Compliance | Investing in Documentation Software
The Java Blues
Will a glowing review of Genesis amount to a hill of beans with Dr. Ben?
Dr. Ben parked in the only available space in the bustling parking lot, grabbed his keys, got out of the car and practically ran to the front door of the coffee shop. With things so busy in his practice and at home, he felt like he was perpetually running behind. He hoped his friend Steven hadn’t been waiting long.
“Hey, Ben!” he heard from across the room. Ben smiled and walked toward Steven’s table. The two had so much in common – Steven was a partner in a practice across town. He was looking forward to catching up with his friend.
“How have you been, Steven?” Ben asked. “I know it’s been a few months but things have been so busy. Sorry for losing touch!”
“No worries, Ben,” Steven said, giving his friend a firm handshake. “I’ve been busy too but things have never been better!”
“Tell me all about it,” Ben encouraged. “I could use some happy news.”
“We made some big changes in the office – we had been going around and around about whether or not to invest in that software that helps us to manage the practice but we finally dove in,” Steven said. “It was intimidating at first but it has made a huge difference in our operations.”
Ben sat back and stared at Steven with renewed respect. He and his friend had talked many times about Genesis, but he never thought Steven would be the first to go all in. “Tell me all about it,” Ben said.
“You and I have always complained about how documentation is so tedious and takes away time from patient interactions,” said Steven. “Plus data entry mistakes can be so costly – whether they hold up insurance reimbursements or take away from patient care because we don’t follow up on missed appointments. What put us over the edge was our poor performance on our recent audit.”
Ben nodded, knowing what was coming, since he and Luisa had been talking about this just last week.
“We made it through our audit relatively unscathed but one area the auditors pointed out needed drastic improvement was our patient notes,” Ben admitted. “We’d all rather just scribble notes and stuff them into files so that we can maximize our time with our patients, but that never works out well. I’m pretty good at documenting patient visits and conversations but I haven’t always documented in ways that are compliant with state, federal and insurance rules. We got ticked pretty good on that. I made a vow that we’d change things for the better and gave our Genesis coach a call the next day, after the audit was over.”
“So how are things working out with your new system?” asked Ben.
“I couldn’t be happier – in fact, everyone seems to be enjoying things more,” Steven said. “We have become more efficient and accurate in documenting patient notes. Not just the SOAP notes but also getting in the related images, forms, test results and verification of benefits that are required to give the proper overview of care. All of us – from reception to treatment room – are now able to spend more time with our patients and ensure a great experience.”
“Best of all,” Steven continued, “I know our patients are happier, too. This month we saw a 10 percent increase in referrals. Our investment in the Genesis software is going to pay off in no time.”
“That does it, you’ve talked me into it,” said Ben. “Tomorrow I will call Charlie, our Genesis coach. Today, the coffees are on me!”
Dr. Ben is finally ready to take the plunge and start using Genesis to help with documentation. So what is the next step?
Disclaimer: For HIPAA compliance, all characters appearing in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons or actual events is purely coincidental.