Because midwives work in diverse settings with a variety of individual needs, Private Practice is designed for all types of practice styles, from the large group to the solo provider. The key to a functional practice management system is in having the flexibility to customize your system to support your existing workflow. Using this system doesn’t mean you need to change how you practice. Ideally, the system will simply allow you to make your current practice tasks easier to manage and support your current needs.
Figuring out where to start
When I start any new project, whether it’s cleaning out my shed or learning how to program a new DVD player, I always start with the simplest steps first. I always feel encouraged when I can find the power button all by myself and even watch a movie without worrying how to set a timer to record something in the future. Just because the device comes with features I don’t understand or need, doesn’t mean it’s not useful to me right now. And, just because it doesn’t do everything I might want (like, how about a DVD player that pops fresh popcorn during the previews?), doesn’t mean I can’t take advantage of some of the features it provides for now.
How To Get Started Depending on Your Type of Practice:
1. You already use some kind of electronic health record (EHR) system through your hospital, clinic, or physician-affiliated practice.
Chances are your current system is in transition. Many EHR systems have become obsolete in the face of web-based technology and new guidelines set forth by the federal government. The overall vision for the future is to make EHR systems the glue to pasting together the US health care industry into some semblance of a system. This is easier said than done, and will certainly be a painful transition at the very least. In the meantime here are some tools, that can be used independently from your EHR system, Private Practice can give you now:
If you share clients and calls with other providers it is sometimes challenging to keep up with progress notes, especially if you aren’t in the office to read the chart. If you’re away for the weekend and want to know what to expect at the office Monday morning, you can log on to your secure, HIPAA compliant, shared practice account and read updates on client status posted by your colleagues.
Also, if you are finding that clients are emailing you with questions and concerns. Private Practice gives you a way to track and review not only your own conversations, but those between your partners and clients as well. (Pictured)
To Do Lists
The complex process of providing evidence based practice can sometimes be difficult to document in the chart. A recent article in The Journal for Nurse Practitioners highlights the hope among experts that “access to appropriate patient care guidelines will be made more available (through)… computerized patient information management systems”. Private Practice allows you and your partners to develop checklists (pictured above) that reflect your standard of care and ensure that each client receives the full range of information and care that you intend to provide.
2. You already use some a technology tools, either web tools (Google Calendar or Dropbox) or something you have created (fillable or pdf chart forms).
There are many great web based tools available to health practitioners. The best ones are even free! The challenge is in getting everything to work together in a workflow that makes sense. Whatever the tools you are already using, Private Practice can help you integrate them into one, easy to use system.
Google Calendar easily syncs with Private Practice. View your calendar on Google, but also see at a glance on the Client Overview page each client’s next appointment.
Attach electronic files (pictured above) to the client account- whether paper, pdf, or your own quirky document. You can easily store them on your secure account.
Add a patient portal to your practice – A huge marketing and communication leap for health practitioners. We’ll be presenting a whole series of articles covering the federal mandates and practice advantages of this great tool in the coming weeks. Subscribe to email updates on new articles in the right column.
3. You are fully paper and pen in your practice and perhaps only just recently learned how to set up your cell phone voicemail.
If all of the features listed above haven’t gotten you excited enough to try a practice management tool, we have three words for you: Access From Anywhere.
This means, put copies of your paper chart on the secure web account and now you can always access your client charts, wherever you are. Keep a paper back up, but have the security of knowing that you never have to worry about losing a chart to fire, flood, or theft.
This can be important whether you are a solo practitioner or in a group practice. And for you solo practitioners who are dreaming of adding a partner, or want to coordinate better with students, apprentices, and birth assistants, subscribe to our email updates as we talk in the coming weeks about coordinating your workflow with colleagues.
Time to share: What’s the biggest pain point in the management of your practice right now? We’ll help you figure out how Private Practice can help!