Most independent practitioners practise from multiple locations, according to Healthcode, one of the UK’s leading specialists in online practice management and billing systems for the private sector. The snapshot of more than 7,000 Healthcode users highlights the challenge for today’s practitioners who need to manage their business and treat their patients across several sites.
The analysis of Healthcode’s ePractice users, which includes both single-handed specialists and practices, showed that more than half (55%) see patients at more than one treatment site, and 13% divide their time between more than four different locations. Just over 1% using Healthcode’s ePractice solution practised at more than eight sites.
Of the 85 different specialties and sub-specialties included, the vast majority of psychiatrists practised from just one site while the most likely to be multi-site practices were pain management specialists (80%), oral surgeons (71%) and plastic surgeons (70%). Half of pain management practitioners treated patients from more than five locations, reflecting the varied nature of the work within both hospitals and outpatient clinics; the range of conditions where pain management now plays an important part; and the importance of local access for patients with debilitating illnesses. Other specialties where around 10% of practices had five or more treatment sites were ENT, paediatrics, immunology and anaesthetics.
Peter Connor, Managing Director of Healthcode said: “We know that many independent practitioners clock up many miles during the course of a working week so they will be available for their patients. However, multi-site practice can present a challenge when it comes to managing the day-to-day business tasks such as invoicing, keeping track of patient appointments and cashflow. To solve this problem, Healthcode’s secure ePractice cloud based solution means practitioners can stay in control whatever their location.”
One multi-site practitioner is Mr Ravi Sharma, a consultant paediatric ENT surgeon who practices at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Spire Liverpool and Spire Cheshire. He explained: “My private practice is only for children and I work at different places so my young patients can have an appointment which is local to them and fits in with their school schedule. The Healthcode ePractice system is wonderful because I can access it online from my home near Manchester and my office at Alder Hey, Liverpool. What’s more, my secretary is a registered user so she can also log on if I need her to check something for me while I am travelling. That convenience makes a huge difference to my working life.”