5 New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Your Practice in 2021
Posted by Jigs Arquiza
As 2021 dawns, its a good time to look back at the lessons this year taught us, but it can also be a time of hope and renewed optimism.
While 2020 presented the medical industry with challenges few of us ever imagined would be possible, it means all of us now have an opportunity. In this coming year, the industry can come back stronger, better prepared, and more committed than ever. It won’t be easy, but 2021 can, and should, be a chance to take stock and push your practice forward. Even as the fight against the pandemic rages on, here are a few goals every practice can work towards in the new year.
Improve Patient Engagement
If there was ever any doubt, 2020 made it clear that your patients' health is just as much about their family and community as it is about any treatments physicians can provide. That’s why it’s so important to build relationships with patients and keep them engaged with their health, whether they are in the doctor’s office or not.
This coming year is the perfect time to invest in patient portals and mobile apps for your patients to monitor their own health. You can also put in the effort to send your patients regular reminders through text or email, whether it’s for an upcoming appointment or for them to take their medication. In order to keep the burden on your staff low, look into automated systems to help. With small steps, you can make sure your patients realize that by getting personally involved in their healthcare, they are in fact helping themselves get better.
Simplify Your Practice Workflow
One of the main reasons to use an EHR is to simplify and streamline your workflow. Even with an EHR, though, there's always room to improve. Bringing in new digital tools and features, making the most of new technology is a good place to start.
Take the time to think about what you and your staff do on a daily basis and if anything could be better. Do you have patients asking about paying online? Are you spending too much time on the phone? If you aren’t sure of what to improve, or how, don’t hesitate to ask your EHR provider for suggestions. It’s their job to help.
Build Up Your Practice’s Telehealth
Beyond video visits, patient monitoring has now become easier. Patients are becoming more used to the idea of wearable devices that track their health, like the newest smartwatches, and remote care has taken a firm place in the national understanding of healthcare.
One of the largest impediments to Telehealth in previous years was the skepticism from patients and insurance companies alike. Since 2020 forced so many to try it, however, many patients are now not only comfortable with the idea, they will likely expect Telehealth and virtual care options from their providers going forward.
Strengthen Your Online Presence
This coming year is the perfect time to make sure you’re using one of the most powerful marketing tools today — the internet. Create a website for your practice, or update and refresh the one you already have. Invest time with social media accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter for your practice, and post regularly. You can even create a blog to share health tips, reminders, and the latest information about your practice.
Giving real-time updates to your patients using your website or social media is not only good for engagement, it also builds awareness and makes your practice feel modern, approachable, and more professional. Even something as simple as making sure your up-to-date phone number and address are easily accessible online can go a long way, and that’s even before getting into people’s growing reliance on online reviews and information.
In the end, 2020 taught us just how important it is to always stay positive. As devastating as it has been, even COVID-19 won’t last. We’re living in a time of unparalleled medical and technological advancement. Here in the US, and in a handful of other countries, phase 1 of vaccinations has already started. Economies all over the world are recovering. Industries are gearing up to jump-start their operations. More importantly, people are beginning to feel hopeful and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
As much as 2020 will be remembered for the coronavirus, the medical community put its own mark on history with perseverance and dedication worth remembering. With the start of 2021, and this handful of new year’s resolutions in mind we can all do our part to achieve stronger, healthier practices for years to come.