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What could automation mean for your clinic?

July 17, 2023

We recently spoke about how automation is changing healthcare for the better, encouraging clunky and outdated manual processes to run more efficiently. But we also want to show you how it can help your clinic grow, and empower both your patients and your staff. Here's why you should invest in automation. 

It's good for clinical reputation

A study of the most important factors affecting patient satisfaction found ‘medical staff’s service attitude’ and ‘medical staff’s services technology’ were two of the top priorities for those visiting a healthcare provider.

In a way, these two considerations are symbiotic. “The more time staff spend on admin, the less time staff have to concentrate on patient care,” says Semble’s Head of Product, Sara Fikrat. “More admin means you’re spending vast amounts of time on the less exciting parts of your job, which is bad for staff. An increase in admin usually means low retention of both staff and patients.”

If staff satisfaction is affected by the amount of admin needs to be done, and patient satisfaction is influenced by staff attitude, it’s highly likely both staff and patient gratification will be significantly reduced without the automation of key processes.

A clinic’s ‘service technology’ therefore holds a lot of potential. For their patient management system, features like online booking, payments and consultation questionnaires get the patient started on their care journey quickly and efficiently. The sending, receiving, and sharing of pathology reports (through a patient portal) reduces the anxiety of waiting for results.

But it’s not just the patient-facing tech that holds the key to a thriving clinic – it’s the behind-the-scenes work, too. Data can help clinicians get to grips with the drivers of your financial and operational performance, and in-depth analytics can help you get to know your patients better.

It saves crucial time

Without automation, a huge chunk of a clinic’s time is taken up by manually completing communications like bookings, questionnaires and letters. Automating these workflows allows time for more rewarding tasks like patient contact. For example:

  • Online booking: Allows patients to book their own appointment without having to wait to get through to clinic on the phone and the admin staff booking the appointment in manually.
  • Appointment reminders: Sent out to patients before their appointment helps build that trust between patient and practice, and reduces the risk of no-shows.
  • Upfront payments: Taking payment online before the patient’s appointment, avoiding bad debt, no-shows, and saving time spent on admin.

These may seem like innocuous tasks, but the hours that they occupy can be detrimental to the smooth running of your clinic. After the automation of these key processes through Semble, Private Winchester GP realised how many hours they wasted on menial tasks: "We reduced our filing time by about 75%, saving almost a day of admin work per week.”

It makes your clinic safer

Research shows admin errors have been connected to bigger, more crucial issues surrounding wrong medication, incorrect storage and missing prescriptions. An automated system means prescriptions can be generated from medical notes and easily shared with pharmacies. These can then be delivered straight to patients without the need for intervention from clinicians, reducing the risk of human error. Automated reminders can also prompt staff when to check and replenish stock, keeping wastage to a minimum and ensuring you've always got the correct medicines and consumables to hand. 

It reduces clinical costs

With automation comes improved efficiency and fewer errors, allowing clinical staff to accomplish more within their work hours, and spend more time focusing on key financial drivers. Wastage costs are a thing of the past thanks to a paperless environment and stock reminders. And of course, those online bookings mean patients can pay upfront, reducing the risk of bad debt.

Within the healthcare system, trust is paramount; health can involve a lot of uncertainty and risk for a vulnerable patient, who relies on their healthcare provider for quality care.

Automation brings that reliability to the forefront. A more digital gaze over your processes ensures you can bring back the human aspect of patient care back to your clinic, and provide a service your patients can depend upon. 

Want to learn more about automation?

Semble can offer you all the features and benefits of automation mentioned in this article, and much more.
If you'd like to see how you can simplify your workflows and take those timely admin tasks off your plate, one of our knowledgable team members would be happy to you talk you through it.