Best Practice Software

Bp Appointment Book Shortcuts

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Our Training and Deployment Specialist, Warren Goertz, has some handy appointment book shortcuts to help you streamline appointment management, including the ability to quickly access existing appointments or search for available time slots.

Look Up Past and Future Appointments For a Patient

To access a patient’s appointment history, simply press the space bar while in the appointment book. From there, you can select a booked slot to view the appointment history for that patient or select any other slot and press space bar to open the search screen and find the patient’s appointment history.

This shortcut is particularly useful if you need to quickly look up a patient’s past or upcoming appointment while during another task. To access the search screen quickly, press Tab and Space in sequence to move off the Booking column and open the search screen.

Additionally, you can access a patient’s appointment history from anywhere in Bp by pressing Ctrl+Space or by clicking the third icon from the left in the main toolbar. This feature enables you to view appointment history without having to have the appointment book open.

Search For an Appointment
   1. Searching For a Free Appointment

a.  Open the Find Appointment Slot screen by pressing Ctrl+F. 

Bp screenshot of screen with Find Appointment Slot open

b.  Look for an available appointment slot by using the Free Period Search function.

c.  Choose your search parameters, including the Start Search date if you’re not searching from the current appointment book date and time.

d.  Decide how long you want to search for appointments by selecting to Keep Searching indefinitely or for a specific number of months.

e.  Click the Find button. Bp will then locate the next available appointment that matches your search criteria and bring it into focus.

   2. Search For a Booking By Text

a.  Press Ctrl+F to open the Find Appointment Slot screen. 

b.  Switch to the Find Text tab.

c.  Select the search parameters. Please note that wildcards cannot be used in the text search.

d.  If you want to search for bookings beyond the current appointment book date and time, specify a Start Search date.

e.  Choose whether to Keep Searching indefinitely or for a specified number of months after the Start Search date.

f.  Click Find First to locate the first instance of the search term from the start date or click Find All to locate all instances.

Book an Appointment

If the patient is already loaded in the Snapshot bar, select an empty slot in the Booking column and press Ctrl+Enter to book them into that slot.

If the patient is not in the Snapshot, select an empty slot in the Booking column and type a search term for the patient you want to book. The search term can be any information accepted by the Search screen (F2), such as the patient’s name, initials, file number, date of birth, address, or phone number. If the patient is found in the system, they will be booked for the empty slot. If there are multiple matching records, select the correct patient from the search results and confirm the booking.

If the patient is not recorded, Bp will prompt you to create a new patient by opening the Patient Details screen. You only need to enter the patient’s first and last name to book an appointment, and you can update their details later.

You can also add a booking from the Waiting List by opening the Monthly view with Ctrl+M, selecting a patient or booking from the list on the right of the screen, and dragging it to an empty slot in the appointment book.

For more tips and tricks, check out our Bp Knowledge Base!

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Prescribing a Healthy Dose of Gratitude on World Health Day!

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This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 7 April 1948. During a conference to set up the United Nations, it was proposed that a global health organisation be established to promote health and advocate for healthcare the world over.

World Health Day is an excellent opportunity to pay it forward and show appreciation for healthcare providers who work on the frontline daily. Whether you are a Bp user or not, we would like to extend our utmost gratitude to all the healthcare providers out there.

With this milestone anniversary, we thought we’d use it as an opportunity to take a trip down memory lane and revisit some significant milestones in Australasian healthcare history, recognising events, programs and initiatives that have brought us to where we are today.

St Helens Hospitals - 1905

We begin just after the turn of the 20th century, Following the New Zealand government’s enaction of the 1904 Midwives Act, which enabled the training and registration of midwives by the Health Department. As a result, seven state-owned maternity hospitals were opened to train midwives and provide maternity care for the wives of working men.

Named after St Helens in Lancashire, England, the seven hospitals were the first of their kind anywhere in the world. The first hospital was opened in Wellington on May 29, 1905, and subsequent hospitals were opened in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Gisborne, Invercargill and Wanganui.

The services provided by St Helens Hospitals were gradually incorporated into other hospitals, and the last of the hospitals to close was Auckland, in 1990.

School Dental Services - 1921

Following World War One, the New Zealand Government instituted a state-funded School Dental Service to combat the nation’s poor oral health. Two years later, an entirely female draft of dental nurses graduated – skilled in the use of the pedal-powered dental drill; which was often used without anaesthetic! 

