Technology


Apple Invades Chiropractic
Technology
Written by TAC Staff   
Sunday, 25 November 2012 16:31
I
t seems commonplace when we hear of yet another scenario where Apple has disrupted the status quo, redefined expectations, or created an entirely new industry. And chiropractic is no exception. From consumer-focused to EHR-integrated applications, Apple has indeed arrived. 
 
appleipadWhile the number of applications available at Apple’s App Store is in constant flux, a recent search revealed 111 results using the search term “chiropractic.” An additional 14 search results show up for the term “chiropractor.”
 
There are essentially two types of apps as they relate to the chiropractic profession: patient apps and apps for use by chiropractors.  That number is sure to grow as the market develops, and providers continue to create new apps which make the world easier to interact with for Apple users.
 
Patient apps
Patient-focused apps in the App Store generally provide users with information on how to maintain good posture and spinal health. Some apps provide search capabilities for finding chiropractors in the local area.
 
A good example of a patient-focused iOS app is MySpine by Hubbard Chiropractic Inc. The application broke into the Top 40 rankings for the Health & Fitness category at the App Store. 
 
MySpine allows users to learn about proper spine alignment, health and chiropractic. Features include an interactive spine display with a rotatable 3D image that shows nervous system connections from vertebrae to organ.
 
The app also includes a Vertebral Subluxation Chart of Affects that displays symptoms in the affected areas of the body. Users can view high-definition images and they can browse through a collection of informational videos, FAQs and a reference guide/glossary. 
 
MySpine also provides a guide on the symptoms to look for that tell patients it is time to see a chiropractic doctor. 

The iChiro app by Textmimedia is a free application with a 4+ rating in the App Store. The software program provides users with a wide range of stretches and exercises aimed at improving health and posture. 
 
Users can use their Apple device camera to check their posture and track improvement over time. The app also includes advice on chiropractic health and a directory that allows users to find chiropractors in their area. 
  
Chiropractor Apps
Chiropractors use existing apps or create their own apps for a variety of reasons. Devices such as iPhone and iPad are extremely popular and they have advantages over desktops and even laptops when in the clinic, giving the doctor the freedom that comes with having access to information wherever they are in their practice.
 
Apps for use by chiropractors are scarce, but one EHR company, ChiroTouch, does have a robust offering, with fully-integrated iPad apps for use with its total practice management system. 
 
The EHR-integrated apps from ChiroTouch integrate its server-based, desktop system with the lighter, ultra-portable iPad. The apps simplify the process of medical office management and make it easy for staff and patients to deal with medical records.
 
For example, the ChiroTouch CTintake App for the iPad allows patients to use the intuitive iPad interface to fill out patient intake forms while in the waiting room. The devices are much easier to use than desktops that require extra furniture for the monitors, towers and other equipment.

ChiroTouch’s Outcomes Assessment App for the iPad, CToutcomes, allows chiropractors to record patient health data through a series of questions. The data collection is recorded in real-time with the practice’s servers, where the ChiroTouch software can then generate reports automatically, allowing the chiropractor to build narratives based on stored information
 
ChiroTouch has recently launched its third iPad app, CTprovider, which is fully integrated with the ChiroTouch Provider All-in-One feature. This app gives doctors instant access to treatment plans, SOAP notes, and x-rays, among other features. And like the other ChiroTouch apps, information exchange between the iPad and the ChiroTouch system is both seamless and instantaneous – making it easy for doctors to operate their practice from literally anywhere they have an Internet connection.
 
One advantage of the App Store is that many of the chiropractic apps are available for free download. ChiroTouch apps are all free; however, users must first own the ChiroTouch total practice management system to take advantage of the power the apps bring to a practice.
 
Another example of a popular chiropractic app is PostureScreen Mobile from PostureCo, Inc. Recently identified as a must-download app by both GQ Australia and Details Magazine, this app is geared for chiropractors and priced at $9.99. PostureScreen Mobile helps users analyze a patient’s posture using an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. Once demographic info is obtained, the postural photo can be obtained and digitized using patent pending technology ensuring reliability and validity.
 

Apps for use by chiropractors are scarce, but one EHR company, ChiroTouch, does have a robust offering, with fully- integrated iPad apps for use with its total practice management system.

