About 7% of Americans have a speech impairment. There are about 223,000 professionals involved in supporting patients with speech disorders. If you’re one of them, you know how difficult it is for patients with speech disorders. They lack confidence and feel self-conscious to speak. As a speech pathologist, you want to help as many people as you can. The trouble is that you can’t help everyone and run a business at the same time. You actually can, you just have to invest in the right tools like practice management software. What are the benefits of having practice management software? Keep reading to find out.
The impact of patient no-shows is a hidden cost of running a speech therapy practice. It’s a problem throughout the healthcare industry, with no-show rates between 12% and 80%.
Even if your contract has a no-show or late cancellation policy, you probably don’t enforce it because it could damage the patient relationship.
The best thing you can do is reduce the no-show rate as much as possible. This way, you can run a business while serving speech therapy patients to the best of your ability.
This is where practice management software assists you. There are some practice management suites that let patients schedule online.
The software follows up with them by sending text message reminders to make the appointment or reschedule.
You don’t have to call patients yourself the morning of the appointment or hire someone else to do it. This saves time and money while reducing the no-show rate.
There’s a lot that needs to happen when you onboard a new patient. They might need additional support in between appointments, too.
Here’s where practice management delivers. You can manage all of your documentation within the software program.
Upload HIPAA and other onboarding forms and send them to the client to sign digitally. They don’t need to show up to an appointment 30 minutes early to fill out a mountain of paperwork.
They can read through and sign everything at their convenience.
If a client needs support in between appointments, they can message you through the software platform. That keeps all communications safe, secure, and in one spot for review.
You don’t need to jump between text messages, emails, and other communications tools that can compromise privacy standards.
Some patients may only require a speech therapist for a short period of time, while others need more intense work that takes longer.
Patients need to work on skills on their own in between sessions. Patients don’t always do this, which prolongs therapy.
You can use practice management software to send reminders to patients. There are speech therapy apps that gamify the experience.
This is especially important if you work with kids. Turn speech therapy into a game and you can make practicing and improving fun.
If clients reach their goals faster, they’re more likely to be happy with the service and recommend you to others.
Administrative tasks take up the bulk of your time in running a speech therapy practice. Without support and software, you are in charge of scheduling, billing, communications, marketing, insurance billing, and accounting.
Don’t forget that you’re supposed to work with patients, too.
Between those things, you have little time for anything else.
Not only that, but your capacity to serve more patients gets limited. If you get more patients, you have more administrative tasks to manage. You can’t grow your business.
The only way to grow is to delegate tasks as much as possible. You could hire an employee or virtual assistant, or implement practice management software.
With practice management software, you can automate repetitive tasks and get more done in less time. You have more time for leisure.
It also gives you room to scale your speech therapy practice because you have the capacity to take on more business without the administrative headaches.
Cash flow is one of the biggest challenges in running a small business. Speech therapists are no exception to the rule, either.
It’s difficult to pay bills when you don’t know when you’ll get paid by patients and insurance companies.
A speech pathology software solution simplifies the invoicing process. That allows you to have a regular system in place which makes billing and receiving payments predictable.
It integrates with your bookkeeping system, so you always know how much cash you have on hand. It’s useful to know the financial health of your practice, and when you incorporate specialist speech therapy billing software into the running of your business, this is now easier than ever to view.
Most practice management tools are cloud-based management software solutions. This gives you access to information from anywhere.
Speech therapists are only one part of a patient’s network of healthcare providers. You may need to collaborate with a child’s teacher.
There are likely to be other healthcare providers that work with your patients.
It’s not easy to collaborate with other providers if you have to call them. Practice management software lets you send information to other providers securely, which keeps you in compliance with healthcare privacy laws.
The other healthcare providers and teachers get the information they need promptly.
That saves you time and helps your patient get the care they need.
Look at all of these benefits of practice management software. If you work in speech pathology, you know how challenging the practice management part is. You can reduce the amount of time spent on administrative tasks and find better ways to serve your patients. They have a much better overall experience and you have room to grow.
Are you ready for more helpful business tips? Check out the other articles on the blog today.