Students who were – perhaps understandably – terrified of visiting the dentist while at school devised an ominous nickname for the service. Students whose names were called out for appointments were said to have visited the ‘Murder House’.

The School Dental Service existed until 2006, when it became the Community Oral Health Service. It now offers subsidised dental care for people aged 18 and under.

Disposable Syringes - 1956

In early 1956, New Zealand veterinarian Colin Murdoch of Christchurch was trying to develop a method of vaccination that eliminated risk of infection. While the ubiquitous glass syringes of the time were designed for multiple uses and sterilised between each use, infection still occurred from time to time.

At 27 years of age, Colin had the idea for single-use, disposable syringes made from a less expensive material than glass. It’s believed that the idea came to him while he was playing with a fountain pen!

He pitched the idea to the New Zealand Health Department, who ultimately dismissed his idea; claiming the invention was obscure and too futuristic. Not deterred by this setback, Murdoch filed a patent application.

Today, disposable plastic syringes are an indispensible feature of medical treatment, with nearly 16 billion used worldwide each year.

Polio Vaccine - 1956

In what would be a significant year for Australasian healthcare, June of 1956 saw the polio vaccine introduced into Australia.

Dr Percival Bazeley of the Commonwealth Serum Labratories (CSL) had been sent to work with renowned American virologist Jonas Salk in 1952, and in 1955 returned to Melbourne and began manufacturing the ‘Salk vaccine’. These were distributed across Australia in June of 1956, with 25 million doses produced by CSL under Dr Bazeley’s watch.

While many parents were enthusiastic about the vaccine, vaccination rates were not high enough, and the lack of herd immunity contributed to further polio outbreaks in 1961 and 1962.

In 1966, an oral vaccine developed by Polish-American medical researcher Albert Sabin was first used in Australia. In October 2000, the WHO declared the Western-Pacific region, which included Australia, to be polio-free.

Oral Contraceptive Pill - 1961

When oral contraceptive pill ‘Anovlar’ arrived in Australia in February of 1961, it ushered in a momentous change for the lives of women. While initially only available to married women, and burdened with a hefty luxury tax of 27.5%, the pill gave women the freedom to avoid unwanted pregnancies, and more carefully plan their journey into parenthood.

Offering women this kind of control over their reproductive future saw more women entering the workforce. More working women became the basis for ongoing social change, including legislation around equal pay and freedom from discrimination.

In 1972, during his first 10 days in office, then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam universally abolished luxury taxes on contraceptives and placed the pill on the PBS list, making it available to women for $1 per month.

Today, the pill remains one of the most popular and safest forms of birth control.

Medicare - 1975

The first iteration of Australia’s public healthcare system began on 1 July 1975, after the passing of legislation by a joint sitting of Parliament of 7 August, 1974 under Gough Whitlam’s government.

After the Whitlam government was dismissed, the incoming government, led by Malcolm Fraser, modified Medibank by establishing a levy of 2.5% on income to fund it – but this levy could be avoided by taking out private health insurance instead. 

Many changes to Medibank followed, such as changes to agreements with states over how much money hospitals would receive, restrictions to benefits and bulk billing, and rebates for those who had private health insurance.

Most of these changes were controversial, and were revoked by the incoming Labor government of 1984, under Bob Hawke. Aside from a name change from Medibank to Medicare, the health system that operated from 1 February 1984 heavily resembled the initial implementation from 1975.

While Medicare remains in place today, it is a hotly debated political topic.

BreastScreen Australia - 1991

The BreastScreen Australia program was introduced in 1991 as a joint initiative of the Australian and state and territory governments. The purpose of the initiative was to reduce illness and death from breast cancer by detecting and, where possible, treating the disease early.

When the program was first introduced, it exclusively targeted women aged 50-69 years of age, believing this was the age group most likely to benefit. In 2013, it was extended to the 70-74 year old age group.

Research conducted in 2017 showed that over the program’s lifespan, breast cancer mortality has decreased at a population level by about 32%. This is due to both improvements in treatment, and early detection from screening.

From national and regional evaluations, it is estimated that early screenings prevent approximately 8 deaths for every 1,000 women screened in the age group of 50-74 years old.

As of 2023, Australian women aged 40 and over are eligible for free mammograms with BreastScreen Australia, with women aged 50-74 still the target demographic being actively targeted to participate.

The List Goes On!

While we’ve touched on some momentous and significant advancements in Australasian healthcare history in this article, there are dozens more events, programs, initiatives and people who have shaped, and made incredible contributions to our healthcare landscape. 