Once the patient’s posture is digitized, posture analysis reports can be generated in seconds and even delivered securely and password encrypted to the patient via email.  With an in-app module upgrade, follow up comparative analysis can be performed along with posture trend analysis documentation. Further powerful upgrades are a min history stress survey and demographic export to Excel. The app can even connect to large TVs through an HDMI connection or Apple’s wireless AirPlay.
 
The application is fully integrated with the free DropBox service, which allows seamless wireless syncing of your reports and analyzed posture images to any Windows or Mac computer for ease of importing to your current EHR system. And with the recent addition of WebExercises integration, doctors can prescribe corrective postural-based structural and functional exercises in seconds.  Once exercises are prescribed, they can be sent to a patient through a secure web portal, delivering patient-specific customized exercise instructions with color pictures and streaming tutorial videos.
 
Marketing Apps
Many chiropractors have applications custom made for iOS devices to help prospective patients find them on the Internet. These apps may provide basic information on the principles of chiropractic and the types of treatment available. 
 
Many apps allow users to schedule appointments with nothing more than a click using Apple mobile devices at home or in the office, or while on the road.
 
One popular marketing technique is to create applications that integrate with popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube. Social media is growing at an extremely rapid rate, with the largest sites attracting hundreds of millions of users. Nearly all of these sites allow mobile access using Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
 
By creating a presence on social media platforms, chiropractors can take advantage of the popular practice of sharing and referral on these networking sites. A chiropractic office can post regular updates on their social media pages providing others in their online community with news and information related to chiropractic health.
 
Designing a custom app
While it may seem like a daunting task to develop an app for the App Store, the process is much simpler than many chiropractors realize. While it is most common to hire a professional developer to create an app, it is possible to do the job without knowing anything about Apple coding.
 
Special software applications provide highly intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces that allow you to design apps without any programming knowledge or training. These software solutions are generally of the “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” variety in that you can create an app simply by dragging, dropping, selecting and clicking.
 
Even for those chiropractors that are less enthusiastic about taking on app development on their own, it is relatively easy to find freelance software developers willing to bid on the project. Websites like Monster, Elance, Guru and Odesk have long listings of freelance developers looking for work. These sites allow users to post requests for proposals (RFPs) on any app development project. Bidding is competitive, helping to keep prices low.
 
Make no mistake, chiropractic apps are changing the way chiropractors do business, and the way they interact with patients. With the explosive use of mobile devices for Internet access, chiropractors empowered with iOS apps are in a better position to take advantage of a demographic that, with each passing day, is coming to expect mobile technology in their every interaction.
 
And those chiropractors looking to streamline their practices, make a positive impression on their patients, and embrace the power of mobility would be wise to jump on the iPad bandwagon.
 
Not convinced of the difference the iPad will have on our industry? Well neither were the recording industry, the phone industry, the movie industry, the medical device industry, the video game industry, the digital camera industry…just to name a few.
 
Cupertino isn’t coming to chiropractic - it’s already here.  The only question is when – not if – you adjust for it.
 
Empowering Your Practice with Certified EHR Software
Technology
Written by Dr. Michael Failla, D.C.   
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 22:42
P
aperwork. Administration. ARRA. Eligibility. Billing.Employees.Supplies.Collection.Equipment.SOAP notes. Insurance claims. Legal issues. These are the realities of a chiropractic practice, and we haven’t even mentioned the adjustment. Did we all, prior to becoming chiropractors, tell our friends and colleagues that we had a burgeoning desire to open up a chiropractic practice so that we could dive right in to documentation, administration, and collection? Of course not. It is the patient, the one needing the adjustment, that drives our efforts. And yet, even with our best intentions, there are always the administrative duties that accompany those efforts. 
 
ehronipadSo, as chiropractors, it is our duty to minimize the administration of our practices while maximizing the care we provide our patients. But that doesn’t mean we have to take ourselves away from the patients and become pencil-pushers. Automation tools can empower our practices and help us get our hands off the paperwork and back on the patient.
 
Moving forward, and with the multitude of health care changes looming over us, automating the office is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. No doubt, there will be some who are pessimistic about the changes in EHR healthcare mandates, as it’s always easier to follow the path of least resistance. But in taking a closer look, integrating a complete, certified EHR practice management system into a practice is the bridge to the efficiency we as chiropractors need to not only improve our patient care, but to compete in the marketplace as well.
 
