We have all heard about going digital or becoming a paperless practice, but what does this actually mean and how easy is it to implement? In today’s world where information is readily available, why not let technology collate information and streamline processes in our businesses too.

Let me introduce myself – my name is Lisa Baxter and I have worked in many practices over the years and I have personally benefited from going paperless and saw first-hand how it can revolutionise your clinic. Now working for Aerona Software, I want to show you how moving your clinic to the digital world is not that daunting.

Before even considering moving to digital you should ask yourself these important questions: Will moving towards a digital platform improve patient care in my practice? If practice management software can improve patient care it certainly is worth investigating. We chose a cloud-based software as this helped improve patient care by allowing our patients to view treatment plans online, update medical history forms and sign consent with an e-signature, giving us the most up to date information from our patients.

Will it increase speed and efficiency of staff?

If you find a software that can help streamline procedures and help staff perform their jobs better without reducing clinical care and customer service, then you may want to consider moving digital.  I found moving digital helped staff manage appointments, paymentsand claims more easily, which reduced administration by at least 30% and ultimately, increased interaction with patients.

Will your staff be on board with the new technology?

Even though a new software will help reduce administration by 30% for staff you still may find resistance to this change. Change makes us uncomfortable and some people may long for the continuation of a paper-based system or “the old way” of doing things.
Include your staff in the decision-making processes when choosing a new software. This will help staff with the process and feel as though they are a valued part of the decision making process.

Will your staff master the new technology?

When you find a software that fits, make sure you and your staff benefit from understanding all of the features of the new system by organising full training. This was something that was important to our clinic and we arranged onsite trainingto ensure it was in a live environment and somewhere we felt comfortable. This included hands on workshops throughout the day to help us master the software and shadowing so all staff got time to see how it worked in their own job role.

Will there be a return on investment?

The benefits to your bottom line cannot be overstated and the right practice management software should have a financial impact from day one. When picking your software make sure you have the right solution to help with marketing activities and give you an overview of how your practice is performing. We chose a solution that automated reminders and recalls which increased returning patients.  We could market to new patients through the online booking system which increased new patient uptake. We immediately experienced an increase in revenue by monitoring the key performance indicatorsthat the software provided.

To ensure you identify the benefits of implementing a practice management softwarefor your practice make sure that you can safely say it will solve the problems you are currently facing.

My experience of moving from paper to digital was overwhelmingly positive, and I now work with the software provider we chose all those years ago, Aerona Software.