Proactively managing your patients’ health will benefit them as well as your independent practice. When you implement panel management, you are taking steps to ensure that all of your patients are current on their basic preventive care. The emphasis there is on “all” of your patients, not just the patients who come into the office for an illness or a checkup. You can start panel management in your independent practice following these five tips:
- Use your electronic health record (EHR) to develop a database.
The database, or registry, will include details about all of your patients and their immunizations, screenings, and preventive and chronic care tests.
- Develop and adopt guidelines for your independent practice.
Decide on practice guidelines for preventive and chronic care services, then use those guidelines to establish target levels for health indicators. If this is your initial attempt at implementing panel management in your independent practice, you might decide to use evidence-based national guidelines created and updated by authoritative organizations.
- Train your staff.
Panel management is a practice-wide responsibility. Your staff, including nurses, medical assistants, and reception should be trained in panel management strategies. A successful panel management approach is adopted throughout the practice.
- Identify gaps in care.
When a patient is not meeting a goal or is overdue for a preventive test, they have a gap in their care. You can use your Clinical First EHR to quickly identify patients who aren’t meeting goals based on custom care management protocols, Meaningful Use objectives, or specific document tags, and easily schedule a follow-up appointment to address any potential gaps in care.
Contact us for more information about identifying care gaps as you implement panel management in your independent practice.
- Close those care gaps.
You and your independent practice staff can reach out to your patients to ensure they are getting all the care they need, including preventive care. Outreach panel management includes the proactive measures you and your staff take to contact patients through letters or calls between visits. Inreach panel management happens when you and your staff communicate care gaps to patients who come to your office for a visit.
Some additional points to consider as you start panel management in your independent practice are suggested by the Patient Centered Primary Care Institute (PCPCI):
- Collaborate with your patients to get them more involved in their own care.
- Panel management will help your practice become more efficient.
- Your patients will enjoy a higher quality of healthcare.
- Communication, internal and with patients, is key to your success in panel management.