Either way, there will be changes in documentation procedures. New coding will have to be learned and software technology will be able to solve most of the difficulties these new changes will present. Chiropractic practices that convert to fully automated software systems will be able to greatly reduce office expenditures after these changes are implemented. In this case, the software automation will make the transition a much smoother process.

Automation tools can empower our practices and help us get our hands off the paperwork and back on the patient

 
The first and best approach to adopting software automation begins with an EHR-certified practice management software system. In addition to the ARRA Incentive Program, which offers a great opportunity for eligible providers who demonstrate meaningful use of a certified system to receive up to $44,000 in incentive distributions, the program really provides a framework of standards that constitute a national solution.
 
These standards have raised the bar in the EHR industry, and address:

Improvement of Patient Care

Clinical decision support rules are a requirement of EHR in an effort to help improve patient care through alerts based on certain key indicators in a patient’s health records.
 
Reduction in Drug-Drug and Drug-Allergy Interactions

Drug-drug and drug-allergy interaction checks are mandatory for those providers practicing meaningful use. With interconnected e-prescribing, medication lists, and drug allergy monitoring, doctors can prevent interactions through a collective effort. 
 
Decreased Costs

Being able to show clinical necessity based on more closely defined clinical quality measures can help garner more dollars from treatments. And because certified software must live up to a specific standard, purchasing under a certified label ensures that the piece of software you choose has passed governmental guidelines and functions as a complete EHR.
 
Improved Portability of Patient Records
 
files72The certification process is laying the framework for an interoperative national standard where patient records can be transferred easily—and really become the patient’s information, not the doctor’s. This means that soon, when a patient who sees multiple providers is admitted to the ER, all of their chart notes, x-rays, medication lists, allergies, and lab tests will be readily available because inter-provider electronic exchange of patient information has been realized. This potentially life-saving access to patient records can decrease the time to diagnosis, duplicated lab tests, and potential drug interactions to name a few.
 
Deciding the best path to take toward the EHR incentive is a question on the minds of many providers in this recent era, and your choice of software systems is one of the most important decisions you can make for your practice. Your choice to purchase certified software will ultimately result in much more than a dollar amount on your stimulus check. 
 
The decision comes with many factors, claims, and requirements to consider. And competing vendors are happy to speak for you when you begin assessing your needs and sorting out the fear from the facts. 
 
But whereas your software choice should be measured on how well the software itself will support the needs of your practice, the EHR incentive is not as subjective. It comes with due dates and eligibility requirements that can be measured specifically, and can be compared against the feedback you receive from every vendor you research. 
 
Automated software also provides your office with many solutions so that you and your staff can streamline many of the daunting tasks that managing the office requires. Electronic Health Records provided by automated software systems now combine documentation, billing, scheduling, reporting and much more into one HIPAA-compliant system to drastically reduce the time it takes to do the tasks that your office is already doing.
 
Also, it’s important to recognize that while many software solutions state that they provide the “right” solutions, they don’t necessarily get those solutions right. It may seem like semantics, but the deeper meaning here is found in the software’s approach to achieving a given automated task. Just because a software company states an automated solution is included in its capabilities doesn’t mean the method by which that solution is provided is ideal—and can even mean more work for the chiropractor and/or staff behind the scenes! Chiropractors are well advised to dig deeper and go beyond the surface when conducting their research.
 
Here are some of the features that software automation can take off your hands:
 
Streamlining the Signing in Process at the  Front Desk

Automation saves you valuable time, energy, and staff.

 
Modern systems can allow patients to check themselves in by fingerprint, pin number, bar code scan or swipe card. All of these features are now available through automation to streamline a patient’s arrival. Patients can arrive, check themselves in and then have a seat in the waiting room until you are ready to see them, and even be called back to a room through an automated announcement system.
 
Total Patient Flow Management
 
From one screen on the computer, the right automation can help staff manage the entire flow of the office. They can easily view the patient’s purpose of visit; their provider, who has arrived, who has checked-in, who has checked-out, who owes you money and who is running late.
 
Patient Scheduling

Automated software can allow the customization of several views so that your staff can easily keep track of a patient’s schedule. They can view past, present and future appointments with a patient all at once. Also, administrative notes and insurance information for each patient can be accessed within seconds.
 
