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Best Practice Software Community Partnership – Matthew Talbot Primary Health Clinic

community partnership matthew talbot

If you are an avid reader of our website blog, or are subscribed to our Evolution newsletter, you would remember that back in August we shone a light on a community partnership that Best Practice Software is engaged in with the Yotkom Medical Centre in Uganda.

Today we’re doing something similar – looking at one of the Best Practice Software community partners who is doing incredible work in and around their community, and this one is a little closer to home.

For the past eleven years, Best Practice Software has been involved in an ongoing community partnership with the Matthew Talbot Primary Health Clinic and hostel, located in Woolloomooloo, Sydney. The Matthew Talbot Primary Health Clinic is a Practice that exists to support homeless men in and around the Woolloomooloo locality. For many years, the area has been a hotspot for homeless activity, with around 100 men living in the available crisis accommodation. The clinic’s patients sleep rough or reside locally in unstable, unreliable accommodation.

The clinic is a non-government organisation run by the St Vincent de Paul Society. Their staff consists of their nursing team, a general practitioner, two psychiatrists, an optometrist, and a roster of visiting clinicians and allied health professionals. Nurse Manager, Julie Smith, stresses the importance of the work that the clinic performs.

“The homeless are not served well by mainstream healthcare services. Typically, they die 25 years before an average Australian. They experience higher rates of mental illness, metabolic disease, chronic illness, and cancer. Accessing healthcare is difficult. We provide advocacy and break down those barriers to receiving a service wherever we can.”

community partnership matthew tablot Julie bill
Nurse Manager Julie Smith with Bill, one of the clinic’s beloved patients.

The clinic offers several essential and preventive health services including specialist clinics in smoking cessation, metabolic health, Hepatitis C, and chronic disease management. A point of pride for the clinic is their work in assisting patients with their NDIS funding applications, of which they have been involved in nearly 100. Of these 100, not a single application has been knocked back, meaning that once housed, the patients are able to access lifelong help and support, which in-turn sustains their tenancies and is instrumental in preventing their relapse into homelessness. For these people, these successful applications mean that their homelessness is effectively ended.

Julie explains that the core ethos behind the Matthew Talbot Primary Healthy Clinic is to help those who have trouble helping themselves.

“Supporting and advocating on behalf of people who have difficulty assisting themselves is an important way that we can create and sustain safer and healthier communities. In our hostel, we have a substantial Case Management team who provide comprehensive social welfare services. We partner with them every day and we are instrumental in providing the treating doctors with reports and supportive letters that are crucial elements in obtaining the right benefits or access to housing services.”

To further assist those who are impacted by homelessness, in addition to the medical support and advocacy for housing, the Matthew Talbot Primary Health Clinic also has an onsite learning centre. The centre welcomes those struggling with homelessness, and the wider community.

“It’s a place where you can learn, gain qualifications, meet people, make new friends and obtain assistance.”

The centre’s COMPEER program, which is an initiative backed by Vinnies, is a program that matches community members with people who have a mental illness, but who would benefit from having regular friendships within the community. The centre also provides supportive services for refugees and homeless families, and they run programs which keep homeless children connected to education, which is something that many displaced children struggle with.

While the clinic does offer medical support services, the entire initiative is so much more, aiding with a holistic approach to health, both for individuals and the wider community. Health is very much connected to all aspects of homelessness and being able to assist those in need by considering all aspects of where they may be struggling is crucial to long-term success.

As part of the community partnership agreement, Best Practice Software proudly provides the Matthew Talbot Primary Health Clinic with significantly discounted Bp Premier licences, which benefits the clinic’s staff, but more importantly, allows the clinic to provide, in many cases, lifesaving care and assistance to its patients and the wider community.

Here at Best Practice Software, we are proud to be an integral part of the work that all our customers are undertaking. Though it is especially important that we take steps to assist those who are helping the most vulnerable in our communities, Best Practice Software is particularly proud to have maintained such an important and valuable community partnership with the Matthew Talbot Primary Health Clinic and look forward to continued partnership.

To find out more about the Matthew Talbot Primary Health Clinic, visit their section of the St Vincent de Paul website.

If you are involved with a charitable or non-profit cause, you believe may qualify for Best Practice Software’s Community Partnership program, and can get in touch with us here.

Active Areas of Implementation for ePrescribing

ADHA Active Implementation Areas ePrescribing

In partnership with the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA), Best Practice Software has been gradually rolling out Active Areas of Implementation for ePrescribing since August.

The table below provides a comprehensive list of all suburbs that have been deemed Active Implementation Areas for ePrescribing by the ADHA, as of 15 October.

This means that Practices within these areas are able to download the ePrescribing Utility File from our download page  and begin using eScripts within your Practice.

Active Areas of Implementation for ePrescribing

ionRegionDefinition of Active GeographyPopulation
 Victorian/a All of Victoria 6,460,675 
Australian Capital Territoryn/a All of ACT 420,960 
New South WalesArmidale The Armidale Regional Local Government Area 29,059
Newcastle The suburb of Mayfield in Northern Newcastle 9,314
South Coast

The suburbs of: Bomaderry, North Nowra, Nowra, South Nowra, Terara and West Nowra. The suburb of Moss Vale & The Municipality of Kiama. 

