9 websites that savvy medical practices use

It’s easy to get caught in the surf on the Web. But plug these URLs into your browser and explore some simple tools that can help not only keep your practice above water but help it ride high.

www.digitalassent.com

Digital Assent automates the patient intake process with a PatientPad instead of the clipboard and an online tool for advance registration. It does integrate with EMR systems, but it provides another strong operational benefit for practices that use the tool to obtain patient (or parent) signatures (for example, with immunizations or informed consent) in the clinical exam hallway.

www.squareup.com

The Square is a free small hardware device that plugs into the iPhone, iPad, and Android and reads credit cards. It’s a free download. A fee is charged for each transaction, so compare it with your bank credit card processing fee before adopting it wholeheartedly.

www.dropbox.com

Download the Dropbox software (free) and save files to your Dropbox in the cloud. Access Dropbox files from any computer with a web browser and on other devices (iPhone, iPad), too. It comes with 2GB of online storage for free, too, and you can buy more. Sync files of any size or type — Windows, Mac, or Linux — with military grade encryption to transfer and store files.

“Instead of putting documents in ‘My Documents’ on my hard drive, I put them in Dropbox,” one physician told me. “For example, I put all of my transcription into Dropbox and if I get a call after hours, I can pull up the last office note on my iPhone or iPad; you can access everything electronically.”

www.roboform.com

RoboForm manages all your passwords. Download a trial version (limited to 10 logins) for easy login to websites and applications via mobile and desktop. It supports multiple browsers and smartphones as well as a to-go USB solution. You’ll have one master password that saves all your website and application passwords.

You can sync your RoboForm information between multiple computers (main office, satellite office, home, etc.) too. Protected RoboForm data is secured with military-grade (AES 256) encryption as well as additional security options.

www.istreamimaging.com

Stop driving to the bank, or stop paying someone to drive to the bank for you. iStreamImaging provides remote deposit processing for all your checks and credit and debit cards via your scanner. No excuses not to make the daily deposit!

www.bridgefront.com

There is never enough time for staff training. Especially when that includes travel time and travel costs. BridgeFront provides staff development via e-learning. Online courses include compliance and HIPAA, medical terminology, revenue cycle management, and nursing clinical CEUs.

www.learnthat.com

For general software and technology LearnThat provides tutorials and certifications. Get basics on networking and security to become an informed buyer as you expand the use of technology in your practice. You can also establish training regimens for your staff to expand their skills with Microsoft Office tools (Excel and Word).

The site also offers budgeting, business finance, and “Ten Minute Fix” tutorials on things like cleaning your car air filter and how to barbecue safely!

www.eppointments.com

Let your patients do your staff’s work! Eppointments provides online patient services for completing forms, messaging the office, and scheduling and confirming appointments. It might seem a scary thing to do, but let your patients book their own appointments online. Some days might be as chaotic as they are now, but at least you won’t be paying staff to create the mess.

www.nhxs.com

The eobResolve product does just that — it resolves EOB (Explanation of Benefits) issues. It automates the audit and appeal of underpaid and denied claims. Upload your electronic claim and remittance data files and the tool creates formatted appeal letters. Most practices don’t know if they’ve been underpaid and seldom appeal. But as many as 25% of denied claims will ultimately be paid upon appeal, if you take the time to appeal them. Doesn’t it make sense to spend a little bit to recover a lot?

Rosemarie Nelson is a principal with the MGMA Health Care Consulting Group.

Originally published in MedPage Today. Visit MedPageToday.com for more practice management news.

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  • http://www.dialdoctors.com Dial Doctors

    I agree! We specially love http://www.eppointments.com. In our center is really easy for doctors to miss appointments for patients. But then again is it ever not easy? When calls run long then doctors can fail to meet the expected call time so this helps them keep track. These websites help organize the centers which is the only thing that can keep a practice running smoothly.

  • http://www.healthcarescene.com John Lynn

    Dropbox is a great tool, but you’re a brave soul if you put any PHI information on it.

  • http://www.drmatzer.com/services A Los Angeles Cardiologist

    Thank you for this useful information. I too was wondering about dropbox and whether there were any HIPAA issues with using the service. Squareup sounds great, but I think there are less expensive way to process credit cards.

  • http://www.managemypractice.com Mary Pat Whaley

    An alternative to Dropbox is Box, which I use in my practice. I wrote about 76 ways to use the cloud (or whatever you want to call it) to make your practice more efficient and productive here: http://bit.ly/hDqSSQ. A disclaimer: I was so impressed with the the Box.net company that I decided to become a reseller for it and show other medical practices how to use it.

    Thanks, Rosemarie, for this excellent article. I will be checking these products myself!

    Mary Pat
    Manage My Practice.com

  • http://HIPAAaudit.com John

    Even better than roboform is LastPass (lastpass.com).

    There is a free and paid version. I’ve been using it across 2 computers and 3 browsers (IE, FF, Ch) with no issues.

    It is a bit of a leap of faith to turn over your password management to something like this, plus you have to get used to it a bit, but once you use if for a few days, it is excellent.

    Note: to ensure maximum security, do NOT let it log into your primary account automatically. Though it is very convenient to use this feature, it will open you up for failure if the computer is stolen or an unauthorized user gains access to your computer.

    Tangent– though I am not a fan of storing PHI on the “cloud”, any cloud storage service, even one completely encrypted, can be foiled if you/your staff use patient names as the file name.

  • http://Www.jathomas.com Jules Enatsky

    I am surprised the author did not include the website for a practices MAC, which is the contractor for Medicare that pays your claims. If you are not connected to them you most likely aren’t submitting correct claims.