Patient Billing and Collection
 
patientrecordsOne of the features that makes a software management system so attractive is the billing feature. Most chiropractic software systems have built-in electronic billing as well as standard paper billing. This feature can save your office thousands of dollars every year in billing and collection costs. The process is easy as well as efficient. Many systems can print monthly statements or use an e-mail system to remind your patients that a bill is due. They can also send out delinquency notices so that your office can collect past due payments.
 
Just as it is important to identify a software system that meets all of your needs, one must also look closely at the support that stands behind the software. Along with robust training, pick a software company that partners with you and your staff every step of the way. Do they have a dedicated representative that is there for you when a question arises? Do they offer access to a support community online consisting of other chiropractic offices that can readily help you with any questions or issues that may be encountered while adapting to the new system? Are they ONC-ATCB certified?
 
Truthfully, no doctor enjoys writing long chiropractic reports or creating SOAP notes. Chiropractors are starting to realize the advantages of using automated software, and most doctors certainly would agree that their time could be better spent caring for more patients and tending to other important things, including getting a little rest and relaxation for themselves.
 
I hear many colleagues talk about the ‘expense’ of practice management software, and I immediately counter by asking them to consider the expense of  NOT incorporating a fully-functioning practice management software into their offices. Automation saves you valuable time, energy, and staff. Automation allows the chiropractor to spend more time with more patients—while streaming operations, reducing staff, and increasing productivity. 
 
Ultimately, how you and your staff spend your time is the most important consideration. Time spent defines profitability, quality of patient care and the overall efficiency of the practice. Chiropractic office automation is designed to revolutionize your practice from beginning to end. Automation cuts costs, saves time and will provide you with the tools you need to improve the quality of care to your patients. It can improve work flow to keep your office moving at optimum speed. 
 
In our profession, change isn’t coming—it’s already arrived. General (Ret.) Eric Shinseki, former Chief of Staff of the Army, said it best when addressing change: “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” As a community, it’s time that we embrace change, empower our practices with powerful automation tools, and ultimately improve the care we give to the patients we all collectively serve. 
 
Chiropractic Offices: iPad or Not?
Technology
Written by Claude Cote   
Sunday, 22 July 2012 20:43
W
hile in the airport, I stopped at a news stand to buy a magazine and saw on the front page of Laptop magazine: iPad or Not? I thought this was a terrific question for the chiropractic field and thought chiropractors would be happy to hear the pros and cons of using an iPad or any other tablet computer in their office. 

ipadOne thing is certain: iPads are the flavor of the day. They are thin, light and have thousands of applications available. These applications are very easy to download and are free or inexpensive. iPads and tablets are touch screen, which makes them easy to use. They are also portable and capable of surfing the internet, and are invaluable for accessing social websites and email. 

In reality, can we use an iPad all day long in a chiropractic office as part of our Electronic Health Record system? Probably yes. But doctors need to be aware of the negative situations they may have to face when using them for daily operations in their office. I’d like to share 5 of them.

Risk of Theft or Breakage

If used by patients to enter subjective notes or case histories, iPads can be stolen or dropped (and broken), which can be costly to doctors. CAs would have to handle and take care of all iPads used in the office, which would not be a desired additional task. Patients can easily do the same task on a desktop computer, eliminating additional tasks to the CA and eliminating all risk of theft or breakage.

Small Screen

One of the greatest improvements for computers over the years has been the enlargement of screens. With a large screen, software programmers can simultaneously show multiple pieces of information and images, thus reducing (sometimes eliminating) the frequent changing of screens. No one will argue that large screens make software much easier to use. iPads have very small screens. These very small screens lead to a lot of screen changing. These screen changes take up a lot of precious time and may get some doctors very annoyed. If doctors see 60 patients per day and lose 1 minute per patient, they will work an additional hour in their office every day to achieve the same work. At the end of the year, this is 300 hours of productivity lost which, based on 40 hours of work per week, could have been turned into 7.5 weeks of vacation.

Application and Download

iPad software is downloaded and installed through the Apple store. If an iPad does not work, the software cannot be used on a regular desktop computer. The only solution possible is that the doctor will have to buy another iPad and reinstall the software. The lack of another temporary solution can lead to more expenses and hassles.

