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Managing Appointment Flow for COVID-19 Patients

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, front-line primary care services are facing an unprecedented surge in demand for services and patient care.  Managing this demand may feel like quite an undertaking for you and your Practice, however effective utilisation of your clinic’s Appointment Book may assist in Practice planning and forecasting of demand.

Appointment Book – Dedicated Resource Column

By creating a Resource column with a label such as ‘COVID-19’ in your Appointment Book, your Practice will be able to easily identify potentially infected patients at a glance. This method is also highly effective when creating ‘Fever Clinics’ in your Practice. A Resource column can be easily created by adding a new user to your Practice, selecting the ‘Resource’ user type, and ensuring the ‘Has Appointments’ option is selected. To enact this, book all appropriate patients into this column in your Appointment Book, then other practitioners in your clinic will be able to start consults and finalise visits for billings to be processed.  

Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Easily view demand per day by viewing the number of appointments in the column
  • Highly beneficial when creating a Fever Clinic in your Practice
  • Can be difficult to ascertain historic demand if Practices transfer appointments into their column for billing when finalising visits

Using Appointment Types

One other method of managing and measuring appointment flow within your Practice is to utilise specific appointment types when booking patients.  As part of the March 2020 revision data update, new item numbers for Medicare telehealth and telephone consults were added to Bp Premier, as well as a new appointment type named Telephone Appointment. 

Using this functionality in conjunction with the Telehealth Appointment type, and creation of a custom COVID-19 appointment type, are in-built features which could help your Practice identify at-risk patients.

Another Bp Premier feature that will provide additional insight is the running of reports from the Appointments category.  This report will show historical trends in demand, including peaks and troughs for each appointment type, which could be useful for anticipating future trends in demand.  Custom appointment types can be added by accessing your Configuration settings, which are located within the Lists component.

Pros and Cons

  • Easily identify trends in historic demand per day by running an Appointments report
  • Avoid overbooking practitioners by booking patients directly into their usual sessions in the Appointment Book
  • May be challenging to accurately triage over the phone
  • May be challenging to ensure consistency amongst a large team when booking these appointment types

These are just two methods that may assist you in monitoring the flow of patients through your practice during these unprecedented times.  For information or more ideas on workflows, access the Knowledge Base from within Bp Premier and search for ‘COVID-19’.

Authored by:
Rebecca Bland
Training & Deployment Specialist at Best Practice Software

Bp Allied: Assisting Practices With Navigating COVID-19

Globally, we are all facing unprecedented times in an ever-evolving situation due to COVID-19.  Our healthcare system will be placed under immense pressure over the course of this time and many of your clients will be seeking ongoing support from your practice due to new and pre-existing conditions or mental health issues arising from the anxiety surrounding COVID-19.

Here at Best Practice, all our staff are now working from home to ensure our business can continue to support you during this busy period.  You may also be considering moving your staff to a work from home situation or a change in normal working structure to deal with this extraordinary time.  These changes will bring challenges.

However, Bp Allied is able to assist you to alleviate the stress in this transition. We’ve gathered a few hints and tips to help you navigate your practice through these difficult times.

Transitioning to a Hosted Environment

Bp Allied Fully Hosted is the perfect solution for any practice wishing to work in different locations while maintaining a single database and an overview of the entire practice.   For our customers currently hosting BP Allied internally, you may wish to consider transitioning to our fully hosted service to give you more flexibility in work locations. 

Bp Allied Fully Hosted Subscription benefits:

  • Allows staff to access Bp Allied from their home computers or other remote location;*
  • Suitable for Windows and Mac;
  • Backups every 30 minutes;
  • Secure Australian Servers; and
  • Support and Upgrades readily available.

* A suitable internet connection is required.

If you’d like to discuss moving to a Fully Hosted environment please call our Sales Team on 1300 40 1111, Option 3, then Option 2.

 Telehealth Appointments

Telehealth will be a crucial tool in maintaining client appointments for those that are isolated.  Click here to download a short PDF on how to use Zoom with Bp Allied.

For our customers taking advantage of Physitrack, a reminder that Physitrack has an inbuilt Telehealth service.  Telehealth video calls are completely free with Physitrack until 13th April 2020, so now is a great time to sign up.

Bp Allied users get access to Physitrack at a greatly reduced price of only $8.99 p/m (regular subscriptions are $13.99 p/m). If you’d like to know more about Physitrack visit www.physitrack.com

 Online Appointment Bookings

Taking advantage of our HealthSite Integration to allow clients to book their own appointments will significantly reduce administration time for your practice.  Healthsite seamlessly connects to Bp Allied to allow your clients to book a real-time appointment with your practice 24 hours a day. 

Healthsite are generously giving our Bp Allied customers three months free access to their online booking service until 31st March 2020. 

Visit  www.healthsite.com.au or phone 03 9592 8986 for more information. 

