Streamlining workflows. Workflow optimization. Data-driven workflows. Workflow Automation. These popular buzzwords are showing up in everyone’s feed and following them around the internet these days. The problem with buzzwords is that the more they are used, the less meaningful they can become.
The truth is, most medical practices, especially specialty practices with complicated diagnoses, patients, and treatment plans, have very real workflow issues. Oftentimes these problems go unaddressed because the practices are busy. They do not have true transparency in their problems, and it seems like a hassle to change how they have always done things.
Instead of trying to convince you why you should implement digital workflows into your practice (which you should), we are going to share our top ten reasons of why your practice hates manual workflows (which they do).
They are time wasters – Tracking benefits investigations and prior authorizations is a time-consuming task for everyone involved. Manual processes that rely on paper, sticky notes, spreadsheets, and faxes increase the potential for human error. No matter how knowledgeable your internal staff is, mistakes can be made easily when managing such a complex process.
They can cause employee burn-out. No one genuinely enjoys looking at spreadsheets and performing menial tasks. Human beings, by nature, are horrible at them. Humans do better with complex thought processes, solving problems, contributing to the greater good, and engaging in thoughtful, meaningful conversation with others. When you task us with a list of repetitive, boring tasks, we just simply aren’t going to pay attention and lose interest.
They are productivity vampires. Manual processes are proven to be less efficient than digital workflows. According to this World Economic Forum study, up to 80% of business owners say they have sped up internal business processes by implementing digital workflow into their businesses. By lightening the burden of manual tasks, you can spend more time doing the things that matter most to your practice, employees, and, most importantly, your patients.
They can light things on fire. So, manual workflows don’t literally light things on fire, but your team likely spends a significant amount of their time putting fires out. It’s the patient who has been waiting patiently for a few weeks to finally get some relief through IV therapy but hasn’t heard back about what her medical benefits cover. Maybe your Prior Authorization specialist failed to document pertinent information about a PA for a patient that is standing in front of you angry. Maybe it’s something as simple as the janitor throwing away an important fax. Little fires everywhere.
They are on the way to a big family vacation. While most employees would value being considered “irreplaceable” at your practice, they don’t enjoy being so valued that they can’t take some much-needed time off. With manual workflows, each person likely does something a little bit different than the other. Manual workflows make it hard for an employee covering for someone else to pick up where they left off – especially in a Prior Authorization process that can span weeks and weeks of information gathering.
Complainers are exhausting. Specialty medication can be intimidating to patients, especially IV therapy. There is so much information for them to understand about their treatment plan that it’s easy for them to feel overwhelmed with the process. Once they have been educated on the benefits of the therapy and how it can allow them to lead a healthier life, they are anxious to get started. Waiting to hear back about benefits and when they can start therapy will likely amplify their anxiety, and they will start complaining to you. Patients start complaining about poor service and why the treatment is not worth it. That’s exhausting for both the patient and the practice.
Every day is the same old, same old. Along the same vein as employee burnout, having a boring job, and doing the same boring things every day is sure to cause a bit of attrition at your practice. By freeing up time and moving away from manual processes, you are opening a bit of extra time for employees to learn new skills that will keep them engaged in the practice.
It’s the way you’ve always done things. In 1999, faxes and Excel spreadsheets were the innovative way of doing things. It is often said that the most dangerous phrase in business is, “We’ve always done it this way.” Businesses that stay static and stuck in the past often fail. New ideas and this upheaval in tradition are sure to support your practice’s growth– you just have to be willing to leap. Utilizing the innovation in technology today and implementing today’s cutting-edge workflow practices like you are doing with your patient’s treatment plans.
They negatively affect your culture. A certain amount of “grunt” work is unavoidable, but when it is most of your employee’s responsibilities, they are bound to become frustrated. Automation frees up more of your employees’ time so they can focus on job responsibilities that use their skills, passions, and creativity. When your employees thrive, your business will, too.
It’s 2022. Modern technology and innovation are changing the way we work, the way businesses grow, the way patients achieve therapy, and ultimately that patient’s success. Embrace these changes, and your practice is sure to see the benefits.
Have questions about saying goodbye to manual workflows and implementing automation into your specialty practice? eBlu Solutions is a one-portal workflow solution that can help you quickly achieve benefits investigations and prior authorizations. Sign up for a demo of our no-cost solution to bring change to your practice today.