Freedom of the Chiropractor

Electronic Health Record systems have done something great for doctors. They have removed paper files from the chiropractor's hands. Doctors don't have to carry or search paper files anymore. This is one of the most appreciated changes software providers have invented for chiropractors. However, if used by chiropractors, iPads are loading doctors’ hands again. Using an iPad goes backward and eliminates this great hands-free improvement. Also, iPads can be forgotten somewhere and need to be searched for, exactly as with paper filing systems.

Powered Devices

iPads and tablets are battery-powered devices, and thus have reduced autonomy. This is a serious operating handicap for a chiropractic office. iPad 3 has anywhere between 8 and 10 hours of autonomy, depending of which application you are using. Videos and networking reduce the autonomy, and iPad 3 takes 7 to 8 hours to recharge*. As you can imagine, you may need more than one iPad, fully charged, to work for an entire day. The hassle of the constant recharge process for iPads or tablets can be very annoying to chiropractors.

Conclusion

In chiropractic or any other profession, reality always catches up with excitement. From there, we will have to find out if software programmers will be able to create applications that will overcome important inconveniences. Will they be able to provide software that will be more beneficial to use and limit the above risks and hassles? The least we can say is that the challenge is great, and overcoming it is no small task.

* iPad power consumption: http://www.onebitzero.com/iPad-3-battery-life-recharging-overheating-issues-review/

Claude Cote is an expert in EHR systems, insurance billing and chiropractic clinic management for 22 years. He has installed EHR system in 18 countries over 5 continents and nationwide in USA. He is the President and Founder of Platinum System C.R. Corp (www.platinumsystem.com). For comments or questions, please email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 
Local SEO Basics for Chiropractors
Technology
Written by Andrew Shotland   
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 22:02
I
f your practice does not show up in search engines for relevant queries, you are invisible and another chiropractor will gain a new patient. If you want your business to rank higher in Google, you need to get smart about local search engine optimization (aka “Local SEO”).
 
seooptimizingWhile SEO can work quickly and cheaply, in most cases it is a long-term, complex marketing strategy.  Your practice’s online presence is influenced by location, competition, links to your site and the hundreds of factors in Google’s algorithms.  
 
That said, there are simple things you can do to have the best shot of ranking well.
 
Learn the Keywords Used Most Often to Find Your Services
Keyword research involves finding the various terms people use to search for your practice, and emphasizing the most-popular terms on your web pages and in the text in links to your site. 
 
Think about different keyword combinations consumers are likely to use. Customers who know you may search by your name.  Many people will likely search “chiropractors” plus their home city. Do people abbreviate your city? New Yorkers often use “NYC”, and people in Fort Worth often spell the city name as “Ft Worth.”
 
Large metro area practitioners seeking customers from nearby cities should list the desired target cities on their website, or build pages targeting their services plus these city names.
 
Target Your Title Tags
The text used within webpage title tags (the words that appear at the top of the Web browser and as the blue links in Google) is an important SEO tool.
 
Your homepage title tag is key.  It should include your main keyword phrase, followed by your city and then business name.  I recommend adding the business name at the end of every page title. For example, a Boston-based practitioner might have this title tag: “Boston Chiropractor: John Smith, DC.”  
 
Each site page should have distinct title text and should accurately convey what the page is about. Titles should be brief and readable. Avoid targeting multiple phrases.
 
Use a Consistent Name, Address and Phone Number
Local search engines monitor multiple sites to find data about your practice.  Inconsistent listings of your practice’s name, address, and phone number on these sites can hurt your ranking. Write your address and phone number in regular text on every page of your site.
 
Optimize Your Profile In Top Directories
Google and other local search engines look for “citations” on top directories to help determine rankings. Citations can be a link to your site or mention of your business.
 
Google favors citations from established Internet yellow pages like YP.com and Mylocally.com and industry-specific directories such as Planet Chiropractic.  Claim your listings in the top directories and make sure you are correctly categorized in each.Not sure which directories to optimize first? Search for your keywords in Google and see which sites appear on page one.
 
Claim Your Listing In Google Places & Social Network Sites

Google and other local search engines look for “citations” on top directories to help determine rankings.


