The New Chiropractic Technology I Found That Changed The Way I Practiced Forever
I have told you the story of how losing a patient led me to focus on the patient experience. We’ve talked about how Big Business is using technology to manage and improve their customer’s experience and why Chiropractors have fallen behind, unable to compete without the same enterprise level technology used by the Big Boys. Now, I would like to explain how I was able to gain access to that same enterprise level, multi-million dollar software and implement it not only in my own practice but to begin offering it to other chiropractors who want to quantify and improve their own patient care experience.
As I was searching for ways to improve our patient care, I tried implementing the other chiropractic technology that was available. What I found was that it was antiquated in its processes and impossible to use to keep track of any real metrics that would allow me to make improvements. We would still lose a patient and I would go to one of the reports available in the software, find no-shows, expired care plans, or one of the dozens of other reports I would have to search through to discover what went wrong. Then, my staff and I would focus on the reason that patient was lost until we lost another patient for a different reason. It was basically management by fire and it is not how real businesses operate at a high level.
That is when I had the good fortune to meet a former CIO of a top-five financial firm on Wall Street and his son who was a Princeton grad with a computer science degree. They were building chiropractic billing software for insurance billing and as soon as I saw what they had accomplished, I knew we needed to deploy it in my clinic. We implemented it in my office alone and my collections doubled. Even more important, it actually leveraged web-based technology and artificial intelligence, learning over time to find necessary billing tasks and delegate them automatically to the right staff member. This meant that my staff and my billing team no longer had to search through piles of reports to find out what work had been done and what had fallen through the cracks.
This new technology was allowing us to use the workflow methodology. The system could now find patients who were at risk of being lost. A no-show would become a task assigned to one of my staff members. An expired care plan would be delegated to the appropriate person. A daily SOAP note that was not signed by the doctor would create a task assigned to be handled. That meant that at any moment, my staff and I could see exactly how many tasks were outstanding to manage our patient care experience at the highest level.
Now remember my patient Chris. When I saw how this technology drastically changed my billing departments results, I knew I had the answer to helping other doctors with the same patient experience problems that resulted in losing Chris. We began building upon the billing workflow methodology and expanded it to the overall patient experience.
The reality is there are three main categories of work every practice has to perfect to improve the overall patient experience. Not just insurance billing. Insurance billing is a subset of main category number one which is Revenue. Other subsets of revenue workflow include cash collections/recurring payment and inventory management for example.
The three main categories of the patient experience are Revenue, Retention, and Compliance. I will go into each of these in more detail in future posts. Our new enterprise level technology was automating these three main categories and boiling it down to a single number. The number of tasks that needed to be completed by the end of the day for the perfect patient experience. It was no longer management by fire. Instead it had become single-metric management. Either the number of tasks left to do was zero or it wasn’t. Either every task to make our patient care experience the best it could possibly be had been done or they hadn’t. And, if a task had not been completed, I could immediately see what the task was, who it was assigned to, and follow-up.
No more digging through reports.
What does this mean to the average practice? Today hundreds of practices across the country are using this new Single Metric Management Methodology and seeing the same benefits I did. Specifically, an average increase in Revenue/visit of 62%, an average increase in Patient Retention of 26% (Average visits a patient is seen before leaving the practice), and an average increase in Compliance of 32% (Documentation and Billing). In future posts, I’ll go over in detail the data analysis we did that proves these numbers. Some “side effects” of Single Metric Management include a drastic reduction in wasted staff hours looking for work, an overall improvement of staff satisfaction, and conversely, a decrease in staff turnover, a decrease in management hours since many meetings are now eliminated, and an increase in a provider’s free time to do with what they wish. Most importantly providers are able to deliver a patient experience that rivals the customer experience seen in the best businesses in the world.
The operations of my office had become efficient, effective, and scalable thanks to the implementation of this new single metric management workflow methodology. We had moved from being reactive, trying to fix the problems after losing a patient, to being proactive and making sure everything was done in real time to keep our patients. It became crystal clear that leveraging enterprise level technology to quantify and improve the patient experience had the power to completely change the way chiropractic offices function, decrease the stress of management, enhance patient retention, and above all, improve the care or experience patients received.