If you think we’ve missed a key milestone in Australasian healthcare history, let us know! We’d love to learn more about it and share it with our readers.

For more information about World Health Day, visit the WHO website.

Authored by:

Photo of Louis Valenti, blog author.

Louis Valenti
Marketing & Communications Leader
at Best Practice Software

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The Power of Online Bookings: Increase Patient Satisfaction and Improve Practice Efficiency


Have you ever woken in the middle of the night with a sore throat or an ear infection? You want to book the next available appointment with your local GP, but their reception doesn’t start taking calls until 8am. A common scenario.

In an increasingly digital world where convenience and accessibility are highly valued, patients are seeking digital solutions to find local healthcare providers and make appointment bookings. An online booking system may be the competitive advantage that your practice needs.

Prior to COVID-19, there was a general opinion that older generations may reject the idea of adapting to smart phone technology. Since COVID, most people have had no choice but to become familiar with QR code check-ins, online vaccine appointment bookings and telehealth appointments. Research undertaken by the Global Centre for Modern Aging in 2020 indicates that since COVID-19, 22% of Australian’s aged 60 and over have had an online consultation with a practitioner and 44% had a phone consult, with strong approval.

Some people expect a self-service option when booking their appointments across every industry, a sentiment shared particularly amongst the younger generation. If you are not providing online scheduling as an option, these patients are going to be more likely to switch to a practice that does.

Let’s explore 5 significant benefits that implementing an online booking solution may provide for your practice:

1.     Convenience is KING

One of the main reasons people appreciate online booking systems is the 24/7 convenience and access to your practice. Being able to make bookings on the go and after-hours is a BIG bonus. It grants the flexibility and freedom for patients to book appointments at any time of the day or night. Gone are the days of listening to hold music and being told that you are the 4th caller in the queue. It also empowers patients to facilitate their own healthcare journey and reschedule their appointments when necessary.

2.     Reduced Wait Times & No-Shows

For the majority of us that have come to expect service on demand, this is a hassle-free tool that simplifies the patient journey and closes the loop on patient scheduling. When patients are able to book appointments online, they can see the available appointment times of their preferred practitioner, and then choose the option that works best for them.

Automated appointment confirmations are a key feature that can significantly reduce the number of missed appointments – especially for those with busy lives or for the ones who just have a habit of forgetting important dates.

3.     Improved Patient Satisfaction

Happy patients, happy practice. A patient’s experience is essential to a successful practice. Online scheduling makes it easier and more convenient for patients to manage their own appointments using the web and smart phones. In the 2021 CommBank GP Insights Report, it was stated that out of the 38% of people who manage appointments though apps or websites, 56% reported that these online booking platforms effectively enhanced their overall experience.  Word of mouth is also important to consider, patients who have a positive and seamless experience with your practice are more likely to return and recommend your practice to their family and friends.

4.     Better Resource Management

Introducing an online booking solution can free up your reception staff, allowing them to focus on the patients presenting in front of them. Improved resource allocation can enable admin staff to focus on more pertinent tasks, rather than answering inbound calls and sending out manual appointment confirmations and reminders. According to an article posted by the RACGP in 2022, 60% of practice owners reported working over 40 hours per week and experience significantly higher levels of discontent with their work hours. This is likely a strong contributing factor to 40% of practice owners who state they find difficulty sustaining a good work-life balance.

5.     Superior Data Handling

Online systems eliminate the need for manual data entry and ensures that patient information is accurate and up to date. More importantly, online systems avoid awkward double-bookings, which usually means someone will end up waiting much longer than anticipated. This has the potential to delay the rest of your existing bookings for the day and inconvenience a lot of people that are short on time. However, awkward moments like this can soon be a thing of the past.

Is an online bookings platform the solution your practice needs? Convenience and accessibility reign supreme when cultivating a practice-patient relationship and online booking systems can significantly help improve overall patient satisfaction. Revising your scheduling system may enhance patient satisfaction, retention, and acquisition. It’s often the first interaction patients have with your practice and as we know, first impressions count.

Authored by:

Olivia Savage
Marketing & Communications Specialist 
at Best Practice Software

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Compromising on Security – It isn’t Worth the Risk

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Don't compromise on security in your practice. Help your staff better identify risks and mitigate potential impacts of data breaches and cyber-attacks.

How many of us have, at one time or another, needed to run down to the shops to pick up a bottle of milk or loaf of bread, and told ourselves that we don’t need to wear a seatbelt because it’s only a 30-second trip?

