Practice Management Software that Benefits the Patient
Practice management software is nothing new. In fact, the majority of orthodontists today use some type of digital system. Being able to track patient appointments, records, payments, and medical history in one place makes for a more efficient office and allows more time to be spent with the patients.
So why did the founders of Greyfinch decide in 2017 to design yet another patient management software? Because they wanted a system that would benefit both the office staff and their patients. Jake Gulick, president of Greyfinch, provides more insight into this innovative software.
Meet Jake Gulick, President
Jake got his start in the orthodontic industry at Televox Software. After about four years, he left and joined a patient management software start-up called Cloud9, now an established orthodontic software company. He led the sales team there and increased their client base from two practices to over 300.
In 2015, Jake joined Greyfinch. He says, “We are not trying to be just another practice management software. We are creating a platform that clinics can use to streamline their clinics, automate workflows, and eliminate the need for third parties. We are also creating a platform where patients are able to easily access their information. Software development isn’t easy, but when it comes to helping our customers, all we have to do is listen and the software will evolve into something special.”
How Greyfinch Got Started
Greyfinch started under another name, providing back office services to dental and orthodontic clinics and becoming familiar with many practice management software options. What became evident was these automated services were focused on the clinics, which, of course, are important, but they forgot about the patients and their experience.
In 2017, the company launched its own patient management software that takes into consideration both the clinic and the patient. It also has multiple functions built in that other softwares do not provide without using third party software.
Greyfinch was the first orthodontic software fully built on HTML5, which means it can be used on any device (Apple, Window, Linux, ChromeOS, iOS, Android). It also doesn’t require users to install anything on their device to use the software. A few other companies have since adopted this method as well, but they have been slow to do so.
A new patient widget included in Greyfinch’s software can be embedded on an orthodontic website so new patients can schedule a virtual or in-person consultation at their convenience. On average offices using this technology have seen a 60% increase in new patient exams, while some have seen an over 300% increase. Of the new patient exams schedule, 50% are being scheduled online after business hours, when most people actually have time to search online for a provider. Not only is this more convenient for the patient, it also eliminates the need for staff to review emails or forms each day and call people back to schedule appointments. The new patient information is automatically added to the schedule since the widget is integrated with the patient management software.
Medical forms that can be completed online are becoming a fairly common feature in orthodontic software. Greyfinch takes this technology a step further by having the information from the forms automatically populate in the patient’s chart. For example, if ADHD is marked on a patient’s medical form, this information will also appear in their chart and an alert will appear. This saves the staff member from having to review the forms in addition to the patient chart.
Documents pertaining to office policies and terms can also be signed electronically, and they are automatically added to the chart and sent to the patient. Insurance information can be submitted by the patient simply taking a photo of their insurance card. If any of these documents haven’t been filled out in advance, they can be texted or emailed to the patient when they arrive so they can complete them on their own device.
The pandemic brought in-person appointments to a standstill and shone a spotlight on the importance of having a virtual way to connect with current patients and prospects. Greyfinch has integrated telehealth into their patient management system, eliminating the need for third-party apps like Zoom or Google Meet. Once a patient books a virtual appointment they receive a confirmation via email with their link and password. The day before the appointment they receive a reminder with the same information. At the time of the appointment, the doctor clicks the link in the patient’s chart to open the call, and the patient can join from any device.
Even with offices able to be open now, many doctors are continuing to use virtual consults because they are convenient for both parties. Potential patients can get information on treatment options and costs without the pressure of coming to the office, and current patient progress can be monitored part of the time remotely.
What the Greyfinch Future Holds
As of August 2020, Greyfinch has a few upcoming additions for its software. Two-way, HIPAA-compliant messaging is scheduled to be integrated soon. A self-service patient portal, which was delayed due to the pandemic, is also scheduled to be released. This will allow patients to schedule or reschedule appointments, update their info and health information, allow them to make payments, update their auto draft source, and download and print statements and receipts. Soon after launch, more functionality will be added, such as allowing patients to finalize their contract and payment plan at home. The goal is for this to be a place a patient can go and do 90% of the things they currently call the office for.
For orthodontists whose main objective is to provide quality care for their patients, running the business end of the practice can seem like a major distraction. Having the right software in place can help you and your staff focus more on the patients and less on the paperwork.