 21,209
 Sydney The LGAs of: Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Camden, Campbelltown, Canada Bay, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Hornsby, Hunters Hill, Inner West,
Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, Liverpool, Mosman, North Sydney, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Randwick, Ryde, Strathfield, Sutherland Shire, Sydney, The Hills Shire, Waverley, Willoughby, Woollahra.
 4,574,994
 QueenslandCentral Highlands The Central Highlands
Regional Local Government Area
 29,650
 Brisbane The suburbs of Camp Hill and Inala 31,669
 Bundaberg The suburb of Bargara 7,485
 Townsville The suburbs of Garbutt, Rowes Bay and Belgian Gardens 7,107
South Australia Central SA The suburbs of Aberfoyle Park, Chandlers Hill, Cherry Gardens, Clarendon, Happy Valley, Onkaparinga Hills and Woodcroft. The postcodes of 5116 and 5118.  73,836
Western AustraliaMetro Perth The suburbs of Port Kennedy and Woodlands 17,922
Country WA The
Kalgoorlie/Boulder Local Government Area and the Shire of Denmark
 35,904
 Tasmania Northern Tasmania The Central Coast,
Launceston and Devonport Local Government Areas
 81,974
Northern TerritoryNorthern NT Palmerston City 33,695

Getting Started with ePrescribing in Your Practice

Getting Started with ePrescribing

Getting started with ePrescribing in your Practice is an exciting prospect – but there are a few things you need to know.

With the Communities of Interest initiative changing into Active Implementation Areas and extending to General Practices and pharmacies across all of Victoria and the ACT, and continuing to extend across our other states and territories, you might be poised and ready to take advantage of Electronic Prescribing.

Firstly, you need to ensure your Practice is in an Active Implementation Area. This ensures that you have the right support throughout your journey, and that your Patients have a participating Pharmacy near them so that they can have their eScript dispensed.  A list of current Active Implementation Areas can be found here.

Secondly, at this stage, the Electronic Prescribing functionality (which is only available in the Jade SP3 and Jade SP4 versions of Bp Premier) is turned off by default. You’ll need to download a utility to switch it on and that utility is currently available for download on our website for those in an Active Implementation Area. Visit us here and type in your postcode to find out if that’s your Practice. If your practice is not within an Active Implementation Area, or you aren’t sure, please get in touch with the Australian Digital Health Agency to register your interest in being included.

Lastly, in Jade SP3, the Prescription Exchange Service that is supported is eRx. You’ll need to be on the latest version and have that enabled in Bp Premier. Fear not those who use Medisecure, this is on our roadmap for release in the near future.   

So, you’re on Jade SP3, are in an Active Implementation Area, use eRx, have downloaded and run the utility and you’ve got eScripts configured as per the steps on our Knowledge Base (Help> Online > Search “Electronic Prescribing” for more info)… What next? Before getting started with ePrescribing, you’ll need some key pieces of information inputted for both Prescribers and Patients before you see the eScript button enabled. They are as follows;

  • Prescriber No.
  • AHPRA No.
  • HPI-I
  • HPI-O
  • Patient IHI (patient demographics)
  • Provider’s Title (user record)

You’ll also need to make sure you’ve selected your Patients preferred token method from within their demographic under “eScript Token,” shown below.

Getting Started with ePrescribing

We’ve got some comprehensive documentation on the set up and use of Electronic Prescribing, as well as multimedia clips and frequently asked questions on eScripts, available to you right now on the Jade SP3 Knowledge Base, which you can access from with Bp Premier’s Help menu.

With Electronic Prescribing continuing to evolve, and exciting developments on the horizon, like the Active Script List, the team at Best Practice are committed to helping you with your Electronic Prescribing journey every step of the way.

Active Ingredient Prescribing: What Does It Mean For You?

AIP Article Blog

Prescribing medication by its active ingredient will become mandatory from February 2021. This change is part of the government’s 2018-2019 Electronic Prescribing Budget initiative that was legislated in 2019 under the National Health (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Amendment (Active Ingredient Prescribing) Regulations 2019. The aim of this regulation is to improve patient understanding of the medications they take in addition to promoting the uptake of generic and biosimilar medicines that would support a long term viable and sustainable market for these medications in Australia.

The regulation mandates the inclusion of the active ingredients on all PBS and RPBS prescriptions with the exception of:

  • Handwritten prescriptions
  • Paper-based medication charts in residential aged care settings
  • Medications with four or more active ingredients
  • Vaccines
  • Custom preparations and prescriptions generated through a free text function within prescribing software
  • Over the counter items
  • Non-medicinal items such as dressings and food supplements
  • Medications determined by the Secretary for practicality and safety reasons

Brand names can be included in the prescription if it is considered to be clinically necessary by the prescriber; however, the active ingredient must be listed first as per the regulation. Furthermore, software is prohibited from automatically including the brand name by default. It is therefore up to the prescriber to include the brand name on the prescription.

Why is this change being implemented?

There are numerous benefits to prescribing by active ingredient rather than brand name. First, generic prescribing enables patients to identify the pharmaceutically active ingredient (the international nonproprietary name) of their drug and thereby have a better understanding about the medications they take.