Often, the arguments we use to justify our decisions in situations such as these centre around the premise of, ‘the bad thing won’t happen to me.’

Optimism bias is the mistaken belief that our chances of experiencing positive events are greater, and undesirable events are lower when compared to that of our peers. While a pleasant thought, optimism bias exposes us to uninformed, and often risky decision-making.

When it comes to cyber-security and implementing proper processes, it’s all too easy to lump it into the ‘too hard’ basket. After all, with billions of people and millions of organisations around the world interacting with these online systems, what are the chances that you will be chosen as a target?

With recent widespread and well-publicised cyber-attacks against Optus and Medibank, there is no better time to review your practice’s security processes. 

You are an Attractive Target

Health service providers are an attractive target for hackers and cyber-criminals.

Day-to-day operations of a practice will necessitate the collection and storage of vast swathes of sensitive patient data; not only names, addresses and contact details, but Medicare information, identifying documentation, and payment details.

In the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s Notifiable Data Breaches Report for the period of July to December 2021, Health Service Providers were by far the most affected industry sector to notify data breaches, with Finance and Legal, Accounting and Management Services coming in second and third, respectively.

Top industry sectors to notify data breaches

Consider how valuable health provider data must be, if they were preferred targets over financial institutions, those who handle large amounts of money!

With that in mind, it’s worth taking a moment to consider the processes your practice has in place. While it is incredibly difficult to eliminate risk altogether, there are steps that can be taken to ensure that the risk to your practice and its data is kept to a minimum.

Often, this can be as simple as making sure your practice staff are properly trained in how to react in situations when something doesn’t look or feel right.

How Dangerous Can Cyber Attacks Be?

In September 2013, Target America was the victim of a cyber-attack that saw the personal and financial information of more than 100 million customers compromised. In strictly financial terms, Target has had to spend more than USD$200 million across settlement claims, class action suits, compensation fees, legal fees, insurance, and more – not to mention untold reputational damage.

Surely a cyber-attack of this scale and severity would have been a highly organised, meticulously planned, nigh-unpreventable assault on Target’s security, right?

The answer might surprise you.

No matter how secure you believe your systems may be, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. In Target’s case, they had contracted a mechanics agency to look after refrigeration in some of their stores. As such, this agency had login details to Target’s systems.

Hackers sent phishing emails to third parties – malicious emails which were designed to look like they originated from legitimate organisations. One of the staff members from the mechanics agency clicked a link in one of these emails, and from there, the floodgates opened.

Using credentials that were stolen from the agency’s system, hackers infiltrated Target America’s IT system, and then navigated their way to data on their POS terminals. From there, they covertly installed malware that collected data each time a customer paid with a credit card. They then transferred this data to a holding file in a less secure area of Target’s IT system and continued to collect data – undetected – for two weeks. One week before Christmas 2013, nearly 11 gigabytes of credit card information and customer data were transferred to a server in Russia.

By the time Target realised what was going on – it was far too late. The damage had been done.

A New Type of Hacker

When many of us hear the word hacker, we think of a hooded figure hunched over a keyboard with half a dozen screens streaming code that would look at home in a Matrix film. We think of phrases from movies like ‘infiltrating the mainframe’ and ‘bypassing the firewall’.

Those kinds of brute-force attacks, while they do exist, are far less prevalent than simple social engineering. Why ‘hack’ your way to someone’s personal details painstakingly and forcibly when you can get them to offer them on a silver platter, simply by asking the right questions?

Have you ever been on Facebook and stumbled across an innocent-looking quiz that asks for your mother’s maiden name and the name of the street you grew up to generate your unique superhero name? It seems like harmless fun, but the answers to those two questions are commonly used as security passwords for sensitive information.

Posts like these often see incredibly high levels of engagement, and without realising it, users are manipulated into giving away details which could ultimately lead to their accounts (both on Facebook and elsewhere) being compromised.

In the context of a medical practice, social engineering is a tool that is often utilised to gain access to sensitive patient information, your practice database, swathes of financial information, and much more.

Often, these attempts on your data won’t be secretive, or subtle, and they won’t come from a shadowy figure hiding behind computer screens. They might come from:

  • A ‘patient’ who needs to change their details, but forgot to bring ID
  • A salesperson offering a product or service to improve your practice operations, and all you need to do is download a program from a link they’ll send you
  • A technician who has been sent on behalf of your regular IT provider and needs to do some maintenance on your network, or
  • A smiling stranger who gets access to your staff break room by name-dropping your practice owner or manager

Attempts like these can occur right in front of you, and in the middle of a busy day. You may not think twice about changing someone’s details, clicking on a link, or granting someone access to your network.

