Moving from paper to PC: What are you scared of?

admine-clinic Pro, e-clinic Standard, FileMaker, Training

Moving to paper

Although the benefits of moving from paper to a computer-based system are not in doubt for most people, every now and then we come up against someone who says: “Why should I bother?”

Although anyone who contacts us directly is unlikely to ask this question, we regularly run into people at exhibitions and conferences who can’t see any benefit in switching from their paper diary and filing cabinet to a computer-based system.

Here are some of the reasons given to us for why change is a bad idea:

  • It’s much quicker to write a name in a diary than book an appointment with the keyboard!
  • Patients won’t like it!
  • What if the computer crashes and we lose all our patient data?
  • We’re not computer-literate!
  • We don’t have time for installation and training!
  • What on earth can we do with all the patient information we already have?
  • It will cost too much!

If you’re currently using practice management software, think back to the days before that time. Did any of these things worry you? How do your concerns seem now? Were any of your fears justified? We’d love to know!

While we’re waiting to hear from you, here’s how we respond to each one of those fears listed above…

It’s much quicker to write a name in a diary than book an appointment with the keyboard!

In e-clinic, booking an appointment takes seconds. It’s certainly no slower than picking up a pen, flicking to the right page and writing down a name. More importantly, as soon as you bring up that patient’s record to book an appointment, you have access to a great deal of information which can benefit the clinic AND the patient. Perhaps you notice that the patient has not turned up for their last two appointments. Maybe they have a preference for a particular doctor. Do they have a large outstanding balance which should be paid before booking again? All this can be seen at a glance before booking and raised if necessary.

Once booked, you can automatically send the the appointment to the patient’s own diary so it appears in Outlook or iCal on their smart phone or PC. That adds up to great customer service AND a helpful way to reduce DNAs.

Patients won’t like it!

Patients hate being asked to do the same thing over and over. Patients hate having to fill in a form asking for name, address and date of birth, when they know they gave you exactly that information last time. Patients hate waiting while you find their file, and they hate it even more when you can’t find it because it’s ‘at the other clinic’.

Patients love it when you have all the information they’ve given you at your fingertips. They love it when you use that information to give them better service, and they even love it when you use it to tell them about other products and treatments they might be interested in. It’s a win win situation!

What if the computer crashes and we lose all our patient data?

Yes, computers do occasionally crash, but most clients choose our cloud-hosted service. In fact, secure hosting in the cloud, along with free ongoing support, is included as standard with all our products.

Patient information is hosted securely and backed up in real-time at two secure data centres. It’s accessible via the cloud from your clinic or home, and on the move from your iPhone, iPad, smart phone or laptop. All you need is an internet connection.

There’s no up front investment in server hardware and no need to worry about the inconvenience or expense of server failure. Your patients can be confident they are in safe hands, and you know your obligations under the Data Protection Act are being met.

Of course, some clients do prefer to install e-clinic on their own computer or network, and for larger clinics and healthcare groups, who have their own IT infrastructure, this is always an option. But if hardware failure is something you are worried about, we recommend our standard cloud-hosted service.

We’re not computer-literate!  

Almost everyone can use a computer now, and if they can’t, they should probably learn. e-clinic has an easy to use, intuitive interface and users report that they enjoy working with it.

However, we strongly recommend training with any e-clinic purchase and offer many options. Choose from on-site training in your clinic, a training day at the e-clinic classroom in West Yorkshire, or online training. We also offer free access to a series of online training videos which take you through the steps necessary to use e-clinic successfully. The videos can be used for both initial training and ongoing development. Finally, you can always refer to our online manual for a quick knowledge refresher.

Ongoing training for those already using e-clinic is available and can be hugely beneficial. We offer advanced training on many subjects as well as basic training for new staff members. Call 01274 530505 for our latest course schedule.

We don’t have time for installation and training!

Although you may need to invest some time in your new software, the benefits will more than outweigh any initial disruption. Once up and running, you can expect to see a significant reduction in admin time. Most clients report that many hours each day are saved, leading to cost savings and improvements in patient care.

What on earth can we do with all the patient information we already have?

You don’t have to enter the details of every patient onto the system straight away. Most clinics start by entering the basics – name, date of birth, telephone number and next appointment – for those patients already in the diary. When the patient arrives, take more details, explaining you have a new computer system and using it as an opportunity to check all information is up to date.

This way, you will gradually build up your patient database as patients contact you to book appointments. New patients will go straight onto the computer. Unless you want to audit past patient data or analyse old treatments, there really is no reason to worry about patients who visited in the past and are not coming back.

It will cost too much!

e-clinic starts from just £50 per month, including ongoing supporthosting in the cloud and upgrades. New clients report time savings and a reduction in admin almost immediately. That’s even before you start to look at the possibilities of increased revenue. Imagine being able to fill gaps in a practitioner’s diary by texting previous patients with an offer? Or emailing patients who you know will be interested in a great new treatment you’re launching? Or capturing and charging for every single DNA?  It is, as they say, a no-brainer.

I’m sure if you’re reading this then you’ve already made the switch to a computer-based system, but if not, get in touch and let us show you how e-clinic can make a difference to your business.