Your front office is often the first interaction a patient has with your optical practice staff, so it's a critical component of your practice workflow. But it can be a serious challenge to efficiently manage all the challenges and responsibilities that come with that component. Between answering phones, checking patients in, and handling a ton of patient information on a daily basis, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way.
With the right practice management software, your staff can manage the front office easily and efficiently, which in turn will keep the rest of the office workflow running smoothly. Check out these three common challenges front desks face and how optometry software can solve them.
3 Front Desk Challenges that Practice Management Software Can Solve
Managing Patient Flow
Rather than sticking to outdated spreadsheets or appointment books to move patients around the office, you should instead be using practice management software. It allows you to easily manage office resources for every appointment, such as doctors, staff, and even exam rooms. Plus, when you use software to schedule appointments you can integrate your web scheduler with your calendar, so patients can see which appointment slots are available before requesting a visit. That means the front office can spend more time face-to-face with patients in the office, helping move them from one workflow area to another.
Time Consuming Paperwork
It can be a monumental waste of time to have patients fill out paperwork when they get into the office, especially if they aren’t on time to the appointment. Often this will cause your entire office workflow to run behind schedule as you wait for paperwork to be completed. With practice management software you can use a patient portal to allow patients to complete and submit paperwork before coming into the office for their appointment. Plus, with a good patient portal, you can import the information from those forms directly into your EHR, rather than having staff take time to manually enter the information into your system.
With all the responsibilities that the front desk staff deals with, you don’t want them spending all their time on the phone checking patient eligibility with payers or checking that patient information is up to date. The right software allows you to send automated patient recalls and reminders, meaning the front desk doesn’t have to call every patient manually. Additionally, patients can securely communication questions and concerns via the patient portal, which means staff members don’t have to spend time answering questions over the phone.