Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Rethinking Office Personnal

Rapid change is occurring to the world of medicine and its varied practitioners.  These practitioners run varied practices, but all have the similar goal of providing quality health care.  The trick is figuring out how to change your processes to reflect the new nature of health care.

Traditional practices have office managers, receptionists, medical assistants, nurses, technicians, and the various providers.  As technology and new rules come into play, these various roles will need to be adjusted.

All the employees of the business will have to be able to multitask, be cross-trained, and most of all pleasant.

The receptionist will be a self-logging user-friendly computer terminal similar to the airlines where the consumer logs in with drivers license, credit card, insurance card and eventually their own personal barcode.  The computer will access eligibility, account balances, and create a spread sheet of what the patient is covered for, their referral list (specialists, lab, x-ray, and needed age-appropriate wellness screens.  The computer will ask pertinent information of the patient pertaining to the chief complaint and motivation for visit.

The intake specialist will review the data, while the vital. sign machine records the blood pressure, etc.  They will order obvious tests (blood, ekg etc. per protocol) and queue the patient to the appropriate provider according to triage protocols.

The provider (Physician, Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant) will assess the patient, determine a plan, institute a protocol if needed, and/or make a disposition.  Their personal data technician will create a document that reflects the transaction and document the orders.  The provider may want to input some data through voice-activated technology.  The nurse, medical assistant, and technicians process the orders.  The data technician advises the providers about alerts, core measures, etc. that the Electronic Health Record has given a notification for.

After the patient is given their instructions and medical education by the provider or their surrogate, the social worker interviews the patient.  They deal with the most difficult part of the transaction.  They advise the patient within their social situation how to access their prescriptions, follow-up care, and devise a real-time follow-up plan to keep the patient from floundering in confusion.

The billing specialist analyzes the visit and informs the patient of the costs and options.  With modern billing technology, most practices will be able to do their own billing.

With the social worker monitoring the care in real-time, this should lead to consistent, cost efficient outcomes.  The provider with this type of cross-trained medical staff can hopefully concentrate on practicing "Medicine" and not business, liability, and endless outside pressures.  This environment will lead to success and job satisfaction for all parts of the team.

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