Be Alert, Not Alarmed

It’s easy to hear all of this and immediately go into panic mode. Relax!

With a little bit of training and implementation of proper cyber-security processes, you can work to effectively minimise risk to your practice and its data.

Train staff to be alert and cautious
Your practice staff is almost guaranteed to be the point of contact at which your practice security is tested. Ensure that they are aware of common methods that might be used to compromise your practice data.

Rollout sensible restrictions
Conduct regular audits of staff permissions to review whether they need access to all the data available to them. Consider which data should be accessible by whom.

Protect your credentials
Usernames and passwords are the proverbial keys to the kingdom. Under no circumstances should they be written down on post-it notes and stuck to a monitor! If your team has trouble remembering login credentials, encourage using a secure password manager.

Increase physical security
Consider implementing measures such as swipe cards or access codes for areas of your practice that house sensitive data or hardware.

Trust your IT professionals
If you receive an email prompting you to click on a link, or someone is asking you to install a program handed to you on a USB drive, and something doesn’t feel right, consult your IT team. They’ll be able to verify whether the request is genuine and, if not, how to proceed safely.

Hold every department accountable for security
As we saw with the Target data breach, poor security practices from anyone involved with your business can lead to compromised data. Make sure that anyone accessing your practice’s systems knows your security protocols and expectations.

But It Won’t Happen to Me…

It’s easy to lull yourself into a false sense of security when considering the kind of organisations that suffer widely publicised cyber-attacks. They’re often large, well-known corporations that are worth billions of dollars. It’s not hard to understand why they’d be prime targets.

But the complacency which enables this mentality is exactly why your medical practice is not immune from attempted data breaches. Furthermore, while your practice data may not be as valuable in a purely fiscal sense, your patients’ data deserves just as much respect regarding privacy and security.

Don’t fall into the trap of compromising your cyber-security. It simply isn’t worth the risk.

Authored by:

Photo of Louis Valenti, blog author.

Louis Valenti
Marketing & Communications Leader at Best Practice Software

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Bp Software Governance Precedent for Third-Party Software Integrations

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Best Practice Software's Bp Partner Network Sets Governance Precedent for Secure Third-Party Software Integrations

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and Best Practice Software encourages and champions for all practices to be cyber-security informed, educated, and vigilant of unapproved third-party requests for elevating database access.

The 2022 Optus data breach has left many health organisations scrambling to ensure their systems are safe and secure from unauthorised access.

Innovation within the health sector has birthed greater cyber security risks for general practice and primary care, with Australia’s health sector remaining the highest reporting industry sector, notifying 18% of all data breaches nationally between July and December 2021.

In alignment with Cyber Security Month, an initiative led by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), Best Practice Software has launched a vigilance campaign to ensure all practices are aware of the risk of providing unauthorised database access to unqualified third-party applications.

“Recent events have served as a timely reminder that anyone can be the victim of cyber-crime,” said Lorraine Pyefinch, Bp Software Director, and Co-Founder. “It’s more important than ever for practices to review their processes to minimise risk to their patients and business.”

In 2019, Best Practice Software established the Bp Partner Network, an assembly of organisations approved to integrate their solutions with Bp Software. The Partner Network cultivates strategic relationships which foster innovation and security for Bp customers.

With a stringent application process that requires Executive review and approval, the Bp Partner Network framework ensures practices have access to applications that support and add value to their patients without exposure to risk.

Best Practice Software encourages all practices to review the applications and tools used within their centres, ensuring applications installed within Bp Databases have been authorised by Bp Software through the Bp Partner Network.

Practices can consult Bp Software’s list of approved partners here.

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An Extension to the Medicare Web Services Deadline

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The Medicare Web Services deadline has been extended, in advice provided by Services Australia.

A large number of our practices have already upgraded to Medicare Web Services-enabled versions of their software prior to the original cutoff date of the 19th of June, 2022. These practices are now successfully operating under the new Medicare Web Services framework.

For practices that are yet to upgrade to a Medicare Web Services-enabled version of software, Services Australia have provided a grace period, extending the Medicare Web Services deadline to the 28th of August, 2022.

Services Australia have advised that this grace period will NOT be extended further.

