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AutoMed Systems: Embracing Practice Processes of the Future

Automed Practice Future

What is the Practice of the future?

At a recent webinar conducted in June 2020, 50% of GP-owner attendees indicated that they currently earn less than their subcontractors.

The 5 challenges confronting every Practice Manager today are;

  1. Solvency
  2. Making General Practice the central point of health delivery
  3. The rebate freeze while Practice costs continue to increase by up to 30%
  4. Incursions by pharmacists, health funds and recent popup Telehealth “providers” that remove your patients from comprehensive, quality and continuing healthcare.
  5. The increasing demands for patient education, and involvement in their health care

Is the answer for the GP to work faster, or charge more?

No. The answer is to embrace technology.

The patient journey begins with making a complex, accurate appointment online or via phone, which includes all the necessary resources in the correct sequence with pre-payments where required, and simultaneously being able to provide health information and Practice marketing.

By using integrated caller identification, staff costs can drop by $2 per appointment. Having patients book online, arrive via a concierge and using a comprehensive kiosk will decrease staff requirements by up to 50%, or $120K per annum for a medium sized Practice.

15% of all data is incorrect leading to failed communication, extra staff costs and legal risks.

A kiosk needs to check all demographic data, in multiple languages and be able to process payments efficiently. This eliminates the need for patients to return to the desk to pay for Gap fees, consumables and vaccines, halving staff requirements.

Moving from bulk billing to private billing can be costly with the increase in front desk demands, whereas a billing kiosk can perform the function at no additional cost. Loyalty schemes via the kiosk can increase gross income by up to $80k with just a $10 patient contribution.

AutoMed Systems provides the ability to communicate with patients via a fixed price SMS solution leading to better informed and engaged patients, better utilisation of time and resources, and decreasing DNAs by 90%. One DNA daily adds up to $15k per FTE.

Technology must be flexible, provide access to new services such as Tele/video consultations, eRx, loyalty programmes, vaccination management and include reporting tools to assist with accreditation.

In short, the practice of the future must be flexible, sophisticated, up to date with IT and be completely supported by a reliable and reputable Australian based support team.

Please contact support@automedsystems.com.au for more information.

Index Health: Cataract Surgery Self-Auditing is Here!

Index Health Audit

After examining a 63-year-old patient with a cataract, you discuss the option of surgery.

You include an obligatory statistic informing them of risk. You quote a statistic of 1/400 for the possibility of worse vision. Your patient recoils, exclaiming, “that seems a bit high!”

You now doubt yourself, and question your rate – can it really be that high?

You begin to suspect that your patient is questioning our ability as a surgeon. Do one in 400 of your patients really lose two or more lines of BCVA? Do some patients have a greater likelihood of BCVA loss? Can you identify them?

Are you able to provide a patient with a risk which is specific to their presentation? Is it acceptable to provide patients with a general figure, or can you provide them with a figure that relates to your surgery?

Is your complication rate improving?

We live in a era of data analysis – we have apps to track our heart rate, exercise, diet and sleep. We measure, and then we re-measure – with the aim of improving.

As surgeons, we take great pride in our work. But to improve we need to be able to objectively assess our progress. We are not in a competition. But without analysing our results, we cannot improve. Many of us look at audit as an onerous task, sifting through patient files and entering data into a spreadsheet. But it doesn’t need to be this way. Self-auditing can be a seamless part of your professional growth.

Index Health, in partnership with Best Practice Software, now have an integrated cataract surgery self-audit tool for Bp VIP.net.

When using our tool, your results will not be shared, your privacy will be maintained and we adhere to all Australian privacy laws.  Index Health with Best Practice Software can be seamlessly integrated into your Practice, with minimal changes to your workflow.

Start using our Index Health cataract surgery self-audit tool, and begin assessing your progress today.

For more information see the Index Health website or contact Index Health at ben@indexhealth.com.au

The Best Practice Software Podcast – Electronic Prescribing Q&A

Join Product Training, Knowledge & Deployment Leader Suzi Eley and Commercial Partnership Specialist Will Durnford in the first episode of the Best Practice Software Podcast.