Second, it will reduce the risk of patients accidentally taking the same medication as a result of a prescribing or dispensing error due to being unaware that the brand name is not a unique identifier of their medication.

Third, it will allow the dispensation of any suitable equivalent generic should their brand of medication not be available at the pharmacy and subsequently reduce delays in supplying medication to the patient.

It is envisaged this change will increase the uptake of generic and biosimilar products which would reduce the out-of-pocket cost to the patient and the PBS.

How might this change the way I prescribe medications?

From a prescriber’s perspective, there are some changes in our workflow. When prescribing a new medication, we can still search by brand name or the active ingredient.

Prescribing a new medication by brand name

If we wish the patient to have a specific brand, then we have to check the “Print brand name on scripts” check-box and un-check the “Allow brand substitution” check box. This will convey to the pharmacist that the brand name on the script is what should be dispensed and brand substitution is not permitted.

Prescribing a new medication by active ingredient name

If we are satisfied that there is no clinical need for the patient to be on a particular brand of medication then we can search and select the drug by the active ingredient name. The options to “Print brand name on scripts” and “Allow brand substitution” will not be selectable as it is superfluous information since we have chosen to prescribe a generic medication.

Providing a prescription for a patient’s existing medication by brand

During the roll out of the software update for active ingredient prescribing, if a patient’s medication has previously been declared as not allowing brand substitution, then it will be set to “Print brand name on scripts”. This is because a prescriber has previously decided and recorded that the patient must be on the recorded brand of medication. In such cases the brand name will be printed on the script and the workflow for the doctor will not change.

However, if “Allow Brand Substitution” is checked (meaning that a generic brand can be dispensed), then the “Print brand name on scripts” will not be flagged. This is because, it has not previously been declared that the patient must be on that brand of medication. As per the regulation, software vendors cannot default to printing brand name on scripts in such cases. This may potentially become an issue to doctors who have, for example, previously prescribed “Micardis”, but have declared that brand substitution is permitted. In these cases, the brand “Micardis” will not be printed on the script and therefore the patient will be dispensed a generic Telmisartan rather than Micardis.

Providing a prescription for a patient’s existing medication by active ingredient

This scenario should not change the workflow of the doctor as the active ingredient will be printed.

How might this change affect my patients?

It is very important that we have a discussion with our patients regarding the upcoming changes and how it can affect their medications. This is especially if they are taking brand medications and we wish them to continue to do so.

Below are some examples of a typical prescription showing branded medication, and the same prescription showing only the active ingredient.

AIP Branded Script
AIP Script Unbranded

Authored by:

Dr Fabrina Avatar

Dr Fabrina Hossain
Clinical Advisor at Best Practice Software

 

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Building Upon Bp Premier with Development Services

development services blog image

Before prescribing software became commonplace, general practitioners would spend much of their consultation writing out patients’ prescriptions on paper – but the thought of a GP doing this for all their consultations now is a distant memory. Prescribing software like Bp Premier enables doctors to create prescriptions with just a few clicks and take advantage of features like automatic checking for drug interactions.

Workflows such as prescribing, requesting and reviewing pathology investigations for patients, and sending appointment reminders are universal to medical Practices, so they are well-supported in off-the-shelf software like Bp Premier. Our software enables Practices to report on their doctors’ billings so that they can be paid appropriately, and view various statistics useful for running a Practice.

But many Practices have unique requirements for workflows or data extraction that cannot be catered for in off-the-shelf software. For example, producing an extract of client information for a specialised piece of third-party software your Practice uses, reporting in a specific format to a third party other than Medicare (for example, a private contract), or exporting data to a business intelligence package for your Practice. For Practices handling these steps manually via data entry, spreadsheets or even paper, time spent on this may quickly add up.

Medical Practices without an in-house IT team (or even those with an in-house team) may require a Bp Premier expert to assist with custom workflows or data requirements in a more automated fashion. Best Practice Software’s Development Services team is available to build custom reports, integrations or software addons for your Practice, to help you really get the most out of Bp Premier. The team has many years’ experience and intimate knowledge of Bp Premier, including how the product supports your business every day. They are best placed to advise you on how to meet any custom requirements your Practice may have.

This team draws on their knowledge and expertise to develop queries, templates and reporting functionality to enhance the application while still utilising its key functions within your clinic. Our business analysis and software development expertise will allow us to manage your project from inception through to completion, and our services are competitively priced. We can reduce double handling of data, additional data entry and other points of friction within your Practice’s specialised processes through customised reports and software to meet your Practice’s needs.