Services Australia will be contacting practices that have not yet upgraded to Medicare Web Services in the next few weeks, to ensure that practices are in the process of transitioning to the new framework.

The latest versions of Bp Premier and Bp are both fully compliant with Medicare Web Services functionality.

Do not delay your upgrade to Medicare Web Services. Delaying your upgrade may result in longer support call times and being unable to claim if you have not switched over once the grace period ends.

Need Further Assistance?

For further information or advice on this matter, you can contact our Software Support team on 1300 40 1111 (Australia), or 0800 40 1111 (New Zealand), and selecting Bp General Products (Option 1/1) at the menu.

You can also contact us via our dedicated Medicare Web Services email address:

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Are You Running a Thriving Practice?

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A thriving practice is difficult to define.

Every practice owner and manager wants to run a successful practice, but it can be challenging to define and measure what success looks like. Especially across a busy practice that provides dozens of services. Some owners look to expand and buy into other practices within their local metropolitan area, while some are focussed on a single rural practice. Many are simply focused on the output of their practice, and the impact they can make by providing care for their patients. There are many different objectives and criteria that one can measure success by, however, they can all be measured in one form or another.

Defining Success

The first step in knowing if you’re operating a thriving practice is to understand your overarching business goals and objectives. From there it’s up to you to define what success looks like for you, your team and your community.

Breaking down goals into short term and long-term goals can help set perspective for you and your team and is a strategy that has worked for dozens of practices. For example, your long-term goal may be to become the most trusted care provider in your area, and a short-term goal that may facilitate that, is to focus on expanding your Chronic Disease Manage (CDM) services or getting first time patients back in for more regular health checks. Consider what you want to achieve within your practice over the next five years, and what you can accomplish in the next 6-12 months to get you there.

Measuring Success

Once you’ve set your sights on the next big step for your team, you’ll want to find ways of measuring and reporting on your progress.

The best way of measuring patient satisfaction and quality of service is through a combination of anecdotal feedback from patients and data found in your practice management system, many great insights can be surfaced from your best practice data. Metrics are a fantastic way of measuring the impact you’re having as a business, but when it comes to actionable insight, it’s also important to collect patient feedback. Make an effort to regularly survey patients and ask for feedback on how you can improve both the services you offer and the experience patients are left having. Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a popular method of collecting and analysing feedback, as it will give you a singular score you can assess week on week, while also giving patients the opportunity to provide written feedback as well. Make sure to track this for your quality improvements, for instance, patient feedback regarding QI1.2 of the RACGP standards in the 5th edition.

As for metrics you can track, it’s recommended that practices look at billings per hour, diary wait time, patients per hour, and utilisation. These will provide you with a solid overview of your usage of the MBS schedule, how often you run on time, how well your team is equipped to service patients, and how full your diaries are.

Where Do You Find Opportunities for Improvement?

How are you performing? It’s a difficult question to answer. With reports you can often look backwards, and at historical trends. Compare your billings for instance, to the same period last year. Additionally, you can spend all the time in the world creating forecasts and looking forward. However, when we have data, it is vital to have context accompanying it, and to have targets in mind.

What we have lacked in the medical industry is the ability to look horizontally. For instance, you will know that you’re a bulk-billing practice in metro Brisbane, so how do you compare across other bulk-billing practices? Is a billing per hour of $302 across your cohort of GPs good for a bulk-billing practice?

It’s answering these questions and de-siloing General Practice that is to vitally important within the industry. It’s one of the major features, Touchstone, that Cubiko has been working on. For the first time practices around Australia are able to compare and contrast their business metrics to like-for-like practices.

Before Touchstone, available data on how a practice is performing against a national benchmark was very hard to come by. The government intermittently releases state and national numbers on MBS items. While this is useful information, you’re comparing your practice against state and national benchmarks across the board, rather than like-for-like practices.

By understanding how your practice is performing against similar practices you can celebrate the successes. If you see that your practice is performing well, share it with the team. If you’re wondering where improvements can possibly be made, looking horizontally at benchmarks can also be useful. But always be wary of benchmarks that aren’t representative of the practice you want to run.

So, is your practice thriving? It’s a question that might be easier to answer with the right tools.

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Work Smarter Not Harder. How BetterConsult Can Help!

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Work smarter, not harder when it comes to offering a great practice-patient experience.

Practices today have to deal with never-ending challenges: overworked doctors, nurses and practice staff, never-ending admin burden, day-to-day patient inefficiencies (“Sorry, I forgot to get my medical certificate and repeat script when I saw the doctor!”)…. all whilst still trying to deliver a great patient-doctor experience.

