The American Medical Association (AMA) believes in the importance of ongoing improvements in medical practice management and offers an online course to provide physicians with information about redesigning their workflow with the use of health information technology. While the course is aimed at information technology and EHRs, the information in the video provides good ideas for some of the ways a practice can redesign workflow in specific areas of a medical office such as billing, coding, and collection.
The efficiency of a medical practice depends to a large extent on how well the individuals in a medical practice understand the IT functions associated with their individual responsibilities. Each individual has their own unique purpose and use for technology, therefore it’s important to get the input of the people using it.
If there is just one person who does not understand IT operation functionality, and lags in completing their part within the office workflow, a bottle neck can occur slowing down everything in a practice. The successful operation of any medical office is a 'team' effort by all its members. Communication and training is the key to successful workflow. Respect for each individual's part and their total inclusion as a member of the team, streamlines workflow and ensures efficient handoffs occur.
In another article related to information technology, a quote by David Blumenthal, MD, mentions the importance of having all information in place and running smoothly before any change in technology for a smooth, well-functioning practice.
"Information is 'the lifeblood of medicine' and health information technology is destined to be 'the circulatory system for that information.'"
—David Blumenthal, MD, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
Remember, every person in a medical practice contributes to the lifeblood of an office. As a popular saying goes…”There is no 'I' in TEAM.” While there is no 'I' in TEAM, there is an 'I' in IT so make sure everyone is informed and trained.
The American Medical Association offers resources for understanding of how health IT is beneficial to a medical practice. In addition, you may want to check out the Practice Management Tips area in the Clinic Service site, or some of the blog posts that cover specific topics. If you’re interested in a certain topic and don’t see it listed, drop me a note and let me know and we’ll be sure to include it in a future blog post or article.