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:
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’.
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?
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.
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.
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.