In this episode, Suzi and Will cover topics raised during the Electronic Prescribing masterclass, such as queries surrounding implementation and rollout, how the token system works, how to find a participating pharmacy, and associated privacy concerns.

Listen to the podcast in browser below.

Note: Since the time of recording, South Australia have approved the use of Electronic Prescriptions. Electronic Prescriptions are still not approved in the state of Queensland as of the 19th of June, 2020.

Enhanced Secure Messaging – the Path to Interoperability

Secure Messaging

Digital healthcare provides clinicians with fast and reliable access to patient records, in turn, improving efficiencies in coordinated clinical care and ultimately supporting better patient outcomes.

What is Secure Messaging?

Secure messaging enables the encrypted electronic exchange of patient healthcare information between healthcare providers. Point-to-point delivery of messages such as discharge summaries, referrals, requests and results represent the typical use case.

The electronic message is encrypted by the sender and decrypted by the receiver and therefore cannot be read if intercepted in transit.

Software vendors and their solutions, built to facilitate secure message delivery, are well established in Australasia, some with over 25 years in the market.

It’s fair to say that the majority of practices have had some exposure to secure message service providers (eg, Telstra Health Argus, Healthlink, Medical Objects and ReferralNet) and may even have more than one service enabled.

Why Does Secure Messaging Matter?

In a shared care environment, where it is necessary to exchange healthcare information, secure messaging ensures that the highest level of security and privacy is maintained. Protecting a Patient’s sensitive, healthcare information and in alignment with the Privacy Act 1988.

In addition, the benefits of exchanging data electronically and securely include speed, efficiency, lower risk and reduced cost.

Why are Healthcare Providers Still Printing, Faxing, Mailing and Emailing?

Despite the widespread adoption of secure messaging, the individual secure messaging service providers have approached messaging differently. Inherently incompatible, they have been largely unable to exchange information with one another.

Further, messages generated by a Healthcare provider may only be addressed to Healthcare provider recipients listed in their local address book or Directory. The address information available, sometimes being out of date and often restricted to recipients using the same secure messaging delivery service.

What is Changing?

The Australian Digital Health Agency is leading a program of change, to enhance interoperability standards for secure messaging. This initiative is in direct support of the National Digital Health Strategy, to reduce barriers to using secure electronic exchange of health data. Ultimately, ending the dependence on paper-based correspondence and outdated, unsecure technology such as fax machines in healthcare.

Two key things are changing:

First is the introduction of federated provider directory capability, enabling clinical information systems and secure messaging delivery systems to search cross-directory to find accurate, trusted and validated   healthcare provider electronic addresses.

Second, software providers are enhancing the message exchange format to meet an agreed standardized specification for message content – streamlined to improve interoperability across disparate service providers and clinical systems.

How is Best Practice Software Getting Involved?

Best Practice Software has actively participated in the collaboration between software providers and government bodies, to define interoperability standards for secure messaging solutions.

The development to enhance secure messaging and be conformant to the ADHA specification is currently in testing phase and the enhanced functionality will be available in Bp Premier Saffron and VIP.net Ruby SP3 in the coming months.

When Will Enhanced Secure Messaging be Available More Widely?

There are 42 software organisations taking part in the ADHA secure messaging enhancement initiative, the change program is scheduled to conclude this October so there are certainly exciting times ahead for improved data workflows and efficiencies!

Authored by:

Monica Reed
Commercial & Customer Enablement Manager at Best Practice Software

A Day in the Life of a Commercial Partnership Specialist

Things have changed just a bit since working from home. The morning commute has been replaced by a short walk to my desk. Not surprisingly, my caffeine intake has skyrocketed.

Partner Support

Each morning after logging in and greeting the Commercial Partnerships team, I go through my emails and the to-do list. A usual day would be spent working through Partner Support cases that come through our CRM dashboard and any calls that filter down our line.  I check on the dashboard throughout the day for cases from Partners requiring assistance with their integration with Bp products.

