Anyone who encourages me knows they’ll get an earful about front office technology tools — they’ve become a passion of mine.  I’m referring to things like:

  • Patient responsibility payment estimators (e.g., Wellero, Navicure, Zirmed)
  • Check-in tablets and kiosks (e.g., Phreesia)
  • Online patient payment tools like portals and pre-payment sites (e.g., SpendWell)
  • Patient payment apps (e.g., Wellero)
  • Online scheduling (e.g., Zocdoc, DoctorBase, EHR portals in some cases)

Basically, I’m talking about add-on tools that work mainly with practice management systems and/or on the Internet to improve your practice’s likelihood of getting paid by patients, reduce steps in front office workflow, and even make patients happier in the process.

I am a big fan of these kinds of tools, for all kinds of reasons. One is that they’re unshackled from the government’s goals for EHR — they basically live only to serve practices and patients — and I think that’s what makes this segment of the market so much dynamic than the EHR segment.  The players have competition, and it drives them to innovate more; you see these vendors experimenting with many different ways (and platforms) to solve these problems. And these tools really make a difference in the workflow and collection rates of the practices that embrace them.

I recently wrote a white paper that delves into the important role technology can play — and is starting to play — in front office operations.  It’s called “Technology to the Rescue: Putting the Flow Back into Front Office Workflow.”  Wellero sponsored it, and you can download it free on their site. I hope you’ll check it out — and get in touch if you’d like to talk about any of the ideas in it.

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