How to Maintain HIPAA Compliance with Your Optometry Software

In a busy practice, your biggest concern is providing the best possible care for your patients. And, with all the craziness of your daily routine, things like HIPAA compliance can sometimes get ignored. Keeping your staff up to date with HIPAA training and maintaining compliance with your optometry software is a critical part of practice security.

But really, HIPAA compliance has a lot of fine lines and can get pretty confusing. So today we want to clear up the answers to three common HIPAA questions with help from the Department of Health and Human Services.

How to Ask for an Optometry Office Software Change in Your Eyecare Practice

In any work setting it can be intimidating to ask for things you want. Whether it's time off, a pay increase, or even for new tools that will help you perform your job better. As an employee in an eyecare practice, you might be more aware of some of the inefficiencies lingering in your workflow than even the OD is. Which makes it your duty to speak up if you think your practice could make a change for the better!

If you're nervous about recommending changes in the practice, read up on these pieces of advice to give you the confidence and a plan of attack for asking your boss to make a change.

Stressed Out Front Office? Optometry Office Software Can Help

Your front office staff are the first people to interact with patients when they walk into your office. They are the ones that patients get their first impressions of when they come in for an appointment. That first impression is so important for a successful patient experience. That's why you want your front office to have all the tools they need to keep their job stress free. Because if they are stressed out with the work they are doing, it could start to rub off on their interactions with your patients.

Let's take a look at some of the annoying things that your front office staff might be dealing with, and how you can give them what they need to get the job done faster.

3 Exam Lane Features You Need in Your Next Optometry EHR Software

Everyday in your eyecare practice is a busy day, so it's important to arm you and your staff with the best tools to get as much done as possible throughout the day. If you're not giving yourself and your staff the right tools you're likely creating more work for yourself, decreasing employee satisfaction, and losing out on money.

Having the right optometry EHR software in your practice can arm you with what you need to efficiently speed up your workflow. Let's look at three important characteristics that we think can take your practice from a good workflow to a great workflow.

Speed Up Your Workflow with These Optometry EHR Software Characteristics

Practice Management + EHRundefined

One of the biggest ways that you're going to be able to speed up your workflow is if everyone in your practice is working off one system. So if the front office is using a separate practice management system and the OD is working off an EHR your workflow is still going to be disjointed in a lot of ways. That's why an all in one practice management and EHR solution offers the most benefits.

An all in one solution works hand in hand. When a patient fills out their pre-exam forms online through the patient portal, that information is then directly uploaded into their electronic health record, which means less data entry. The EHR will also generate codes, billing, orders, procedures, and patient counseling based on information you enter during the exam. When this information is generated during the exam your biller and optician are able to pull up the patient's info from their station to more quickly complete their tasks.

3 Warning Signs Your Optometry Software is in Need of a Change

Almost no workflow is perfect. Whether it's obvious to you or not there is most likely something you could be doing differently in your practice to make your workflow more efficient. And if you're the OD in the practice it's likely that you might be missing workflow inefficiencies in the areas where your team is handling most of the tasks. If your staff doesn't speak up there is no way for you to know what might need to change.

We've got a few warning signs that might be popping up in your practice on an above average rate that could mean you seriously need to think about a change in your workflow. It could mean switching up your processes or the technology you use to perform that specific task. Let's take a look.

3 Optometry Software Problems that Could Hurt Your Workflow and Cost You Money

1. You have an annoying number of no shows. undefined

Every practice suffers from no-show patients every now and again, and it's a drain on your practice's time and resources. But, there are solutions for decreasing the amount of no-shows that your practice sees. If your patients are scheduling appointments out months ahead of time it's easy for them to be forgotten. A software solution that offers automated patient recall and reminders can be used to send out patient communications through different methods like text and email in order to get appointment confirmation from patients. What makes it even better is that an automated system allows your front desk staff to skip the daily job of calling patients for confirming their next day appointments.

2. Your unpaid claims are piling up.

Getting reimbursed for your claims is how your practice makes money, so this is definitely something you need to stay on top of. You shouldn't have to deal with writing off unpaid bills or giving up on denied claims. If you're filing claims manually it's likely taking your biller more time and causing more errors than if they were using a practice management system or clearinghouse to submit claims electronically.

A claims management system will eliminate errors with automatic error checking features, and allow you to stay on top of claims easily with online tracking and reporting. Your biller will be able to correct claims faster and get your practice the money it deserves.

8 Things You Should Know About Mobile Security and Your Optometry Software

More and more practices are beginning to utilize mobile devices in their offices to help with practice management and efficiency. While mobile technology is a great tool, there are security concerns that come along with their use. That is why it is important for your practice to be on top of security when using mobile devices in the eyecare industry so that you can ensure that your data is kept safe.

