- Allow doctors and staff to work from anywhere
- Integrate with Xero and save the practice one full-time staff member’s time
- Become even more patient-centric and enhance patient engagement
Bridges Health Services in Brisbane is a multi-specialty practice of surgeons and physicians, which opened in March 2019, with the aim to provide a path to better health by offering patients all the services they require in one location including the services offered on the Mater Health campuses at South Brisbane, Springfield and Redlands.
Bringing together 12 different surgeons and specialists into the one practice, all with different ways of managing their own practices is no easy feat.
As Practice Manager, Andrea Bone, explains, with six directors or partners of the practice, and six associates, who all came from different areas, and some not having done any private practice at all, meant getting them all on-side for the one system.
While some were already using practice management software, some were still using paper files and charts. Such disparate systems were not sustainable, and all members needed to be brought under the one practice management system.
One gastroenterologist had been using Clinic to Cloud and was so pleased with it, he recommended it to the practice for use. Once the decision was made, Clinic to Cloud assisted the practice in moving all practitioners over to Clinic to Cloud.
“They each came with multiple ways of practicing,” Andrea says. “Some just had pen and paper and charts for everything. Others had a bit of a combination of maybe a basic system that included scheduling. So we had quite a bit of work to do in bringing them all under the same umbrella and all of the team ‘talking to each other’ in the same way. Some were very keen to go electronic, but some were very hesitant.”
Andrea reports the process of bringing 12 doctors into the one practice management system was relatively smooth with Clinic to Cloud’s help. As an added challenge, the practice was moving to new rooms at the same time and refurbishing.
“We scanned in all their records, registered all their patients from paper-based ways of operating,” Andrea explains. “We also moved one doctor over from a competing platform, which was a smooth process. We probably have 85% of our doctors using Clinic to Cloud now, and they are all quite happy with the system.”
Clinic to Cloud helped Bridges set up templates, and integrate with its accounting system, Xero, as well as set up automated reminders, and voice recognition for clinical notes and letters.
“I have worked in practice management for a long time and used and evaluated a lot of different systems. But I found Clinic to Cloud very intuitive, and the training and ongoing support they offered was vital for moving everyone over,” she says.
The practice was getting used to the new system when COVID hit, and as Andrea reports, Clinic to Cloud proved to be a crucial aspect to its COVID response.
“During COVID, the ability for one of our secretaries who had young children, whose child care was closed to be at home and still do appointments, billing all the things she needed to do, was very beneficial,” Andrea says.
“Because it's in the cloud, the ability for the doctors to work anywhere has been fantastic. We have quite a few ‘to do sessions’ in other parts of Brisbane, and they also do procedures in other areas, so they can still have their laptops or phones and have the same workflow as if they were in our consult rooms. Our new, younger doctors coming on board are very keen to do everything on their phone if they are out of the officer via the Doctor App.”
Many practitioners are finding voice recognition a fantastic time saver when it comes to doing letters and post-operative reporting, as well.
“Voice Recognition is making a big difference to our doctors who were used to dictating letters and then sending it off to an outside typist or transcription service.
Plus, the integration with Xero alone has probably saved us one full-time staff member, who can now concentrate more on the patients, rather than on reconciling billings,” Andrea adds.
Another time-saver is the ability to receive results or referrals and look at them immediately via the Doctor App, and not have to wait for emails or faxes.
“We're multi-practice and patients often see more than one of our doctors,” Andrea explains. “So the fact all relevant doctors can see the pathology reports, our X-ray reports, and doctors are using our Med x for their letters, and they're all being sent through into our review scan, is fantastic.”
Patients are also enjoying the new system, as they can log into the Patient Portal and check results, or print out referrals or scripts, giving the patient more autonomy in their health care and practice staff more time to spend on the patient experience.
“It's been great to be able to set up templates that go out to the patients via the Patient Portal about their procedures, and what to expect and with COVID. Being able to put on SMS alerts and communicate with patients digitally, especially when we couldn’t have very many on-site made a very big difference,” Andrea explains.
“The constant communication with patients through the Clinic to Cloud Patient Portal about their results, procedures and so forth has really made us highly patient-centric.”