Automation is the future of how audiologists and other private practice physicians effectively manage their practice. Learn how automation can help your practice improve efficiency and the overall bottom line.

Focus on More of What Matters with Audiology Practice Automation

If you’ve been in the healthcare industry for as long as we have, you probably remember the days of digital transformation, when medical practices traded in their manual, paper-based systems for digital programs and tools to help them more effectively manage their practice and patients.

Thanks to this digital transformation, the day-to-day of front office staff and even clinicians has gotten far less focused on administrative tasks and more focused on the patient interactions that matter most.

But, in the same way that technology, in general, is constantly evolving and improving, the ways in which audiologists manage their practices are evolving, too. There’s another transformation happening in our industry right now, and that’s the introduction of automation. 

There are mixed feelings from practice owners and managers on bringing more automation into their processes. Some are excited about the opportunity to spend less time doing administrative work and more time seeing patients, while some are planted strongly in the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” camp.

Regardless of your initial thoughts about automation, there are a few key ways that automation can help you improve patient outcomes and build a healthy bottom line in your practice, including scheduling and communication, patient intake, and inventory management.

1. Streamline Patient Scheduling & Communication

Patient scheduling is one of the most common inefficiencies within private practice clinics, but it’s also one of the easiest to fix through automation.

Currently, most practices have staff that handles appointment scheduling via the phone or maybe via email. Patients call, your front office team answers, they schedule an appointment, and then the same team calls with a reminder a few days before the appointment. While this may work for some practices — especially those who see a lower volume of patients — this process relies heavily on human beings to answer phones, capture patient information, and manage a calendar for various providers and maybe locations.

Automation can take some of this manual work out of scheduling in a few different ways:

  1. Online Scheduling: Give patients the freedom to book an appointment with their hearing care team on the spot without having to speak with a staff member. These appointments can then be automatically synced to the clinic’s calendar, and providers and staff can be notified of the new appointment.
  2. Appointment Reminders: Leverage a system that can automatically remind patients via email and text that they have an appointment coming up. This frees up the time your front office staff would spend calling potentially dozens of patients each day and may even decrease the rate of no-show appointments, too.
  3. Scheduling Tune-Ups or Regular Exams: When working with an older adult population, it’s important to make the scheduling process as seamless as possible, and sometimes a reminder that it’s time to schedule an annual exam is all that’s needed to get that patient in the door again. Automatic appointment reminders can remind patients when it’s time to come in, and an online scheduling system can help them book on the spot.

2. Keep Track of Critical Patient Information

When patient information lives in various different places, it can be hard for physicians and front-office staff to find the information they need before and during patient appointments. This is all-around inefficient for the practice, but it can also lead to a poor patient experience, especially if critical patient information is missed or not properly stored for future reference.

Automation can help clinics organize and manage patient information through automated intake forms. This is one of Sycle’s most popular features in the patient portal for Private Practice Plus users. For new patients, an intake form can reach the patient via text or email ahead of their scheduled appointment, so they can fill out all the necessary paperwork before they even set foot in the practice. And, for returning patients, leveraging an automated intake form allows the provider to more effectively prepare for the appointment by knowing what the patient needs ahead of time.

In both instances, these automated forms can then take information from patients and store it in patient profiles seamlessly, so nothing gets lost and everything remains central and accessible.

3. Effectively Manage Inventory

If you ask any audiology clinic staff member what the most tedious part of their job is, most will probably say managing inventory. It takes time to track and manage what products you have in stock, which patients were sold what device, and which devices are currently loaned out to patients. To make matters worse, this time spent in inventory management could be much better spent seeing patients and caring for their hearing.

But, with the right system, this process can be automated. Your practice can leverage an online system that tracks current inventory and all the crucial information you need to know about those devices, like the serial number, the cost, whether it needs to be repaired, or whether it’s on loan.

Automation allows you to set up filters right in the system to view inventory statuses quickly, which makes it easier to plan for patient appointments. You can also pull automated reports, which allows you to understand cost tracking for your practice better and minimize loss with visibility into returns and devices on loan.

Thoughtful Automation Requires the Right Software

Automation is the future of how audiologists and other private practice physicians effectively manage their practice, but without the right software and tools in place, automation may seem out of reach.

Sycle has created practice management software that puts efficiency at the forefront, helping to free up time for providers to focus on the patients and front office staff to focus on building and growing the business.

Learn how Sycle’s automation features can streamline your practice operations and remove unnecessary inefficiencies.

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