an example, imagine that some clinicians only see a patient three times before the patient can go back to life as usual but other clinicians spend at least five visits with each patient.
Clinicians tend to know just how often they need to see patients, based on past experiences and what they were taught.
But if you could see that patients with the same complaint were given a more effective treatment or series of treatments, you could find out what it is that efficient clinician is doing.
Health Care Practice Management, a Delicate Balance
It’s easy enough to see how this kind of information could be misused. And it is likely that we’ll see plenty of cases of disgruntled staff members who are frustrated by statistical analysis and being treated as if they aren’t doing a good job.
Health care practice management in the future is going to be more and more a job focused on efficiency. But there are important human elements that must always be kept in mind so a practice is really running the best it can. Unhappy staff are not the way to make things better.