SMS or Email Communications

You may be required to communicate certain information to your clients regarding a change in working hours, office structure or other notices concerning COVID-19.   Appointment Reminders are a great way to provide this information, to create a new SMS or Email template within Bp Allied, go to Data Maintenance > Reminder Templates.

Medicare Online Claiming

Our development team have rushed out the latest COVID-19 MBS Items for use with Bp Allied.  These items cover patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 virus but are not in hospital or patients who have been required to isolate themselves in quarantine.  Bp Allied customers wishing to utilise these MBS Item codes will need to follow the instructions in a PDF here to update the included MBS Item list.

We welcome you to join our discussion forum and share any other hints or tips in managing your practice with your colleagues. 

All the Best!

Authored by:

Melissa_Staff

Melissa Dobell
Account Specialist at Best Practice Software

Physitrack: Engaging Patients Through Smart Technology

Physitrack

Home exercise programs often form a fundamental part of patient treatment plans for good reason. Studies show they can help increase muscle strength, improve physical function and prevent the need for surgical intervention. They’ve also been shown to improve patients’ quality of life, glycemic control and weight. Yet the effectiveness of the programs, and the impact they have on treatment outcomes, is almost wholly dependent on how well patients adhere to them. 

Until recently, to prescribe home exercise programs, allied health practitioners had no choice other than to give patients paper handouts carrying printed instructions and either stick figures, or at best, grainy photos.

While these can be adequate for explaining basic exercises, they’re limited in their ability to explain the correct technique for more complex exercises. They also frequently prove inadequate where patients have a limited understanding of exercise techniques in general.

Exercise drawings

Another significant drawback of these traditional home exercise prescription methods is the lack of insight into patient adherence, progress, pain experienced during exercises or other, more specific feedback.

Not having this insight prevents practitioners from being able to adjust a patient’s exercise program should it be proving too easy or hard, or collect valuable outcomes data for payers like WorkCover or the TAC.

Physitrack, one of Bp Allied’s latest integration partners, is changing this with their comprehensive patient engagement solution.

Already used by 40,000+ practitioners and over 4 million patients, Physitrack lets practitioners prescribe crystal-clear exercise programs, track patient outcomes in real-time, educate patients and have secure Telehealth video calls.

Exercise Prescription: Choose from over 4,300 clinically validated, fully narrated exercise videos recorded in Ultra HD to build your own exercise program in seconds. Alternatively, upload your own exercise videos or photos to make your Physitrack library your own.

Outcomes Tracking: Track your patients’ compliance and pain scores / RPE in real-time thanks to the free PhysiApp patient app. Always know how your patients are tracking to have more meaningful conversation with them and keep them on track. Choose from 60+ clinical outcome measures and assign them to your patients. Reminders keep your patients on track and motivated.

Patient Education: Educate your patients and help them manage their condition with clear and engaging educational content. Upload your own patient leaflets or other content and share with your patients through the PhysiApp patient app, great for marketing purposes as well.

Secure Telehealth: Schedule consultations via Telehealth video calls and engage your patients remotely. Includes secure messaging and crystal-clear video calling powered by Dolby. Includes screen sharing and live exercise video streaming to educate patients remotely about correct exercise technique.

Thanks to the integration with Physitrack, BP Allied users can open their patient information from their Bp Allied screen directly into Physitrack. Uploading an exercise program from Physitrack into Bp Allied is extremely easy as well.

For more details see http://kb.bpsoftware.net/bpallied/physitrack_integration.htm.

Bp Allied users subscribe to Physitrack at only $8.99p/m (normally $13.99).

Note: does your clinic have 10+ users? Contact us for a group account.

Best Practice releases Bp Allied V6

Today we are proud to launch the Version 6 release for Bp Allied users, tailored specifically for allied health medical professionals in Australia and New Zealand. A range of major enhancements have been implemented into the software including new and improved private health claiming through Bp’s partnership with Tyro HealthPoint. Bp’s General Manager of Innovation & Development John Rayfield said he was pleased with the developments and progress leading up to the impending release date for Bp Allied users. “The Bp Allied V6 release is packed full of enhancements which our development team have been working hard towards,” “Our goal here at Best Practice is to make every user experience enjoyable and as seamless as possible through our continual evolution in producing cutting edge software.” Mr Rayfield said. “Allied health professionals will find the new release of Bp Allied will greatly improve efficiencies in their Practices”. Other major functionalities include: • Financial enhancements, including Medicare and DVA claiming • Integration with popular financial software Xero • SMS messaging functionality with Bp SMS Current and new users of Bp Allied can receive free training on the new features through the Bp Allied V6 Masterclass – a free one hour webinar, with sessions at 9am and 3pm on Thursday 27h September. For more information visit Best Practice Software’s website . All live Bp Masterclass content will be recorded and saved to Bp’s website. To view this content visit here. Anyone working in the allied health field wanting more details on Bp Allied V6 can contact the Best Practice sales team by emailing sales@bpsoftware.net, phoning 1300 40 1111 in Australia or 0800 40 1111 in New Zealand (Option 3, then Option 2) or visiting the website.