How Our Development Services Team Can Assist

For Practices without specialised database administration resources to manage their Bp Premier server, we can also provide assistance with proactive performance optimisation and regular maintenance to keep your Bp Premier database running smoothly and efficiently. We can also assist Practices when converting from another system to ours, when Practices merge and require one database, or if a Practice wishes to extract a subset of data into another Bp Premier instance. These are all part of our Premium Conversions service.
Our Development Services team has successfully partnered with Practices on:

  • Custom integrations to retrieve data from, and store data in, third party systems, removing manual work required by the Practice to update these systems
  • Custom reports and data extractions for Practices with various specialties who need to track patients with certain conditions and procedures
  • Assisting Practices’ IT teams with migration of their databases to a new hosting provider
  • Assisting multi-site Practices who have sold one of their sites to another provider with extracting data specific to that site to be provided to the buyer
  • Regular maintenance on a Practice’s database to boost performance

Depending on what your Practice requires, our services can be quoted at an hourly rate, or a fixed price for your project. If your Practice is looking for a way to enhance its processes, data analysis, clinic templates or reporting, speak to our team today – you can contact us at developmentservices@bpsoftware.net.

Authored by:

Thomas Clarke

Thomas Clarke
Project Manager for Innovation and Development at Best Practice Software

User Centred Design: How Practice Management Software is Developed

user centred design blog post image

If you’re like us, you may have noticed that over time software has progressively become simpler and easier to use. But have you ever stopped to consider why?

Historically, software development followed a top-down design, starting with a general concept then working towards specific needs afterwards. Recently though, companies have started to adopt a bottom-up philosophy, instead starting with, and focusing on, the specific needs of users and developing a solution to meet those needs. In short, software developers have started to adopt a principle known as user centred design.

This approach is core to how we develop at Best Practice Software; it’s how we came to be; we are designed by a Doctor, for Doctors.

A great software experience can only happen with a thorough understanding of the people using the product.

As the name implies, user centred design ensures that our users are at the heart of software we create. By involving users early and often within our development process, we know our design and development decisions are based on the needs and wants of the people who use our software.

User experience designers are the voice of the customer throughout the software development process. We gather knowledge about our user base and test throughout development to verify our assumptions. Software can become cumbersome and frustrating to use without comprehensive testing and input from users.

A core principle is that our products must be simple, logical, and understandable to all our users. We hold regular discussions with a range of customers to ensure we’re supporting practitioners from various disciplines. We began development of our next-generation, cloud-based product after extensive customer discussions and workshops. The brief of these sessions was simple; empathise, connect, and understand the needs of all who work in a busy practice, and what they desire in a cloud-based solution.

There are so many roles within a modern Practice, and we recognise that simply having a list of Practice roles doesn’t mean we know everything about Practices and their staff. Everyone has different life experiences, so two people working in the same role will have different ways of performing similar tasks. Understanding this is key to user centred design, as well-designed software needs to cater to the needs and ability of both of these groups of users.

This is one of the many challenges User Experience (UX) designers face. By talking with people, learning their workflows, pain-points, and daily tasks we begin to get an understanding of what they need to perform their job, and how we can help them achieve that.

A person is so much more unique and complex than their job.

To truly understand our customers and follow the principles of user centred design, our software must support the person, not just perform tasks they need to do. Getting to know the person beyond the keyboard doesn’t come from having a discussion, it comes from the shared experience. A significant, and enjoyable part of being a UX designer is venturing into the real world and visiting our users in their Practices; we observe, we ask questions, we share, we empathise to better understand our customers.

“What is a good day for you?”, “what happens on a bad day?”, and, “what makes those days good/bad?” might seem like odd questions to ask people, but they’re incredibly valuable for a few reasons:

  • These stories give us better insight into the environment as a whole
  • We learn about their frustrations, and what causes them
  • We learn what makes people happy (after all – the goal of a UX designer is to help people and make their lives easier through clever software design!)
  • They provide a window into our users’ worlds

“Show us how you last performed that task” turns that window into a door. We can learn to understand why that task is needed, how that task fits into a persons’ day, what information they had or did not have, where that information came from, whether their current method caused any frustration or interruption, providing significant context and life detail.

Only by gathering and merging these different perspectives of our customers are we able to develop the understanding and empathy necessary to design software which supports people.

Our first task when designing user-centred software is to create maps and workflows of the problems we wish to solve. These provide us with a solid foundation for our designs. Layout, interactions, and the ‘meat’ of the designs all follow once we have a solid understanding of the people we’re supporting.

How to be person-first, the next steps: prototype testing, goal setting, and testing again!

The medical industry is evolving, and the needs of the people working in it are complex. It’s imperative that we deliver functionality that is needed and will improve the lives of the people using our software. So, UX designers test throughout the product development process.

Testing and user centred design go together, as through this we ensure we don’t make assumptions, which ultimately reduces the need for rework.

Reducing reworking is important. We verify that our designs will stand up to real-world use before ‘code hits paper’ by testing and simulating real-world scenarios. Observing customers using paper prototypes exposes the strengths and weaknesses in proposed workflows. To the UX designer, paper prototypes are fantastic tools which cut to the heart of the task, testing the workflow without any distractions.

Development uses an agile approach which is well-suited to regular iterative test and improvement rounds. We run small regular sessions to have customers demonstrate how they perform tasks. This feedback loop helps to check our assumptions, confirm we’re aligned with our customers, and are providing valuable solutions to solve their task-related challenges.