Being a (slight) perfectionist, there is always the constant battle to keep the partner cases in our queue to an absolute minimum, if not completely clear. When I hit the refresh button, the suspense is palpable. I’ve turned it into something of a game.

It can be a challenging but rewarding experience to assist our partners in resolving technical issues. Through working on different cases I have found myself exploring and learning more about Bp and healthcare overall. It has been great to learn from the team at Bp too, the experience of those around me is invaluable, and not in short supply.

Tech Reviews

In between handling partner support cases, I also conduct technical reviews with Bp Partnership applicants. As part of applying to join the Bp Partner Network, a technical review is performed to understand the applicant’s product. This includes their use cases and the access they require to different Bp products.

It’s an interesting experience to see what ideas businesses and Practices are generating. Not only are our technical reviews trying to determine whether an idea has value to a Practice, but also how these ideas positively impact the lives and wellbeing of patients. The information gathered from technical reviews are collated and a committee review is conducted at the end of each month where current and new applicants are presented for approval.

It helps to possess a reasonable amount of technical knowledge in this role – being able to fully understand what each business or Practice is trying to achieve is crucial to accurately reviewing their applications.

…and More

To spice things up, the Commercial team has an endless array of projects that change things up from my usual support role. One week I could be calling our sites and creating email communications and videos as part of the Safescript roll out in Victoria. The next week I’m launched into helping with ePrescribing compliance testing, and assisting pilot sites with new versions to prescribe their first eScripts.

This role has provided a great amount of exposure in how the technical and commercial aspects of Bp intercept and work together.

The sound of the neighbourhood kids running around outside indicates that it’s time to start winding down. I look to wrap up jobs on that to-do list and check the calendar for what lies ahead tomorrow. And then it’s time to call it a day.

Actually, I might just check the CRM just one more time to make sure it’s clear.

Authored by:

Aaron_Lim_Avatar

Aaron Lim
Commercial Partnership Specialist at Best Practice Software

Practice Management and the Imperatives of Cloud Computing

Practice Management Cloud Computing

It might surprise you to know that virtually all major practice management system vendors in Australasia have released, or are planning to release, their next generation solutions on the cloud. This is a trend that is sure to accelerate over time and is a transformation that will have a significant impact on the day-to-day operation of Practices and Practice Managers across all healthcare domains.

As Best Practice Software is undertaking the development of our own cloud-based platform, we are often asked by our clients what cloud computing entails, and what the benefits are over traditional desktop software. The following provides a brief insight into these questions.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a model for enabling on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

That’s quite a mouthful and not necessarily easy to understand, but it essentially identifies the five common characteristics of true cloud computing:

  • Broad network access
    This refers to the fact that resources in the cloud are available over multiple device types, ranging from common devices like laptops and workstations, to mobile phones and the like. Providers are no longer tied to the desktop or the location of their data, the benefits of which are becoming increasingly clear in these times.

  • On-demand self-service
    This refers to capabilities that manage provisioning and back-office functions. In non-cloud or traditional desktop environments, where the end user can self-provision without interacting with the provider, the downstream result has historically been inefficiency and waste. These new technologies now enable us to provide our customers with true self-service without incurring these penalties or service costs.

  • Resource pooling
    The scalability of the cloud is one of its most defining fundamental concepts. Without pooled computing, networks and storage, these services must be provisioned across multiple silos at great cost. Through resource pooling, multiple customers are sharing resources stored in the cloud with their peers, in much the same way as a telephone network operates. Because of this, the cost of resources is also shared between multiple customers.

  • Measured service
    These pooled resources can be easily monitored and reported, providing visibility into rates of resource consumption and the allocation of the costs associated with said consumption.

  • Rapid elasticity
    Elastic resources are critical in reducing costs. When accessing a cloud-based service, you only access the resources as and when you need the capacity. For most practices, a large percentage of costs associated with deploying applications stem from provisioning and maintaining a range of hardware resources. The purchase and rollout of these hardware resources requires forecasting of anticipated demand, rather than actual demand with a fixed capital expenditure commitment. The elasticity of the cloud means that you simply get what you need as and when you need it, and you only pay for what you use, resulting in a significant reduction in costs.

