The healthcare field has not always been up to trend when it comes to technology. However, today it is quickly catching up and implementing fantastic digital platforms that allow for better patient care.
Some trends in healthcare include mobile apps created and used by doctors and clinics. With these apps patients can access their records and communicate for effectively with staff. Other trends include telemedicine and wearables that can perform health related tasks.
This is an exciting time to be working in the healthcare field. It is important to keep up and adapt with the times. With everything being online, there are specific areas you can focus on that may aid in your abilities to adjust and evolve with each new digital change.
Areas such as electronic health records, online billing and coding, communicating with insurance companies and how prescriptions are filled are necessary elements of the patient care process. Below each area is discussed in more detail, as well as what you can do to keep up in the digital age.
Electronic Health Records
Electronic health records offer benefits to both the patient and the practice in which you work. They were developed with the hope of engaging the patient in their own healthcare. It was also created to provide better coordination of care and to be able to provide better privacy of patient information.
One major advantage of electronic health records is that all medical staff working with a single patient can communicate about that patient through the software chosen.
Whether you are a medical assistant or in administration, electronic health records can make your job easier. Not only do they save time, they improve communication among staff. Everyone in contact with a patient can document their interactions directly into the system. Patients will appreciate that they do not need to repeat statements with each staff member who treats them.
Online Medical Billing
Medical billing is not just the process of submitting claims to insurance companies and following up with those claims to receive payments for services provided. It also includes patient check-in, insurance verification, charge entry, payment verifications, payment posting and more.
This is a very important job and a good medical biller can help the practice thrive economically.
The medical biller is the direct link between the practice and the payment agency. You will submit claims directly to insurance companies. Claims are invoices for services provide to the patient.
In the digital age, medical billing procedures and insurance billing are done with the latest, specialized software. Many practices are also using cloud based or web-based software to manage patient appointments and even handle accounts receivable tasks. Knowing how to use software like this will help you keep up with any changes in the field.
Directly related to online medical billing is medical coding. You cannot have medical billing without the services first being coded.
Online Medical Coding
Medical coding involves reviewing clinical information and entering a corresponding code or number to the clinical services provided to a patient. These codes help in the billing process. You will need to know basic and advanced types of diagnostic coding.
Common coding classification used today include ICD, CPT and HCPCS.Being tech savvy in these is a key to success in this field.
As a medical coder, you will manage, read and analyze specifically coded information regarding patients.
Staying ahead of coding changes may seem like a big challenge but with the technology available, it can be done. It is up to the medical coder to correctly submit diagnoses so billing to the patient and to insurance companies happens without errors.
If a code is incorrect, billing with be incorrect and could delay the practice receiving revenue it has earned.
Healthcare Office Efficiency
Each staff member has a responsibility to keep the practice running efficiently. In the digital age, medical software technology assists in doing this. In fact, offices can report a huge improvement in patient care and streamlined office duties.
Once a patient’s information is entered into the database, it can be accessed at any time to update files, vital statistics, lab reports or doctor notes. All of this can be done with just the click of a button. No longer are the days of finding a patient’s file, worrying if the right papers are in the file, or putting the file back in the wrong place.
Online Prescription Processing
According to reports, 7 out 10 patients are taking a prescription ordered by their physician. Prescription medicines are used for just about every ailment. From lowering cholesterol to controlling blood pressure to treating diabetes, there is a medicine for it.
Ordering prescriptions for patients is a huge part of your job working in the healthcare industry. Knowing how to complete this process using up-to-date technology will improve patient care. Keeping up with the technological trends in pharmacy is a must.
Pharmacists and Pharmacist Technologists play a significant role in the process of treating a patient. Knowing how to use software applications can help you stay up-to-date with terminology, procedures, and calculations necessary for providing the best patient care.
The use of technology can reduce and possibly prevent medication errors. Reports show there are certain benefits of technology in the prescription process: electronic medication reconciliation; computerized physician entry; automated dispensing; and barcode tracking.
How to Keep Up in the Digital Age
There are many ways to keep up with the evolving technology in the medical field. You can take college classes geared specifically for the areas in which you need to update your training. There are certification and fast-tracking programs available.
Following blogs that teach current trends in healthcare technology is another way to stay up-to-date. Conducting your own research online, as well as just finding ways to practice with advancements to your current programs used in your office.
Technology will continue to advance. Most patients will appreciate the advancements, as they likely improve the care they receive. And improving patient care is, of course, the goal of all professionals in the healthcare industry.