Are you double handling data?

dog blanket (1)Have you ever been on the phone to your insurance company or bank and they ask you 2-3 times to confirm your name, date of birth and address? Did you find it annoying? You may think it must be for security, but surely a big company must have a system in place for reducing double handling of personal data. Like the picture for this blog it makes no sense and if you have similar systems in your business it’s costing you time and money.

Think for a moment about all the systems you have in place for handling your client’s personal information (unless you are using paper notes – if so read this now). If you want to improve your time management and reduce costs in your business then you need to review how you manage your data. Let’s compare the steps for two scenarios from a physio clinic who see a client and want to refer that client to a specialist.

Scenario 1:

  1. Patient phones the clinic – makes an appointment
  2. The appointment is recorded in the paper diary and on the computer system (Why?)
  3. The patient comes and fills in 4 pages of intitial paperwork
  4. Depending on your system you scan/staple the initial paperwork to the patient’s file
  5. You treat the patient and want to send them to the specialist
  6. You type the patient’s details into a word document and spend 10 mins looking for the specialist’s details.
  7. You print, sign and post your letter
  8. You scan/stable the letter to the patient’s file

Scenario 2:

  1. The patient books online and enters their own details
  2. They sign an electronic consent form on a tablet in the office on arrival
  3. You treat the patient and want to send them to the specialist
  4. You automatically generate a letter from your booking system that integrates with your database
  5. You send the letter to the specialist via email
  6. You automatically follow up with the patient via email in a week via your automated follow up system

The above scenarios are different by saving you time. You may not have a tablet in your office to sign an electronic consent form, but you should have a decent scanner and printer in order to scan the patient’s consent form. Also if you don’t have the specialist’s email address, you can print the letter out and it should have his fax number attached via your system. You can then fax the letter to the specialist and give a copy to the client.

Reducing double handling of data saves you time and money. If you have more time available you can see more clients. The above scenarios are only a small representation of how reducing double handling can improve your business. Good systems using integration and automation can be applied to banking, invoicing, emails, social media, marketing etc.

Your patients will appreciate your slick systems. To find out how PracticeNav can help reduce double handling of data please email or take our Free business audit. Feel free to share your experience of how reducing double handling helped your business.

Colin Phillips
Business Consultant

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