Dana Tse, Practice Manager at Campsie Medical Centre, decided to try BetterConsult’s patient intake questionnaire to help with her practice’s workflow management. “Some of the challenges I face as a practice manager are time management, making sure that our patients are seen on time, and making sure that our doctors and staff have a good work-life balance,” she says. “We tried BetterConsult as we had nothing to lose – it was free. And the outcome has been a better experience for staff, doctors and patients”.

So how does BetterConsult help you work smarter, not harder?

BetterConsult is a patient pre-consultation questionnaire fully integrated into Best Practice (it works seamlessly alongside online booking systems). It is simple and easy for patients to use and starts when they receive an SMS 24 hours prior to their appointment. The questionnaire captures the patient’s agenda and key clinical symptoms. The patient’s answers are then translated into a concise clinical summary for the doctor or nurse to review at the time of the consultation.

Doctors use the information provided by BetterConsult to practice at the top of their license and better plan their days and individual consultations, allowing them to have a more personal consultation with their patients; spending less time typing and facing the screen and more time discussing their concerns and focusing on treatment and management.

Campsie GP, Dr Bernard Tse, said BetterConsult “allows me to have a more personal consultation with my patients by spending less time typing and facing the screen, and more time actually discussing what the patient’s concerns are.”

Carseldine Family Clinic’s Dr Leah Ahchay says, “BetterConsult is extremely beneficial to my patients because when they enter the room, I’m going to feel more confident with my diagnosis, I’m going to have a baseline with which to assess their symptoms, and I’m going to give them some written information as they leave the room because I’ve been able to prepare for that consult”.

Dr Tamsin Franklin, principal GP of Turn the Corner Medical Clinic, commented “I am sure all doctors have had the ‘near miss’, where we have asked for clarification regarding a symptom, only to reveal something with great importance which had almost been missed. BetterConsult helps to reduce this likelihood. It also frees up time so that concerning symptoms can be fully explored, and less concerning symptoms can be triaged. Perhaps for another day.”

BetterConsult integrates seamlessly into BP Premier, and developer HealthShare, a Best Practice Gold Partner, provides a dedicated customer success manager to guide users through setup and use.

BetterConsult is priced as a freemium offering, meaning there is no cost for practices or doctors to use the product. Practices can optionally choose to pay for custom questions to be added to the questionnaire if they are running practice-specific clinical campaigns.

BetterConsult is also being funded by health organisations to run patient and doctor education campaigns that support improved patient health outcomes (similar to patient leaflets and posters in the waiting room).

A recent practice study by Cubiko found that practices using BetterConsult saw up to an 80% reduction in patient DNA (Did Not Arrive) rates.

Over 3M questionnaires have been completed around Australia with thousands of doctors now using BetterConsult. Find out more about how you can improve your patient engagement and communication with BetterConsult here.

When it comes to offering a great practice-patient experience; work smarter, not harder.

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Time is Precious: Streamlining Aged Care Support

Streamlining Aged Care Support

Time is a precious commodity in any general practice, let alone during a pandemic, so it’s essential to adopt the technology that’s designed to provide you and your patients with a great service.  

The Australian Government’s My Aged Care service is the entry point for senior Australians to access government-funded aged care support and services, with demand for this service set to increase in line with an aging population.

The Department of Health recognises the central role General Practitioners (GPs) play in managing health and well-being concerns for senior Australians, particularly in the community settings.  As such, GPs can make referrals directly to My Aged Care for support services. 

Each year, My Aged Care receives around 250,000 referrals from health professionals, with referrals from hospitals generally following an acute incident where consumers typically require higher levels of care.

Following several years of consultation, GPs have advised the Department of Health that the current referral pathways (Website, Fax, Call Centre) are labour intensive requiring manual data entry, leading to inefficiencies and risks of error which, in turn, affects the quality and accuracy of the information stored in My Aged Care.

To address these problems and encourage more early referrals by GPs (in order to help minimise acute incidents), a My Aged Care eReferral SmartForm web service has been introduced by HealthLink to facilitate direct submission of referrals from Best Practice Software users nationwide.