Even when our software has been released into the wild, we recognise that there is always room to improve. We employ a diverse range of tactics to get feedback which is fed back into development:

  • Repeating our, “show us how you perform this task”, tests
  • Visiting Practices and observing how they are using our now-released software
  • Talking with support and collecting user feedback
  • Reading forums, emails and other online comments

As a UX designer, it’s a joy to know that we’re making a difference in people’s lives. We relish the opportunity to talk with those who use our software, and to hear if there are areas where we can make a difference (and if there are any areas in which we already have!). That’s the beauty of user centred design.

Authored by:

rachel gareth

Gareth Chainey & Rachel Hunt
User Experience Designers at Best Practice Software

Marketing Your Practice: Four Simple Tips to Help You Get Started

Marketing Article Highlighters

Marketing your Practice is an important step in ensuring you’re well-known in your local community, but the prospect of undertaking marketing efforts may seem a little confusing at first. A quick Google search of the term immediately inundates you with a flood of acronyms that serve to confuse more than clarify – you’re not quite sure what they mean, whether they apply to you or how you’re supposed to use the information to assist your Practice.

Are you B2B or B2C? Do you need SEO? Should you know your Practice’s CPC for your PPC? Do you need to research CTAs? Can you implement CRO? Do you need to call in an expert, or can you DIY? (Ok, I’m pretty sure most people know that one).

Marketing is an area that is crucial to the success of any business – GP clinics included. You could be operating a Practice with no wait times, the world’s friendliest doctors and a lollipop given out with every consultation, but that is all ultimately meaningless if you aren’t letting your community know that you exist.

So where do you start?

Google My Business

When it comes to making sure people know your Practice exists, Google My Business is a great place to start. Have you ever searched for a service or product, and your Google results have provided a list of nearby businesses including their phone number, opening hours and location on a map? These are Google My Business listings.

A recent study into Google My Business (GMB) insights found that on average, businesses were discovered by their Google listing 1,009 times each month, so it’s a no brainer when it comes to an easy-to-implement, but essential, marketing measure.

GMB listings aren’t only to let potential clients and patients know that you exist, but also the services you offer, reviews from patients and clients, your address, what your business looks like, and even how much a visit might cost them. When you go through the setup process, you’ll be asked all of these questions (except for the ratings which will come from your patients/clients), and it’s important you answer as many as possible.

When it comes to deciding which businesses to display in search results, Google operates on three primary metrics; proximity, relevance and prominence.

Proximity is fairly self explanatory – Google will prioritise listings for a business 5km away over one that is 30km away. For this reason, it’s important that you accurately list your Practice’s address.

Relevance is Google determining how relevant your business is to the searcher’s needs, and this comes into play with the descriptions and services you have included in your GMB listing. For example, if someone searches for ‘medical practice skin check’, but you haven’t included the terms ‘skin check’ in your services or business description, your relevance to the search term wouldn’t be as high, so it’s important to mention all relevant services that your Practice offers. Try to be thorough with your keywords and include as many relevant variations as you can think of.

Prominence is the third, and trickiest metric to get correct. Prominence relates to things like the number of reviews your Practice has, whether or not other websites refer back to your website or business name (this is known as backlinking, a very powerful, but advanced marketing concept), and how well-known your brand is in the local community. The easiest way for you to boost your prominence without delving into advanced marketing techniques is to consistently ask your patients and clients for feedback via Google Reviews. This will also help combat any negative reviews you may receive, with a more balanced view of all the happy patients and clients you serve.

If Google can see your Practice is an active business that is generating positive feedback from patients and clients, it more confidently displays your GMB listing in search results as it will recognise you as a local business that communicates trust and authority.

We’ve only just scratched the surface of Google My Business here, and if you are interested in finding out more, there are no shortage of resources online. In the meantime, if you haven’t yet set up a Google My Business listing for your Practice, you can get started here. In addition, it may also be worthwhile to list your Practice on Maps Connect, Apple’s version of Google My Business. You can get started with Maps Connect here.

Social Media

That’s right, social media has a practical use beyond sharing cat pictures and reconnecting with your high school class of ’87.

Even though social media encompasses a wide range of platforms, the most far-reaching of them (and easiest to market on) is most definitely Facebook. A lot of businesses still write Facebook off as unnecessary – but the reality is far from it. According to a social media statistics report from January 2020, there are approximately 15 million active Australians on Facebook, which is 60% of the country’s total population!

If you’ve ever used Facebook in a personal capacity, chances are you’re familiar with how to create a profile – the good news is creating a profile for a business is much the same. Be thorough with your Practice’s services, opening hours and location, and use well-lit photos that show your Practice or clinic off in its best light.

One feature available on Facebook, that isn’t available on Google, is the ability to post content to engage with your patients, clients and local community. Brainstorm some ideas with your team for fun and engaging posts that will get people commenting, liking or sharing your content.

The secret here is varying your content and personalising it. Many successful Practices and clinics share things like feel-good stories, staff photos or videos, health awareness days and healthcare news. Your content doesn’t have to look like it’s fresh off the desk of a graphic designer – unpolished photos and videos can often outperform expertly produced content, as it’s showing your business is authentic.

The number one thing to remember when it comes to social media marketing is that it’s a slow process. You need to work at building your online community and be patient – display a poster in the reception area asking patients to follow or have your reception staff ask, offer a small one-time discount for becoming a follower, and use the functionality within Facebook to invite those who like your posts to also like your page. Even those of us who specialise in marketing accept that it can take a while to see results!

