If you are a manager in the medical field, you no doubt have a lot of responsibilities. Many of these are connected in some way to your computer system. It may be challenging for you to make decisions when it comes to programming and software changes, as this may not be your area of expertise. Here are 4 things you should consider when it comes to healthcare programming.
1.) You need to make sure everything is HIPAA-compliant.
With any changes to current programming or procedures, HIPAA is always a top priority. That being said, you want to ensure that whoever you rely on to make changes to your computer system understands how to properly protect patient information.
2.) Make sure programming/system changes aren’t done during busy times.
Unless there are urgent IT issues, it’s best to schedule programming changes and updates outside of your peak hours. Otherwise there may be temporary glitches that negatively affect patient flow and the responsibilities of staff.
3.) Providers and staff need to understand how the system works.
Any time there are significant changes made to a computer system, it’s important that those who need to use it can in fact use it. The last thing you want is a doctor unsure how to print a prescription, or for a staff member to be unable to relay test results because they don’t know how to access them.
It’s best to have brief training sessions for everyone using the computer system, so that all involved know how to navigate through it properly. Along with programming during slower times, it’s also best to have training sessions when your medical practice is not too busy. This way everyone can fully focus on any tutorials given and remember how to use the program. If needed, you can also provide additional one-on-one training for individuals who may not initially grasp the system changes.
4.) Review how any changes affect your company.
After everyone has had time to adjust to the new programming changes, take time to talk to both staff and providers to see how it’s working out. Sometimes there are unexpected kinks that need to be worked out, not necessarily to the fault of the programming, but simply due to the nature of your healthcare business. Or it may have improved certain aspects of your system, but still needs to be adapted more in other areas. The goal is for any programming changes to make things easier and more efficient.
See if the medical providers and staff have experienced benefits from the programming, and take note of any suggestions they offer, or issues they’ve experienced. If you get similar complaints from multiple individuals, work together with each other and with those in charge of programming to find a solution.
On the other hand, you don’t just want to consider the effect your programming has on those who work at your company. You’ll want to see how it’s contributing to your patients’ experience. For instance, if you’ve implemented a patient portal or online messaging system for their benefit, it’s important to get their feedback. You want to know if it’s working well on both ends. You can use surveys or just ask patients how their experience has been lately with your office. Take note of anything unusual that could indicate an issue with your system, and remember any positive effects your system is having, which may pave the way for other improvements you can execute.
These are just a few things to consider about healthcare programming. When done properly, customized programming can really benefit your healthcare practice, no matter what your specialty is. At Unity Data Systems, we can build custom software for your business, so that your systems are secure, HIPAA-compliant, and efficient.