A medical practice's secret to inexpensive IT

As patients bear more responsibility for medical bills, many in turn are  demanding better service from providers in the form of reasonable treatment costs, flexible payment options and greater convenience. In other words: patients are making consumer-based decisions about healthcare.

These increased consumer expectations put enormous pressure on providers to improve the entire experience offered to value-conscious patients, from intake to treatment, according to Lee Bee, MD.

In a HIMSS16 conference session titled "Creating an Agile Medical Practice to Meet Consumer Demands," Bee will share how smaller physician practices can leverage inexpensive technology to remain competitive and profitable, while improving patient care and satisfaction.

"Basically, I'm presenting how I started my practice using an off-the-shelf technology," said Bee, an internist who heads Southern Illinois Medical Specialists. That technology, he added, cost far less than "bigger systems that aren't available to small practices and sole practitioners."

Bee explained that the low-cost technologies his practice uses enable better communication between staffers and with patients. They also make it easier to get information into an EHR.

"I dictate right inside the room," he said. "My notes are done by the time I leave the room. Thirteen pages, long, descriptive and inside a nice little template."

Bee, along with Tom Gianulli, MD, will also discuss consumer-based treatments versus traditional methods; ways providers can adapt to new payment and care models to meet changing consumer needs; how technology adoption has changed expectations; and the link between patient-centric care, health IT and patient engagement.

"Providers can use technology that doesn't cost thousands of dollars per person, per month," Bee said.

"Creating an Agile Medical Practice to Meet Consumer Demands" will be held on March 1 from 1 to 2 p.m. PST in Delfino 4004 at the Sands Expo Convention Center.