Keeping Your Mobile Device and Optometry Software Secure

undefined1. Always use the following safety measures to protect your mobile devices from a security breach:

  • Password protect your device
  • Install and enable encryption (encryption converts a message of regular text into encoded text)
  • Install and use remote wiping and disabling (this allows you to remotely disable a device or erase data from a device if it is lost or stolen)
  • Disable file sharing applications
  • Use a firewall (firewalls limit access between networks and systems)
  • Use security software and keep it up-to-date
  • Research applications before downloading them to ensure they are safe
  • Always maintain physical control of your device
  • Delete all stored health information before discarding or reusing a device
  • Never share your mobile device

2. Understand the common aspects of vulnerability:

  • Software and application downloads
  • Visiting unsafe websites
  • Direct attacks through the communication network
  • A lost or stolen device

Self Assessment: Finding the Right Optometry Software

Buying optometry software is one of the biggest purchases an independent practice can make. So it makes sense that practices approach this topic carefully, and try to do as much research as possible prior to making the purchase. Understanding your practice's individual needs is the first step towards finding the right EHR software for your office. Today we want to walk you through some questions to ask yourself that can help you discover which type of optometry software is right for your practice.

Finding the Perfect Optometry Software with a Few Simple Questions

undefinedHow would you describe your IT knowledge?

"I'm pretty good with IT. I like spending time keeping up with server maintenance and set-up during my software implementation."

Go for a client-server software. If you're an IT junky, you probably prefer having your software in the office where you can easily access it. Keep in mind that even if your system is in office, you are still at risk for security hacks. Maintaining your HIPAA compliance means more than simply keeping your server room locked. You also should think about total cost of ownership. The hardware purchase is only the beginning. You might also need to purchase additional servers and equipment to be compatible with your software.

"I'd rather have someone else manage the maintenance and set-up of my software."

Cloud-based software is the way to go. There is no server installation meaning there is no IT knowledge needed. Your vendor takes care of everything like maintenance, backups, upgrades, and security. Make sure to pick a HIPAA compliant software so that you can take it easy knowing your practice is taken care of!

How to Create the Perfect Patient Recall Message with Your Optometry Software

Patient recall is the best way to bring patients back into your practice and keep your schedule full. But manually sending out reminders or calling patients takes valuable time away from your front desk staff. In today's busy world, automated recall is the way to go. Patient recall systems can be integrated into your optometry software where you can customize your message and trust that the system will take care of the rest. Most systems can send reminders to your patients through text, phone, email, or postcard, so you can choose the method that is best for the patient. But there is an art to creating a good message that will bring patients back into your office, so let's look at a few different things that will help you create the best message for your patients.

Using Your Optometry Software to Create a Patient Recall Message

Have a Purpose

When you send out a message to you patients, you should be clear as to what your message is. Keep it short and simple with strong keywords (most people won't read through an entire message, especially in email or mail). Get to the point quickly with direct wording.

A Call-to-Action (CTA) is Important

You're sending out your recall message for a reason; to get your patients to schedule their appointments. That needs to be clear in your CTA. Find a way to make your CTA stand out whether it means using bold or larger text, or changing up the font color. Your call-to-action should be easy to find in your message.

How to Explain Health Records and Optometry Software to Your Patients

Many patients are unfamiliar with the way technology is advancing in the eyecare industry, leading them to have concern about their information being stored electronically. "The cloud" is a very vague concept to a lot of people, and often comes with security concerns. The best thing you can do to ease their nerves about your EHR software and their private information is to explain to them what they are and the benefits they provide. If you're stuck as to how to begin the conversation, use these talking points to begin the education process for your concerned patients.

Each system is different and the benefits that you and your patients might receive will vary from system to system. Here are a few starting points that can get you thinking about your optometry software and the specific features that you and your patients will enjoy the most.

undefinedQuestions Your Patients Might Ask about Your Optometry Software

What exactly is optometry software?

  • Practice management and EHR systems help your healthcare providers handle everything they need to stay operational, from scheduling to billing to storing patient information.
  • EHR stands for electronic health records, and it makes it easier to share your health information with your other healthcare providers in order to provide better patient care overall. 

How is your system going to benefit me?

  • You're now able to schedule appointments at your convenience online.
  • You can submit pre-appointment paper work online which means you will experience a shorter wait time in the office.
  • They system creates less manual work for our staff which will speed up the overall exam process meaning that you will get through your appointments faster.
  • We are able to share important patient education materials including treatment instructions, lab results, and doctor to patient communication with you securely online.

3 Trends Your Optometry Software Needs to be Prepared For

With technology constantly improving in the eyecare industry, it can be difficult to know which trends will be fleeting and which are here to stay. We've spotted 3 trends in the industry that are not only going to stick around, but might prove to be challenging for your practice if your optometry software isn't prepared to handle them.

Optometry Software Trends that Might Shake Up Your Practice

undefinedThe ePatient's Demand for Online Information

What do ePatients want? Easy access to online health information. When do they want it? Whenever they see the need. ePatients have been on the rise for quite some time now, and they are here to stay. More and more patients like the convenience of being able to engage in their healthcare actively via electronic communication means.

This means that your EHR software needs to be able to meet the needs of these patients. The best place to start is with a system that comes with a built in patient portal. These portals allow you to provide educational materials that are specific to each individual patent as well as the ability to share test results, treatment instructions, and a way to securely answer any questions the patient might have.

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