Claiming your business profile in Google Places, Yahoo! Local & Bing Maps helps ensure local search engines know your business is active. Enhancing your Places page with content like photos, videos and coupons increases your opportunities to persuade potential patients to visit your site. Also, claim profiles on the major social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) and link them back to your website.  These social profiles can rank well in search engines and help control how your brand appears to searchers. Large social nets like Facebook and Twitter provide many tools and opportunities for businesses to build social relationships with their customers. Don’t feel like you need to be active on every service.  Figure out which relevant social networks your customers use the most and be sure to set up and maintain an active presence there.
   
Obtain Citations From Local Authority Sites
Local authority sites include: chambers of commerce, newspapers, local blogs, local charities, local schools (including universities and community colleges), local TV & radio stations, etc. Contact these sites to request they link to your site and/or list your business. 
 
Start Blogging
Adding articles to your site that uses your target keywords can be effective for SEO and customer engagement.  Not sure what to write about?  Start with answering questions your patients ask most often.  Then pick three things you love (e.g. photography, sports and music) and discuss them from a chiropractor’s perspective. 
 
Encourage Customers To Rate & Review Your Business
Customer reviews are part of Google’s local ranking formula.  Tempting as it may be to write a glowing review of yourself, remember fake reviews are against the law.  Google, Yelp, and other review sites identify most hoax reviews, which are discounted and can count against you. 
 
When In Doubt, Ask An Expert
While DIY-types can do well with SEO, there are plenty of complications.  If you find yourself stuck, ask a colleague for a referral to a SEO consultant with an established track record in your niche.

Andrew Shotland is the proprietor of LocalSEOGuide.com, a search engine optimization consultancy firm,and consultant for MyLocally.com.  MyLocally.com and The American Chiropractor Magazine have partnered to provide a free listing for each of our subscribers.  Go to www.mylocally.com to update your listing and look for more information about this great new product.
 
Technology Growing Fast in Chiropractic
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Technology
Written by Claude Cote   
Tuesday, 23 August 2011 18:58

technology

T
echnology is growing so fast.  Do you feel you can't keep up with technology?  If you do, don't worry because you are not alone.  No one can.  Technology, computers, software are growing so fast in so many areas of life, it is impossible for a human being to be aware of everything.  The good news is that everyone can adapt to technology at his own speed.  So, when you are ready to make a step up, you only need to open the door of technology and you can be assured there is something out there for you to keep you busy for a while.

Are you amazed about the planet being photographed by Google? You could see a real image of your house or you can go to Rome, New York, Sydney and walk virtually on any street.  Please take a moment to think about everything a cell phone can do now.  It takes pictures, records videos, makes them available to be seen by every human being on earth in seconds, has detailed maps and GPS, reminders, and thousands of other applications.  They say iPhone has more than 100,000 applications available.  OH! I almost forgot.... On a cell phone, you can make calls, too!  When we stop for a moment and think about it, we are all amazed and excited about all this.  It makes our life so much easier, saving precious time for other activities and having a much better control on our life.  Just think about paying our bills online replacing mailing checks every month, using bank teller machines, instead of waiting in line, and the list goes on and on and on....

Maybe you don't realize it, but chiropractic is one of the best well served professions for technology.  Just like any other technology, it is hard for you to keep up with all the new  innovations.  I am sure there are a ton of new stuff you don't even know about.  Knowing about a new technology does not mean you have to jump on it right now.  In fact, you should always be a little patient to make sure you will make good use of any technology before spending your money.   In the chiropractic profession, software competition is very strong. There are many companies out there battling to have new functions and tools to get or stay ahead of each other.  This competition creates an ideal situation for chiropractors.  Chiropractors can use the very best technology for a low price.  In fact, right now, chiropractors can use some amazing tools for way less money than what they should pay in reality, which is wonderful.  Lately, I have been thinking about how well served chiropractic is with technology and I wish to share with you some (just a few among so many) of the greatest chiropractic software innovations.

Computerized calling system

To my knowledge, chiropractic is the first profession to use an automated computerized calling system.  In fact, I have never seen another calling system anywhere else.  A member of your team uses a microphone to record the patient's name.  This takes about 2 to 3 seconds and it is done forever.  On his arrival to the clinic, the patient signs in electronically by swiping a Chiropractic Health Card in a waiting room computer.  The system builds a queue of patients.  The magic starts here. When the doctor releases his treatment room, the system calls patients and directs them into the proper adjustment room, through speakers located in the waiting room.  You hear real human recorded calls and not a digital computerized voice.  I have personally seen this system in action and all patients are very impressed.  Many patients think someone from the back room is calling them with a microphone.  It frees up the CA completely and manages peak time perfectly.