Your Practice Management System

A rarely used feature that can really set your Practice apart from your competition is utilising the communication functionality that comes built-in to your Practice Management System. This could include SMS and/or mobile phone apps and can often be automated. What better way to provide exceptional customer service and strengthen your Practice-patient relationship, than with proactive health awareness messages, helpful health summaries or factsheets, and health reminders?
 

Your Own Website

Google and Facebook are all well and good, but if your website isn’t up to scratch, the other platforms aren’t going to do you any favours as they both request your website’s URL when setting up your GMB listing or Facebook company page.

Google in particular cares a lot about your website’s performance. It wants to know that if it’s recommending a website as part of a search result, that the website will help and inform visitors. In addition, consistency between your website and other online profiles is essential in conveying a strong and cohesive message to your local community.

If your Google My Business profile mentions that your Practice offers skin checks as a service, but that isn’t mentioned anywhere on your website, Google is going to be less likely to recommend your business for skin checks.

In addition to consistency, your website’s performance is going to be a significant factor in how likely other services are to recommend your business, and also affects patient and client retention. If your website has online booking functionality but is slow to load, has broken links or doesn’t work properly on mobile, you’re going to lose a lot visitors before they’ve had a chance to book an appointment.

A site like GTMetrix is helpful to determine how well optimised your website is. While a lot of the terminology used in the results may not make sense to you, it will give you an easy to understand score on an A to E scale for overall performance and efficiency. If your website isn’t performing as well as it should, it would be worth investing the time and money to improve it.

But What About All Those Acronyms You Mentioned at the Start? Don’t I Need to Know All About Those?

Not really. While those acronyms and abbreviations begin to step into the territory of advanced marketing, the basics are straightforward and can be achieved by just about anyone.
 
The best advice for marketing your Practice to your potential patients and clients is to put yourself in their shoes:
 
  • If you were looking for a Practice, what information would you want to see in a Google My Business or Safari Maps Connect listing?
  • If you were to follow your local Practice’s Facebook page, what type of content would keep you engaged with them?
  • Visit your own Practice’s website. Be honest and objectively assess whether it offers a pleasant user experience.
  • If your Practice uses a Practice Management System that supports SMS, app messaging or email integration, what kind of notifications would keep you engaged with them?
One of the golden rules of marketing is to make yourself known, and relate to your audience. This is true no matter what industry, field or discipline you’re trying to promote.
 
So before you make any change, post or update – stop and think ‘is this something my audience needs or wants to see?’
 
Authored by:
 
 
Louis Valenti
Marketing Specialist at Best Practice Software

The National Cancer Screening Register – How Will It Impact Practices and Patients?

Cancer cells floating

Cancer is a major cause of illness worldwide and in Australia. In 2020, it is estimated there will be just under 150,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed and approximately 50,000 cancer-related deaths, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare states. Therefore it’s not surprising that healthcare initiatives relating to the proactive improvement of cancer care are high on our government’s priority list. One such initiative is the National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR).

From our upcoming Bp Premier Saffron release users will be able to access the NCSR from within Bp Premier. Here’s the 101 on what you need to know about the initiative, how it will impact your Practice, the benefits and more about how it will be integrated with Bp Premier.

What is the National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR)?

The National Cancer Screening Register is a Department of Health initiative developed to support bowel cancer and cervical screening. Telstra Health has been engaged to develop the register, and the initiative has been implemented in partnership with state and territory governments.

The register is a national digital health platform that enables a single electronic record for each person in Australia, which collects, stores, analyses and reports on cancer screening data across providers. The register assigns a unique national identifier to each patient, while recording key data including patient contact and demographic information, screening test results and healthcare provider details. The NCSR generates comprehensive data to inform clinical decision making, policy and healthcare delivery changes, and provide proactive cancer care to patients.

The Department of Health and Telstra Health have partnered with participating vendors, such as Best Practice Software, to integrate the register with widely used practice management systems like Bp Premier, to enable simple, electronic capture of cancer related health information.

Will Collected Data Be Secure in the National Cancer Screening Register?

Data and cyber security was of course a chief concern at the onset and throughout the project. The register was built to comply with all relevant standards and policies including the Privacy Act 1988, the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), and the National Cancer Screening Register Act 2016 to ensure the safety and security of confidential health data. Access to data is limited to patients, their healthcare providers and authorised bodies, such as state and territory health departments, who are able to access the data only to perform core duties related to the purpose of the register.

Similar to My Health Record, patients can opt out of this program should they elect to do so.

