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It happens. There is a major software upgrade and visions of your wish-list items dance through your head. Only to find out that few, if any of those changes directly impact your practice. A similar feeling of when the movie just isn’t as good as the book. It happens, just not this time.
The April 2020 release of updates to the Practice EHR software will impact 99.99% of you. If you schedule an appointment within the software – be prepared for happiness. If you are responsible for changing that schedule (again) because of a new location, provider, conference, closed office or any other reason where you need that magic wand to move 300 + patients - be prepared for happiness. If your day revolves around managing claim rejections, or obtaining eligibility for multiple service types, or searching/extracting information from the Charge List – be prepared for happiness.
In this release, you will notice significant changes to the Practice EHR Scheduling system, resulting in improvements to the efficiency of your workflow . The changes are significant enough to warrant several new training videos within the Help Center, but let’s at least review the top five enhancements related to Scheduling.
1. Select today’s date on the Calendar from the Scheduling Menu. Wait – I know it looks just the same. Hover over the blue arrow you typically use to see the appointment details, or to ‘cut’ an appointment, you’ll notice a change. See it? You can now check in and check out today’s patient from the calendar. Don’t worry, If you are not on “today” those features are disabled.
Switch the view from daily to weekly. You can now book an appointment from the wait list while on the weekly view. And did you notice that when you switch views, the system retains “today’s” date instead of going back to some random date? The features available in the daily view are now available across the entire module – even the “Multi View” will allow you to book from the wait list.
2. Select Schedule from the Scheduling Menu. Just a little background. Yesterday there were two separate formats used to create a master schedule in Practice EHR. For simplicity they were named “basic” and “advanced.” Today all new systems will be configured with the “advanced” scheduler for the flexibility of determining slot minutes, individual date ranges, and the overbooking feature.
One of the most significant enhancements in this release is best shown as it relates to the ability to delete a schedule with appointments. No more error message “Schedule can’t be deleted due to…” The system will simply hold those scheduled appointments in a window at the bottom of that date in the calendar window. You can then reschedule those patients as necessary – even automatically if that date/time slot exists in a new schedule. This feature is reviewed in the Help Center scheduling video tutorials.
3. Select either the Calendar window or the Scheduling Day Sheet from the Scheduling menu. Hover over just the patient’s name to see the contact information and outstanding balance displayed.
4. Select the Scheduling Day Sheet from the Scheduling menu. There are a number of changes to the options you can filter based on your needs. Unlinked Copay or Unlinked Appt. may need a visual explanation but filtering by the patient’s name will finally provide a way to print a patient’s upcoming appointments.
5. Speaking of printing, as you explore each of each of the options in the system, watch for the option to export to excel. Start with the Dashboard from the Home page. Today’s Appointments, Patients in Office, Notes in Progress, even My Messages now offer the ability to export the content to excel.
After you review the release notes and review the videos from the Help Center you may decide that the ability to enter a reason for all cancelled appointments should rate in the top five. Therapy practices may find more value in the fact that you can add a case when scheduling reoccurring appointments or may appreciate the new fields added to their Plan of Care (POC) reports. The ability to requeue a statement or the ability to “submit now” when reviewing pending e-statements may be in your top five.
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