Automated credit card and debit payment system

Everyone knows about how a credit card system works.  With the patient at the front desk, you grab his card, swipe it in a terminal, key-press the amount and wait for the approval.  After confirmation, you need to enter the payment transaction in your billing system. An automated credit card system is an upgraded version of what you have.  You do not swipe the credit card in a terminal anymore.  You swipe it in a card reader attached to your billing system.  While processing the payment, it updates your billing system simultaneously.  You can also set up recurrent monthly or weekly payments.  At a specific date, the system will process all the credit cards and update all patient financial files.  Great for a payment plan.  You will be able to keep your actual credit card processor or probably obtain a lower fee than what you actually pay.  Some software providers offer this system completely free of charge, included in their basic software package.

Insurance payments automatic posting

Talk about saving time!  This is the tool.  Imagine, no more insurance payments to enter in every single patient's file.  Insurance carriers (clearing houses) are now providing an electronic remittance file.  They all do, unless you submit your claims on paper.  This software will read the remittance file and will automatically enter all insurance payments in every patient's file.  This simply means turning hours of work into a few seconds.  No more mistakes, no more time lost searching why your billing system does not balance.

digitalxray

Digital X-Rays (with film, too)

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the patient's X-rays on the screen on every single visit?  Now, it is easy, quick and cheap to get this.  When the patient gets in the treatment room, he swipes his Health card in a reader.  He lies down on the table, ready for his adjustment.  When you get in the room, there they are.  X-rays are displayed on the computer screen.  If you are using X-rays on film, there are some easy and quick ways to get them in the system and do the same thing.  You may also have other pictures, such as the patient's posture, etc.

SMS (Short Message Service)

Time is to emails and cell phone texts.  You wish to remind all your patients about tomorrow's appointments?  No problem.  Press on one single button and the software will select all patients with an appointment scheduled for tomorrow.  It will send them a formatted text message (including their name, the date and time of their appointment) on their cell phone.  The patient does not have a cell phone with text feature?  Then, the message will be sent to his email address automatically.  As a bonus, some software providers have found ways to send SMS free for you.

Subjective

Good SOAP notes are an imperative requirement.  The patient's subjective part is very important.  Don't you think the patient is the best person to produce his subjective part of the SOAP notes?  So, why shouldn’t he do it? On his arrival to the treatment room, the patient swipes his health card in a reader attached to a touch screen computer. A series of personalized and issue-related questions appear on the screen.  The patient answers all questions by pressing on the touch screen.  While answering, the subjective part is getting built professionally and accurately.  Subjective notes entered by the patient himself...you can't beat that!

Efficiency Control System

This morning, you are a little late and you arrive at your clinic a few minutes before the first patient.  Hurry up in the treatment room and start the day.  You have a busy day and have to cut out your lunch time.  At the end of the day, you are tired and want to go back home with your family and relax a bit.  As a business person, you need to take some time to make sure your office is running well.  Some doctors in chiropractic are now receiving all their office statistics and reports on their iPhone, Blackberry or personal email.  No human action is required. This is all done automatically, every day, every week and every month.  Being well rested and outside of the office, they can look at everything they need to maximize the potential of their practice.

These are a few examples only, among so many others, to show you how the chiropractic profession is well ahead of the game compared to many other health professions for technology.  Most of these features, or similar functions, are included in the basic price of some chiropractic software.

Now, you are excited and want to use all these features in your office right away? Don't do that.  Don't go from nothing to everything. The best way to make your office more efficient is to implement one new feature at a time, get used to it and, when it becomes transparent to your operation, you may implement the next feature.  A process like this will make you grow steadily and well under control.  Like everything else in life, common sense prevails.

 

Claude Cote  is an expert in EHR systems, insurance billing and chiropractic clinic management for 22 years.  He has installed EHR system in 17 countries over 5 continents and nationwide in USA.  He is the President and Founder of Platinum System C.R. Corp (www.platinumsystem.com).  For comments or questions, please email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
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