Patient Benefits

The aim of the National Cancer Screening Register is simple; to improve cancer related health outcomes through proactive communication and screening. The NCSR supports this by:

  • Reminding patients, through their Practice, when they are due and overdue for screening
  • Providing a patient’s screening history to laboratories and other providers to inform recommendations
  • Providing a ‘safety net’ for participants who are at risk and have not attended further testing, by prompting them (and their healthcare providers) to have follow up tests done

General Practitioner Benefits

For Practices and doctors, the NSCR will provide you with more patient data to help inform clinical decision making and will aid you in your efforts to provide pre-emptive cancer care to your patients. General practitioners can utilise the register to:

  • Order a bowel or cervical cancer screening test kits
  • View patient screening histories and utilise the information to inform clinical healthcare decisions and recommendations
  • Receive reminders for patients who are overdue for screening or follow-up, thereby making it easier and less time consuming to deliver proactive care where it’s of critical importance
  • Check and update patient details
  • Manage patient program participation

And all this will be available from within Bp Premier.

What Do the Changes Look Like in Bp Premier?

Before you can use the NCSR Hub, NCSR integration will need to be enabled for your Practice, and our Training team has developed some fantastic resources to guide you through this. Once this integration is enabled, Doctors can interact directly with the National Cancer Screening Register from Bp Premier using the NCSR Hub. Doctors will be able to:

  • View and print a patient’s test results and screening histories
  • View a patient’s screening status and alerts using easy to understand icons
  • Submit information and forms to the register
  • View and update a patient’s details
  • Manage a patient’s screening participation
  • Cease a patient’s correspondence for the cervical screening program
  • Nominate other people to assist your patient (such as a personal representative or another healthcare provider)

Upon the release of Saffron, please visit the Knowledge Base from inside Bp Premier for step-by-step instructions on how to set-up and configure the integration, how to use the NCSP Hub and an overview of NCSR Forms.

Authored by:

Harmony Sanderson Avatar

Harmony Sanderson
Manager of Marketing, Communications & Events at Best Practice Software

Notification of ePrescribing Update

ePrescribing Update

Given the current COVID-19 crisis, on Monday 17 August, the federal government announced, in an ePrescribing update, the expansion of the rollout of ePrescribing to Communities of Interest to support a safer and more convenient supply of medicines for patients.

On Monday 17 August, the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) provided Best Practice Software with an ePrescribing update that included list of postcodes which are within the approved Electronic Prescribing Communities of Interest (COI).

To find out if your Practice is located within a COI, please use the Postcode Validator available on this page. If not, we encourage you to check back over the coming days and weeks, as new postcodes are being added regularly.

current list of Communities of Interest can be found here, although please note there is a lag in this page being updated. To register your interest in being included as a Community of Interest, please get in touch with the Australian Digital Health Agency.

With that understanding, we have been granted approval from the ADHA to make the Bp Premier Jade SP3 ePrescribing Utility available to Practices in the COI.  ePrescription functionality was included as part of the Jade SP3 release, however, by default, the functionality is turned off.  The Utility, when run, will activate ePrescribing in your Jade SP3 software.

Critical Information:

Communication between Practices and local pharmacies is critical – this will ensure they are ready to dispense an electronic prescription.  If Practices don’t confirm this, it could mean patients will have a delay in accessing their medicines including having to return to their Practice for a paper prescription.

It is critical that both practitioners and patients are aware that not all pharmacies are eScript ready as of today’s date. Practices and practitioners must inform patients which pharmacies in their area are eScript ready. If the patient’s pharmacy of choice is not eScript ready, they should be informed and given the choice of receiving a paper prescription instead.

To assist with this education process, we have developed two posters, one for your practitioners and one for your patients.

Posters with eScript-ready Pharmacies

Each poster has a space for to include the names of local pharmacies that are eScript ready. We recommend posting them in reception areas and at each doctor’s desk, or where doctors are working remotely, emailing a copy to each practitioner.

 

In order to take advantage of our fast tracked ePrescribing functionality, Practices will need to:

 

In addition, the Australian Digital Health Agency has provided access to free eLearning courses at training.digitalhealth.gov.au.

The eLearning courses include three modules:

1.    Introducing electronic prescriptions
2.    Using electronic prescriptions
3.    Preparing for electronic prescriptions

The courses have been accredited by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine. Practitioners completing the courses can claim CPD/PDP credits/points upon successful completion of each module.

Important information about Jade SP3 Fast Track and Fully Conformant ePrescribing:

The Department of Health (DoH) initiative, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, required us to fast track a simplified version of ePrescribing in order to bring the functionality to market quickly, to safeguard the health of GPs, their staff and patients.  Our Fast Track version of ePrescribing has been delivered in Jade SP3.

We are working with the ADHA and DoH on the Fully Conformant version of ePrescriptions, which will be made available in a future release of our software.

Cost of eScript Messages:

As part of Fast Track ePrescribing, there are two options to send eScripts to patients; SMS and email. There is no charge for email messages, however, during Fast Track ePrescribing, the DoH is covering the cost of eScript SMS messages.

Once Full Conformance is achieved, the DoH will cease funding eScript SMS messages.  Our fully conformant version of ePrescribing, will have three options to send eScripts to Patients; Bp SMS, Best Health App and email.  Bp SMS and Best Health App are part of our Bp Comms functionality.  The cost per message will be:

  • Bp SMS:                     $0.04
  • Best Health App:        $0.03
  • Email:                         no charge

Not a Bp SMS or Best Health App user today?

Closer to the release of our Fully Conformant software version, we will provide Practices with details on how to register for one or both of these services to conform with the details of this ePrescribing update.

