A profitable medical practice understands its costs.
To be successful in any business, owners and managers must have a deep understanding of their costs. Medical practices are no different. It’s important to pay attention to the cost of sales, and to be very clear of the answer to the question “What does it cost to provide our medical services?”
There is a tendency in medical practices to group all costs together and simply compare the total cost line in Xero or MYOB to the total revenue line, and then work with that basic equation.
While the top line is answer will be correct, to understand the levers to adjust in order to improve the practice’s financial performance, a more granular view is needed.
For example, when looking for new medical practice software or practice management services, such as transcription, an understanding of the time and financial costs should be central to the decision making process.
To understand the costs of providing a medical service, you will need to know the cost of staff, the cost of real-estate and the costs of other inputs such as software, utilities, subscriptions and hardware.
Staff costs are the largest expense on all medical services ledgers. Taking a deeper look at staff costs for individual patient encounters can provide very useful insights into where and how businesses can improve.
One way to do this is to consider the patient journey and allocate an incremental cost to each administration activity along the way. Here is an example of how we do this for a typical patient attending a referred practitioner:
As you can see from the table above, a review of all the incremental costs incurred throughout a patient’s journey reveals that the single biggest administration cost in a doctor consulting a patient is the creation and delivery of medical correspondence.
Occasionally, we’ll see that doctors try to reduce the administration cost by typing and formatting their own letters. This actually increases the incremental costs because a doctor’s hourly rate is around 10 times higher than the secretary!
Using these insights, it is clear that the process of dictation, transcription and delivery of letters offers a significant opportunity for cost reduction. In terms of administration burden, it also provides an opportunity to reduce secretarial workload, diminish the risk of burnout and increase the quality of care that your staff can provide to your patients.
An outsourced medical transcription service provides a cost-effective solution.
Hoxton MPM has applied a human-centred approach to solve medical transcription costs. Hoxton’s VoiceBox Intelligent Transcription (VBIT) App has been designed to minimise the administration touch points in the dictation and transcription workflow to deliver a quality letter without the costly administration burden.
Doctors using VBIT dictate directly into their mobile device or desktop computer App, which is directly linked to their practice software appointment book. The audio file is reviewed by VBIT artificial intelligence and delivered to an Australian-based proof reader for formatting, correction and addressing. The transcript is then returned to the doctor on his/her mobile device or desktop App for review and approval. Once approved, the correspondence is sent directly to all recipients and automatically filed in the doctor’s own practice software.
This whole VBIT process produces a letter delivered electronically without a single touch point of in-house administration.
Apart from the obvious benefit of having an automated process that saves a doctor time, reduces administration burden and cost, VBIT is also able to manage patient-related correspondence whilst in-house administration staff are on leave.
Here’s an example (using the same data from the table above) comparing the Hoxton MPM VoiceBox Intelligent Transcription service to other outsourced typing services:
As you can see, the numbers stack up as do the efficiencies, accuracy, reliability and availability.
Start reducing costs and create more time for patient care today. Register for VoiceBox Intelligent Transcription or phone 1300HOXTON to find out more.