Software You Need To Run Your Direct Primary Care Practice
The healthcare system has seen an increasing trend of patients opting towards using direct primary care services in place of confusing and expensive healthcare insurance. The direct primary care industry has been flourishing, the patients experience exceptional care under their primary care physicians and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing anytime soon.
Direct primary care practices act as a way out for patients who can’t afford the insane insurance premiums and need the undivided attention of their primary care physician who knows their family history.
Although not suitable for people with complex medical issues, having a direct primary care physician on the call can be very convenient for many family structures. Every year more primary care physicians opt for their own practices.
Related: What is direct primary care?
What is a DPC Practice?
Direct Primary Care (DPC) is an alternative model of practice and payment based on a membership fee concept where patients pay their primary care physician a flat and inexpensive monthly, quarterly, or yearly fee for access to a broad range of primary medical care. In contrast to the third-party insurance coverage that works on a fee-for-service model, under a DPC practice patients are offered better attention to care by their physician, who otherwise may be bogged down by issues of billing and coding.
DPC allows both the patient and the primary care physicians flexibility to work with each other in a way that is satisfactory for everyone involved. Physicians say they can address around 80 to 100 most common diagnoses.
The monthly fee can be as little as $60-$70 and the consumer can have immediate access to their primary care physician via the phone, including extended visits while at the doctor’s as well as a home visit if the need for such arises.
What does a Direct Primary Care Startup require to start operations?
There are several things to consider when you decide you want to run a direct primary care business. If you are a competent doctor, then you will need to plan and execute several things before you can start seeing your patients.
The first is to look for the most accessible and suitable location for your DPC practice office. You can’t compete with primary care hospitals but you don’t want to be too small either. Outline what you think your business is going to be and then select the desired office. You may want to rent out a place in a busy thoroughfare or you may look to set up your office in a relatively smaller shopping bay in a town.
You will then need to hire the appropriate staff and get things started from there. Setting up a business can be anxiety-inducing but by hiring staff, you can get support from other workers who understand the job.
The next, very crucial, step is to select your EMR (electronic medical record)/EHR (electronic health record) system that will operate as the basis of your workplace documentation and as your tool of communication. Choosing the right software will ensure everything runs smoothly, and that all the records can be accessed easily, whenever required.
With the advancements in information technology for clinical processes inpatient care, things have become more streamlined. Primary care physicians and other DPC staff depend on EMR software to carry out their routine work.
After selecting the EMRs that sits right with you, you might need to set up a website for your DPC practice. This will help you appear in people’s searches for a DPC physician nearby. This is also a great way to market yourself and put your business out there in the world. Be sure to put an easy-to-reach number or any other mode of communication on the website.
In the end, optimize for success. Sharpen your routine, and try to practice workplace harmony between your staff. Hire energetic and focused people for your business as they will pull in repeat customers. What matters most is how your customers/patients feel when they walk through your doors for the first time and how much effort you put in to maintain that relationship.
How to select the right EMR software for your DPC practice
When all is said and done, selecting the right EMR may make or break your DPC practice. Hence, it is the topmost concern of physicians particularly primary care physicians all over. An effective and reliable EMR will keep all the information secure and accessible. It will be easy to use and will basically be like a member of your staff, one that the entire team will come to depend on.
EMR is not only a means to store and access information, it can be used to maintain communication between staff members and give reminders: it can be used for patient scheduling too. The EMR software will alert you to any upcoming appointments, maintain charts, and even keep patients’ particulars up to date so you can get a broad look at their history.
But what does one need to keep in mind while looking for dependable EMR software for DPC practice? Well, the first thing would be the ease of usability. Your EMR software will be used by everyone from your staff with varying technological experiences, so it needs to be easy to operate and learn.
The software needs to have frequent updates so any issues can be routinely worked out. Also, see if the software has integrated management tools and whether you can leverage patient engagement features or not.
Ultimately, don’t go for the first or the latest EMR software that you come across, shop around a bit. Ask other physicians in your network what works best for them and maybe hire a professional IT person to help you work out the kinks. It will save you a lot of hassle and headaches.
Direct primary care practices have seen a huge popularity jump, especially due to their customer-friendly services. It’s only a matter of time till other customers revert from the age-old, but very confusing and nerve-racking, experience of accessing healthcare under insurance to the personal care by primary care physicians under the direct primary care model.
Dr. Josh is a physician who's helping spread the knowledge about Telehealth and its advantages. At SmartClinix, he's providing his expertise and knowledge in the form of engaging articles on various health & tech related topics.