Helpful Resources for Your Practice

To communicate the important information about this ePrescribing update, Practices may wish to consider using the internal messaging function available within Bp Premier.  This can be accessed anywhere in the system by opening the ‘Utilities’ menu and selecting ‘Messages’, or by simply clicking the F8 shortcut key. Any messages sent through this platform will display a notification within Bp Premier when the recipient next logs in.

 

Best Practice Software Community Partnership – Yotkom Medical Centre

Corporate Citizenship Yotkom Uganda

You can visit the Yotkom Medical Centre website at www.yotkom.com.

Many of our customers, partners and clients that we interact with on a daily basis are aware that Best Practice Software develops, maintains and provides training for a range of Practice Management Solutions and associated services – but many are unaware of our Community Partnership program, which ties in as part of our corporate citizenship activities.

Our Community Partnership program is designed to enable charitable community benefit through our vision of communities connected through medicine.

Today, we shine a light on a particularly special partnership.

Best Practice Software, in co-operation with Dr Andrew Wright, have been involved in a partnership with the Yotkom Medical Centre in Uganda for over 5 years.

Situated in the regional village of Kitgum, Yotkom means ‘health’ in Acholi, a regional language of northern Uganda and South Sudan. First opening its doors in October of 2005, Yotkom Medical Centre was formed as the result of an initiative headed by Australian doctor, Andrew Wright.

The district we serve has a population of approximately 300,000. People travel long distances to our facility because it has a reputation for excellence.

The clinic’s primary goal is to improve access to healthcare for locals and provide excellence in primary healthcare to such a resource-poor setting. The centre also focuses on building relationships and self-reliance within the community.

The Yotkom Medical Centre provides a range of services to the community, including an outpatient and emergency department that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is staffed by medical officers with comprehensive training. Approximately 15000 patients per year attend as outpatients. Surgical and orthopaedic procedures are undertaken in the clinic’s two operating theatres. Fifty inpatient beds are available for patients that require care in complicated cases. The centre operates a dental clinic and undertakes dental education and outreach to local schools and businesses.

Of special mention is the centre’s Maternal and Child Health facility. This opened in 2019 and serves to undertake antenatal care and education, as well as the assisting of natural births and the provision of safe caesarean section deliveries where required. Dr Wright points out that the clinic is making a significant impact on reducing child and maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. They are a designated childhood vaccination centre and offer vaccinations for Hepatitis B and rabies. All patient fees are subsidised by donations received in Australia.

The clinic also proudly operates workshops for the community and other health workers, and they retain a compassion fund which is accessed to subsidise life-changing surgery for the clinic’s most disadvantaged patients.

As part of Best Practice Software’s corporate citizenship involvement, the Yotkom Medical Centre is provided with substantially discounted Bp Premier licences to use throughout the centre. The provision of software helps staff to improve record keeping and assists with the teaching of their junior clinicians. It provides access to the MIMS database and invaluable patient education materials.

The community in Kitgum is very poor and experiences a high rate of unemployment and subsistence living. Subsequently in 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these conditions of extreme poverty. Infectious diseases like Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV remain common. Yotkom’s ongoing partnership with Best Practice Software through corporate citizenship activities, and the implementation of Bp Premier, helps clinic staff to collate patient information in an orderly fashion and improves the process of following up with patients’ post treatment, which is a significant undertaking, as many medical facilities in Uganda do not maintain any kind of patient record databases.

To provide ongoing support to the Yotkom Medical Centre, doctors, nurses and midwives regularly travel to the facility from Australia to share their skills and expertise. Information technology professionals also contribute their time to manage the centre’s technology platforms and software. Part of the service they provide is to teach the Ugandan clinicians skills in software operation, record keeping and online medical referencing.

Historically, Dr Andrew Wright travels to the clinic and lend his expertise in rural general practice and tropical medicine alongside the clinicians and support staff at Yotkom for six weeks at a time, three times each year. However, during COVID travel restrictions, he has been lending support in weekly ward rounds via video calling platforms. He remains diligent and is constantly seeking to improve opportunities for training, education and supervision for the Ugandan staff at Yotkom.

When speaking about the project work being undertaken at Yotkom in Uganda, and when advocating for the centre here in Australia, Dr Wright often shares how the strategic partnership with Best Practice Software’s corporate citizenship involvement has assisted the clinic with sustainability.

The medical centre in Kitgum has an Australian flag flying at the entrance, and the entire community is aware of how Australian donors and organisations such as Best Practice Software are making a difference towards health issues in that part of the world.

Having Best Practice Software work so well in Uganda is a showcase, demonstrating to other medical institutions how the software is beneficial, and might spur them to consider utilising the same platform in their organisations.

While we here at Best Practice Software believe we provide all our customers and clients with a way to improve their day to day Practice function, it is especially rewarding to be able to assist incredibly worthy causes such as this as part of our corporate citizenship involvement. We congratulate Dr Andrew Wright and all the staff working hard to make the Yotkom Medical Centre a success, and we look forward to being part of this incredible endeavour for years to come.

If you are involved with a cause you believe may qualify for Best Practice Software’s Community Partnership program, you can get in touch with us here.