Ready to Make The Jump To Online Applications?


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Ready to Make The Jump To Online Applications?

Ready to Make The Jump To Online Applications?

Aug 31, 2017

Author: Katie Fox


Not only are electronic applications a more effective, more efficient way to process appointments, but they can also be a stressful and challenging feat for your organization. Before taking the plunge and shredding the paper, here are a few things you should consider to prepare your organization for success: 


1. Collection

Start collecting electronic copies of documents, forms, DOP’s, Disclosure Questions, Follow-up Notices, by-laws; pretty much everything that is currently being utilized. Obtain, organize, and review them to ensure that all elements for initial, reappointment, and any other variety, are still relevant and up to date. If you have any documentation or forms that are out-dated and/or no longer needed, now is the best time to update and ‘trim the fat’.


2. Make Friends

As adults, making friends isn’t as easy as it used to be, however, it is more critical now than ever before. Get to know the members of the following departments as they hold the keys to the wonderful world of online applications. Besides, who couldn’t use more friends?

  1. Legal Team – Get your legal team involved right now. Get their ‘blessing’ on attestation verbiage and disclosure statements. Have them confirm and ensure that electronic signatures are accepted throughout your organization. It’s best to identify any implications as quickly as possible, so that this team can help you to overcome barriers and ensure a smooth transition…legally.
  2. Executive Sponsors – Grab your soap box and talk to your executives. Explain the benefits of online applications and how it can decrease processing time, increase efficiencies within your organization, and benefit the medical needs of your community. Once you have their support, they will assist you in allocating the necessary resources to implement a successful process.
  3. Information Technology – Online applications are just that…ONLINE. Get your IT Team involved. They can help advise you on your network standards, restrictions, and compliance policies. They will play a huge role in the implementation of any network/system enhancement to accommodate electronic applications. (I hear they like doughnuts…)

3. Communication

Be proactive in your internal and external communications with your team, providers, and administrative support staff; everyone involved. The more information and advance notice you can provide regarding this change, the more time everyone has to process, ask questions, and prepare themselves for change. Proactive communication also allows you to appropriately set expectations across your organization.


4. Be Accommodating

As you move towards an online process, ensure that you have adequate support for the end user…the providers. While implementing and building out the new processes, be mindful of instructions, cheat sheets, or alternative methods for providers to comply. This is especially important for your ‘Experienced Providers’, or those that may be less technically inclined as others.


5. Brace Yourself for Change

Change is hard, but change can be so great! As you make the transition from paper to electronic applications, keep in mind that this represents a significant shift in your entire appointment process. Maintaining flexibility toward process change and improvement will greatly increase your success.

In closing, transitioning from paper to online applications truly is a progressive leap forward. Overall, the best advice I can provide stems from a phrase a dear friend of mine once shared; “Proper planning prevents poor performance.” This phrase personified and caffeine…lots and lots of caffeine.

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