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The Future State of the Private Surgical Medical Practice

During this moment in history where many of us will be affected personally and professionally, I did not foresee a world where the private specialist medical practice will be brought to a halt in Australia. 

This has been hard to comprehend for me let alone you, the doctors and practice staff at the cold front who know and understand the direct impact on the patients affected and the re-precautions to you and your practice.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, there were 2.2 million elective surgeries 2017 to 2018 and 66% of those were completed in Private Hospitals translating to 1,452,000+ surgeries. 

Surgery In Australias HospitalSource: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare - Hospitals at a glance 2017-18

This equates to an average of 121,000 surgeries per month. One would hope and assume that most people that require those surgeries will be OK to hold off the surgery until the lockdown is over which could be between 3 - 6 months.

After 3 Months:

Let's look at the amount of surgeries banking up: 121,000 x 3 = 363,000 elective surgeries will be banked up.

After 6 Months:

121,000 x 6 = 726,000 elective surgeries will be banked up.

This is not to mention that the waiting list is already 750,000+ people. That is a total of 1.5 million people that will be waiting to have surgery and our system will not cope or be prepared. However, it is critical that you start to prepare your practice.

It is safe to assume that most surgeons will be overwhelmed with work and one of the most important aspects of your practice will be efficiency and your software will play a big part in creating efficiency. It is now timely for you to explore options to prepare and support you.

At Clinic to Cloud we are familiar with the process of receiving a referral, investigating and managing the patient all the way to post-op recovery. The new world post COVID-19, your patients will expect more online engagement and an element of telehealth.

One of the most under-utilised resource in healthcare is the patient and every patient wants to be more involved in their care journey and ensuring the patient is involved at the right level, reducing a significant administrative burden for your team and creating loyalty. Imagine a world where the patient is pre-registering online so your team are not entering data manually, uploading their referrals and other documents securely online to avoid extra scanning by your team and the patient is reviewing the fees estimate and clearly understanding what the procedure means to them because of the telehealth consult you had with them.

Here are some specific tips that you may want to consider:

  • The post-op reporting that is seamless and allows you to up-code and ensures you don’t miss any item numbers
  • Ability to securely communicate back to your team with an audit trail
  • Ability to create more than one operating list in one day
  • Ability to do a bedside consult with the right information at your fingertips and submit the item number for billing to your team
  • Ability to take pictures that can be annotated and securely uploaded to the patient file without leaving unsolicited copies on your phone
  • Having access to your schedule at all times
  • Letter management module that tracks which letters you have dictated and which you have not
  • Ability to receive investigation results and action them from your smart device
As for your admin team the more they can leverage technology to create efficiencies the more they can support you and your patients and the better the patient experience. We have been working on more and more automation and smart workflows that create time savings and better patient engagement:
  • Automated submission of claims to Medicare and health funds daily saving you time and effort
  • Automated SMS and Email reminders
  • Email reminder not only do they save you money, but they also allow you to tailor the email with your branding and extra instructions that are designed to reduce calls to reception
  • Advanced and easy reporting including:
    • Referrer report
    • Item number
    • Aged debtors
  • Procedure management module that allows you to track which patients are booked and prepped for surgery and those that require a follow-up call

In order for you to make up for the losses post COVID-19 it is important to review your processes and introduce some smarter and more efficient workflows that will help you maximise your practice, create efficiency for your team and better engage your patients.

Clinic to Cloud is equipped to operate well in this unforeseen situation, all our people are equipped with mobile devices and cloud-first tools that will allow them to complete a demo for you and even on-board and train you and your team.

Ready to transform your medical practice?
Rafic Habib
Rafic Habib is the Founder and CEO of Clinic to Cloud. Rafic has spent almost two decades in the healthcare technology industry and has a unique appreciation for the level of pressure and intensity the sector falls under in both private and public practice. Rafic identified the opportunity to leverage technology to optimise practice operations, improve patient experiences and improve the financial performances of clinics.