If you want to grow your medical practice, technology can be your new best friend. It can make life easier on you and improve your client’s experience. The extra help can free you up to focus on care and be the best doctor you can be.
But it doesn’t always feel that way.
Sometimes technology feels overwhelming. It can be complicated, expensive or off-puttingly impersonal. And even if you’re open to trying something new, it’s hard to know how to get started.
In this post, we’re going to make it easier for you. We’ll share 5 pieces of technology that have major upside and minimal hassle. Read on, put them to work for you and you’ll be ready to grow your medical practice.
1. Virtual Phone Service
Number one on our list of tech that’ll grow your medical practice is a virtual phone service. “Phone service?” you might say, “that doesn’t sound very techy.” You’re right — it’s not supposed to be. But it does solve a big problem.
You see, no matter how much your practice grows, you still need to stay in touch with it. You still need to be available for your clients.
Traditionally you have two options here:
Number one, you can stick with your in office landline. This is good because it helps you create work-life balance. Patients must go through certain channels to reach you, so you don’t have to worry about your personal phone ringing when you’re out on a date with your spouse or trying to get a good night’s rest. But this approach can feel impersonal and clients may not like that it seems so hard to get a hold of you.
Option two, you can give out your cell phone number. This lets clients and staff reach you whenever necessary. The advantage is that you can solve problems and answer questions when they arise — that way they don’t pile up when you’re out of the office. But the downside is that there’s no separation between work and personal life. You might not be able to tell if that unrecognized number is a patient or a spam call. And who knows when the phone will start ringing.
A virtual phone service takes the best of both approaches without their downsides.
It simply connects your office phone to your cell phone — like having two phone numbers on one device. If a call comes into the office number, you can choose if and when you want to answer it. But you never have to give out your personal phone number. Plus, you can choose to toggle off notifications for the office number. That means if you’re out for dinner or crawling into bed, you can make sure all business-related calls get sent to voicemail.
Virtual phone services also allow you to text, sending important reminders to clients from your office number. And you can set up a special voicemail so that callers hear only the information that you want clients to know.
For something so helpful, a virtual phone service is easy to set up. Services like Google Voice can be up and running in about 5 minutes. Plus, they’re refreshingly inexpensive! Google Voice will only cost you $10 for ten users and ten locations.
In our book, that’s a worthwhile investment. Your clients (and staff) will love being able to stay in touch with you and you’ll have peace of mind that you have healthy work-life boundaries.
2. Email host
If you’re still using @gmail.com or @outlook.com as your email domain, your professional image might be taking a hit.
Clients might not open or trust your messages if they come from one of these common domains. Scheduling or billing emails might be filtered as spam. And prospective clients might wonder if you’re professional enough to help them.
Having a professional email domain, like firstname.lastname@example.org, will prevent this from happening. Clients will know exactly who’s emailing them and can trust what’s sent to them. A professional email domain can also bring in new clients. When a prospective client wants to email you, they’ll notice you’ve spent time setting up a secure and trustworthy email. It might seem like a small change, but it can make a big difference.
But how do you change your email domain?
You could do it yourself. But hosting your own server is difficult. You have to maintain and support it regularly, not to mention it’s expensive, costing up to hundreds of dollars a month.
An email hosting site can save you this hassle for a much lower cost. You can choose the domain you want and you won’t have to worry about the pain of maintaining the server yourself. Once you’re set up, it’s just like using your Gmail or Outlook account. The hosting service can also provide security protections and is more reliable than running it yourself. And they’re not expensive either. Google Workspace starts at $6 a month, but if you’re looking for more savings, services such as Bluehost start at under $3 a month.
As you grow your medical practice, you’re going to get busier. You may reach a point where you and your staff don’t have the time to answer every single question and engage with every prospective client.
What if instead of ignoring those people, you could answer them immediately without it taking up any of your time?
Sounds too good to be true right? But that’s exactly what chatbots do.
Chatbots are a type of artificial intelligence that are programmed to interact with prospective clients. They work on your website or social media page and are an easy way people can get information without having to pick up the phone.
This might sound impersonal at first, but chatbots are a great tool. They don’t replace people and they’re not meant to. But they do a great job of answering easy questions and qualifying leads. That way people don’t have to wait for a response and you can spend your time on the matters that really need a doctor’s attention.
Chatbots can be programmed to respond to a variety of prompts. You can choose how they “talk”, making your bot sound as friendly or as professional as you want. With a little strategy, this piece of tech can help you bring in and serve more clients.
And you shouldn’t worry about your chatbot turning clients away. Forty percent of internet users would rather talk with a chatbot than a virtual agent. And they’re only growing in popularity.
Chatbots don’t have to be expensive, either. Chatfuel’s basic plan is free and it has premium plans that start at $15 a month. It also supports Facebook Messenger, which means you can attach it to your Facebook page and it will start answering questions right away.
We recommend this tech because it’s a simple way to give your staff more time to focus on the people in your practice without stopping you from attracting new clients.
4. Electronic medical record (EMR)
A growing medical practice uses a lot of paper. Pretty soon it gets overwhelming. You might have to page through files and shuffle through reams of notes just to prepare to meet a client. And then after the appointment, you have to make sure everything is properly recorded and filed away. Let’s hope it’s all organized!
An electronic medical record (EMR) eliminates the hassle. An EMR takes all the information you need to keep track of your client – medical history, diagnoses, notes – and puts them into a digital record.
It’s not just about eliminating paper records and clunky filing cabinets, either. Once you’ve digitized your records, taking care of your clients and staff becomes much easier. Everything becomes more organized and searchable. You’ll have fewer errors on their records and will be able to input and track data faster. It can also remind you to follow up on appointments and review records when they come in. And you never have to worry about losing information. That way you can spend more time with a client’s record and less time looking for it.
An EMR makes clients’ records more accessible and comprehensive.
Clients will get better treatment and will see the time and effort you put in to make sure they’re truly cared for.
Many EMRs will also let clients see their records and prescriptions and schedule appointments online. They can get what they need immediately and you get more time to focus on your clients.
An EMR system might cost you upfront, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Practice Better offers an EMR subscription that supports up to 200 clients for $49 a month. AthenaHealth is an EMR made specifically for small and medium-size practices. It starts as low as $150 a month for basic features.
Don’t worry about EMR systems being difficult to use either. Many are known for being user-friendly. And because they’ll make you more efficient, you’ll be able to serve more clients and grow your medical practice.
5. Practice management software
Electronic Medical Records make your client care more efficient, but what about the administrative side? Scheduling appointments, staffing and billing can still eat up a lot of time.
That’s where practice management (PM) software comes in. This type of software helps you organize your operations. It can make tasks like scheduling appointments or handling billing procedures much easier. You’ll save time and that of course means you’re free to focus on your clients. helps you organize your operations.
Practice management software is typically used for small and medium-sized medical practices. It’s also easy to integrate them with your EMR. In fact, most services that offer EMR systems (like AthenaHealth) can also provide you PM software. While the cost depends on what your practice needs, it can start as low as $100 a month.
Grow Your Medical Practice Now
Hopefully in reading this list, you can see that technology doesn’t have to be intimidating. The right pieces of tech can make life easier for you and your patients. These options don’t have to be expensive and because they’re easy to use, you can have them implemented into your practice in no time.
Like any tech, the suggestions above are an investment, so we recommend you think through what makes the most sense for your practice. If you need advice on how to budget or investigate these options further, schedule a call at Every Single Bean. We’ll help doctors like you innovate so they can enjoy financial freedom and a healthier practice.