Critical factors are affecting healthcare practices today. The costs associated with running a practice have skyrocketed, government regulations are generating a whole new class of patients requiring care, and shrinking Medicare reimbursement rates all contribute to the challenges primary care physicians (PCP’s) face today. It’s likely why the trend of concierge doctoring is becoming so popular. In a profession where no predictability exists, financial control is most welcome. But for the everyday PCP, he or she is becoming increasingly focused on trying to figure out strategies that not only enhance patient outcomes, but increase revenue streams as well.
While more and more doctors are forced to see an increasing number of patients during the day – the average doctor sees close to 24 patients per day – quality time with the patient is being affected. Still, the opportunity exists for practicing physicians to provide the best possible care to patients and increase revenue at the same time.
There has been an up-tick of doctors doing in-office testing to improve patient care. What used to be common practice until tight government regulation stepped in during the early 90’s is now seeing a re-birth. Today, lab testing is becoming increasingly decentralized, allowing doctors to test, diagnose and prescribe treatment to patients in a timelier manner, while at the same time adding new revenue streams to their practice. And, in these in-office testing scenarios, everybody wins. Doctors are more profitable; patients feel better quicker; pharmaceutical companies prevail too as the number of unfilled prescriptions dwindles with faster diagnosis.
But how does the private practice doctor who can’t find time to see his growing list of patients now take on the role of product purchaser too? Doctor’s can make better buying decisions when it comes to in-office testing equipment if they compare and contrast the choices more carefully. As more doctors turn to the Internet to access information on everything from pharma brands, in-office equipment, and medical devices, having this information readily available at a moment’s notice and updated in real time will make it easier for doctors to make the right choice in product selection.
Doctor’s can also benefit from real-time “out of office anywhere/anytime” access to pharma reps through product agnostic portals letting them meet on their own time and on their own terms. The importance of this can’t be understated. As today’s physician sees increasingly more patients, they also have less time to meet with pharmaceutical representatives and learn about new drugs that could greatly benefit their patient base. Driven by these access issues and shrinking sales forces, pharma is looking for ways to utilize digital promotion more effectively to impact prescribing behavior. Many digital media offerings attempt to build brand awareness by repeated exposures, or impressions, but these impressions have little measurable impact on prescriptions, frustrating pharmaceutical marketers seeking ROI. Having real-time, on-demand access to pharma representatives will play a profound role in affecting doctor’s prescribing behavior and maintaining the revenue stream.
As more patients come into the practice mix and fewer doctors emerge from exorbitantly priced medical schools, the cost of care will continue to increase. Those doctors that find the means of making the right choices to benefit their practices and their bottom lines will be the one healthiest of the bunch.HealthTechZone publishes expert commentary on various telecommunications, IT, call center, CRM and other technology-related topics. Are you an expert in one of these fields, and interested in having your perspective published on a site that gets several million unique visitors each month? Get in touch.
Edited by Rich Steeves