Adopting an integrated referral solution on both sides of the referral fence (GPs and My Aged Care) achieves the following goals:

  • Reduces the administrative burden and cost associated with the current health professional referral pathways, minimising manual entry;
  • Increases the number of referrals to My Aged Care from health profeissionals (particularly GPs);
  • Encourages early intervention to prevent avoidable hospitalisations, in line with the Department of Health’s re-ablement approach;
  • Promotes more holistic assessment and service delivery, which also better reflects care needs;
  • Enables faster assessments and more timely access to care; and
  • Improves the quality and accuracy of data stored in My Aged Care

The My Aged Care e-Referral SmartForm design makes it quick and easy to use because it’s securely integrated by HealthLink into the Bp Premier patient record.  Upon launch, the SmartForm pre-populates all the patient and practice details and enables files to be attached from the patient’s record to back up the referral.  This allows doctors and nurses to fill the forms out during a patient consultation, ask the patient questions while they are there and get the referral right, the first time.

Once the e-Referrals are submitted to My Aged Care, a confirmation number is provided by My Aged Care on the submitted form, and a copy is instantly saved back into the patient’s file in Bp Premier.

Since the e-Referral’s launch in October 2019, My Aged Care reports more than 35,000 e-Referrals have been sent, showing just how popular the solution has become with general practices.

The overall quality of referrals has improved, as the e-Referral ensures My Aged Care receives complete, detailed, legible patient and medical information every time.  And the faster a referral is sent and processed, the less time a patient has to wait to be assessed.

A general practice in Adelaide that uses Bp Premier hasn’t looked back since introducing My Aged Care e-Referrals following an initial trial period.  Nurse manager Casey Franchi, who’s worked at Chandler’s Hill Surgery, now uses e-Referrals on a regular basis.

Prior to e-Referrals, Casey used the My Aged Care website to send referrals.

“The website referral is time-consuming compared to e-Referrals because you have to manually type all the patient details in from their file, which can also lead to transcription errors.”

“With the website, because it was time-consuming, I’d have to fill the referral out after the patient had left because it required a big chunk of my time to do it. And then if I needed to ask them a question, I’d have to contact them.”

“In comparison, the e-Referral is in the patient file so you can easily and securely access any documents to upload to back up the referral.”

“Life is so much easier now and I would recommend them to any general practice. The time saved means I can focus on the important stuff like caring for patients and not on filling out forms.”

My Aged Care director of online services and communication Kylie Sauer says e-Referrals have improved healthcare workers’ experience by offering better integration into their existing workflow and taking away the need to exit their PMS to send a referral.

“Sending a referral by fax or the My Aged Care website takes longer. By pre-populating patient information and GP details, e-Referrals are the fastest and most efficient way to refer patients to My Aged Care,” she says.

“Faxes are particularly slow to process on the My Aged Care end, which results in patients waiting longer to be referred for an assessment.”

Watch this short video to find out how you can easily e-refer patients to My Aged Care using your Best Practice Software.

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Evrima Technologies – Now Part of the Bp Partner Network

Evrima Technologies Blog Image

The following article was submitted by Bp Software Evrima Technologies. You can view their partner profile here

Evrima Technologies is now part of the Bp Partner Network.

Evrima makes it easier for your GP Clinic to offer Clinical Trials as a care option for your patients.

For some patients, clinical trials may be the best or only option to access treatments that are not readily available.  However, this information can be difficult for them to obtain.

As a Healthcare Professional, you are the most trusted source of information for your patients. Research shows people who haven’t been in a clinical trial before would prefer to hear about trials from their doctor or health professional and about 4 out of 5 patients would consider a clinical trial if it was recommended by their doctor.

The Evrima GP search tool, integrated with Bp Premier is free of charge and offers:

  • Access to clinical trials without administrative burden on the practice.
  • Ability to match and recommend clinical trials for your patients.
  • Enables your patients to gain access to treatments that are otherwise unavailable to them.
  • Increase awareness of new research and trials in Australia.
  • Added service to your practice to increase practice profile.
  • Participation in cutting-edge clinical research within Australia.

To activate Evrima integration with Bp Premier, simply follow this link. Once these simple steps have been completed please contact us via to finalise the simple onboarding process.

About Evrima Technologies

Evrima was founded to address the many challenges facing the clinical trial industry, in particular, patient awareness and participation. Evrima recognises the need to bring HCPs and clinical research together to advance clinical trial awareness, participation and thereby helping to accelerate medical development. Our mission is to improve the quality of care for patients by empowering doctors to discuss clinical trials with their patients, simplifying the clinical trial enrollment process and therefore improving our healthcare system.

Learn more about Evrima today by visiting their website.

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