Cloud computing is not a single service fits all model.

There are a number of deployment models to suit different organisations. The two most prevalent deployment models used in the healthcare industry are the private cloud and public cloud.

Private cloud is generally only implemented in larger organisations due to the increased infrastructure costs that can be spread across greater number of users. They are generally designed by and built for a single customer to support specific functions critical for the success of a single line of business, and usually require more technical proficiency to maintain.

Public cloud is what is most people think of when they hear cloud computing system; it is multitenant capable and shared by a number of customers who may have nothing in common. They are typically less expensive to maintain, and leverage infrastructure provided by large tech providers such as Amazon with its AWS service and the competing Microsoft Azure service. This is the deployment model that is generally best suited for small Practices, and the variant that most Practice Managers will deal with and is the deployment model that Best Practice Software has selected for its cloud offering.

In summation, the incremental and exponential advances made in recent years has created a significant shift towards cloud computing adoption. The large number of practice management software and other health software vendors refreshing their products with cloud enablement underscores this.

Vendors benefit through shortening the time to market for new products and features, whilst at the same time delivering drastic cost reductions to customers.

The adoption of these cloud-enabled healthcare platforms will grow as users experience the benefits of a shortened enhancement lifecycle, without the associated operational disruption that comes from frequently installing desktop or client-server-based software solutions. Cloud computing brings the promise of never having to do a manual data update, or to endure the long wait for new releases to introduce new features or defect fixes. This cycle gets compressed from months, to weeks and days.

However, not all platform migrations to the cloud have been successful. Ultimately, the organisations that will be successful are those that understand that a move to the cloud is not merely a porting of technology, but rather a new way of thinking as to providing healthcare as a service, one that maximises all of the components of cloud computing.

Authored by:

Andre Broodryk
Manager of Product Management at Best Practice Software

World Blood Donor Day – Safe Blood Saves Lives

World Blood Donor Day will be celebrated around the world on the 14th of June, and it marks the start of National Blood Donor Week in Australia, to recognise and thank those who voluntarily donate blood, and raise awareness of the critical need for regular donations.  First celebrated in 2004, the 14th of June date was selected to recognise the birth anniversary of Karl Landsteiner who won a Nobel Prize in 1930 for his discovery of human blood groups and development of the ABO blood typing system. 

So thank you, for your life-saving gift, to each of the 500,000 Australians who gave over 1.5 million donations to Lifeblood – and the 110,000 New Zealanders who gave over 150,000 donations to the NZ Blood Service.  Hear from people who donate and the difference this has made in Australia and New Zealand.

Every week, Australia needs 29,000 blood donations. New Zealand needs 3,500.

Throughout the coronavirus restrictions on peoples’ movements, donations are, and remain, an essential health service. However, fewer people are donating than usual and donation centres experienced high rates of cancellations. 

Donation centres are safe places to visit and have taken steps to ensure they stay that way via screening protocols, social distancing and additional hygiene measures to protect donors and staff.  To help replenish and maintain stocks – donated blood has a shelf life of 42-days – new and existing donors are needed now. 

Australians and New Zealanders are known for their generosity in times of need, including the recent requests for support during the bushfires which caused the closure of several donation centres, and the Whakaari/White Island eruption requiring additional universal plasma donations.

In addition to blood, donation centres are now collecting convalescent plasma – the liquid part of blood containing antibodies – from people who have recovered after a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and have been symptom-free for at least 28-days to support clinical trials.

Here’s how you can make a difference:

  • Within Australia, confirm your eligibility here and book an appointment here
  • Within New Zealand, confirm your eligibility here and book an appointment here
  • Become a regular donor
  • Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to become regular donors
  • Raise awareness of World Blood Donor Day and National Blood Donor Week within your social networks

Give blood, and make the world a healthier place.

Authored by:
 

Monique Willis
Lead Business Analyst at Best Practice Software