I stumbled upon this quote by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently:

I think a simple rule of business is, if you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress.

This makes so much sense for any enterprise. If you’re stuck, try chipping away at the easiest part of a problem. It also strikes me as especially relevant to front office tasks and automation in medical practices.

The need to embrace automation, to use technology better, to provide more self-service, etc., is, I think, becoming more understood in practices of all sizes. But that doesn’t make the thought of these things any less daunting! Practice managers and physicians may hear “technology” and immediately think, “Oh no, not that again.” Visions of EHR implementations that wreaked havoc are vivid and pretty easily recalled. It can be hard to imagine an ROI large enough to make reliving that pain seem worthwhile.

But in the front office tech space, many solutions are emerging that are easy to implement — either wholesale or in parts. And ticking off just one box at a time can give your practice business a boost, even if you’re not ready to take on a full-scale automation overhaul.

For example, payment portals and email statements have become much easier to implement. Many PMS vendors offer these as built-in tools. Activating these features may (literally) take only a few moments. And if even just one patient finds the convenience encourages him to pay more promptly, the effort you and your team invested will likely be repaid.

One of the very best things about how technology for the front office is evolving is that there are more and more targeted solutions to specific, costly problems. You usually don’t have to engage in a massive conversion to a new platform to take advantage of any one solution. Chipping away at front office inefficiencies by trying one or more new technologies is a very realistic way to tackle problems that seem very complicated and daunting when taken as a whole.

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