Category Archives: Spine Medicine Today

Hiring a Nurse Practitioner / Physician Assistant Increases Patient Satisfaction!

If you’re looking to hire an NP or PA the benefits can have a great impact on your practice. The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) estimates that the U.S. will face a physician shortage of over 90,000 physicians by 2020. Due to this fact NPPs are becoming increasingly important to primary care and overall patient satisfaction.

Patient satisfaction is the most important aspect of your medical practice.

In some cases, Physicians might be concerned that an Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant won’t garner the same respect as an MD, but this has proven not to be the case in many instances. Studies have shown NP/PAs score equally with physicians in terms of patient satisfaction. The Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research found that patient satisfaction levels based upon interpersonal care, confidence in the provider and understanding of patient problems ranged between 89 and 96 percent for PAs. Nurse Practioners & Physician Assistants handle many types of office visits that a physician may be too busy to do, including: preventative care services, diagnose conditions, evaluations and therapeutic plans. If NP/PAs take time to establish relationships with their patients, they can build a positive rapport that will increase satisfaction, accessibility, and productivity. Hiring NPs and PAs are not only a financial benefit, due to the decreased salary expenses, but they also ensure that your medical practice will run more efficiently. If your practice is running more smoothly, then patients will be happy with their quality of care making Nurse Practitioners / Physician Assistants an invaluable benefit to your practice.

Utilizing a Third Party Medical Biller

Medical billing for your practice can be a stressful task. A lot of medical practices use in-house medical billers to file claims, but more often than not the process is lengthy and mistakes can slip through the cracks.

Outsourcing medical billing can help the billing process run more efficiently. In-house billing can increase the overall costs of your practice for a few reasons:

1) In-house billing requires a significant investment keeping up-to-date with practice software.
2) If you have a high turnover rate for your billing staff then this could slow down the billing process and the practice will suffer.
3) You might be a new provider and you have a lot more to worry about, and hiring a billing staff can be hassle that takes up time spent on patient care.

Outsourcing your practice’s medical billing can relieve some of these stressors. Third party services typically have a decreased number of rejected claims and reduce the time it takes to receive payment. Your practice is also saving thousands of dollars on annual salaries and benefits it would take to employ an in-house staff. Increasing your practices revenue by reducing overhead costs will lead to better quality of care for patients. Experienced third party billers ensure that claims are filed properly and in a timely manner. However, if you hire a company that is known for poor service but is cheap you won’t be seeing a big difference. You have to do some background work and look into billing companies that have good reviews and are known for providing great service then you will see why outsourcing medical billing is the right choice for your practice.

What do Medical Apps Mean for Your Practice?

Medical practices have adopted more technology throughout the years and currently more practices have been adopting Electronic Health Records systems (HER). However, patients have been using technology to track their health, while health care providers have been using it to keep track of their patients’; Medical Apps are growing steadily. Patients can track their own health and wellness, while doctors can view a patient’s x-rays on their mobile device. One major concern is privacy. The FDA has made efforts to regulate mobile apps by overseeing the safety and effectiveness and they ask for feedback from health care providers, but is this enough? More than 50 percent of doctors use a smartphone for work purposes. A doctor in a hospital or medical practice can use their phone to receive pages or to access EMR/EHR systems. Since the use of EHR/EMR systems is on the rise medical practices will need to make adjustments to accommodate the new technology. Maintaining patient privacy needs to be the number one priority. In order for medical apps to be effective both patients and doctors need to become mindful of pros and cons. Doctors, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants should make patients aware that although some medical apps can help them stay on track with diet and health, they should only be supplementary to care they receive from a doctor. Doctors should also be careful about accessing EMR/HER information through a mobile device, and using the proper password protection to ensure patient confidentiality.

Creating a “TEAM” atmosphere in your medical practice

In order for a medical practice to run efficiently, members of the staff must work together to give the best patient care. A lot of the responsibility for a well-working practice will be up to the physician. If the physician puts in the effort to help make employees feel like they are working as a team, then employees will respond positively.

Just because employees share a common employer does not mean that they automatically become a team. As the employer you must create an atmosphere that values collaboration. If employees are shown that collaboration is a key part of making your practice run, then they will respond well to working with each other. This collaborative culture does not happen overnight. Employers must make a point to show employees that the whole practice is working together. Physicians and practice leaders should model teamwork in their interaction; this will help employees model the same behavior.

If two employees are not getting along then the employer needs to look at both employees as individuals with his/her own strengths and weaknesses. Examine their work process. In most cases employees disagree over how a task or process should be performed. One way of avoiding this conflict is to have weekly meetings where staff can share ideas or concerns. Employees need to have well-defined roles. When employees understand their role in the office they will work to their best abilities. Employees need to be reminded of the goals and mission of the practice. If employees are able to share ideas openly and honestly there may be less conflict in the future. You may also want to incorporate ice breakers into weekly meetings. Ice breakers may seem silly at first but they are effective in getting the whole staff to feel comfortable with one another. Limit these activities to no more than ten minutes. As much as you want the staff to feel comfortable, you also want to remind them how important professionalism is. Being a part of a professional medical staff is very important when it comes to patient care. When the team is able to come together, thinking, planning, decision making and actions are better when they are done cooperatively.

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Top Reasons Your Practice Should Utilize NP’s/ PA’s

Due to increase demand practices can benefit greatly by hiring a nurse practitioner or physician assistant. So, let’s start by eliminating some of the common misconceptions people have about using Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants.

In some cases, a patient may feel like an NP/ PA is not qualified to give the same care that a physician can give. This is not true. NP’s and PA’s go through extensive schooling and training in order to diagnose and treat patients. The main difference between them and a doctor is NP’s and PA’s work under a doctor’s supervision. This means that they can consult a doctor about a patient’s condition. The use of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants is rising and can help fix the needs that may be unmet by a physician. This does not mean the physician is slacking on their patient care, but a heavy patient load may be dividing the physician’s attention. There’s no better way to fix this problem by using other qualified medical professionals.

Nurse practitioners and Physician assistants can help reduce salary expenses because it costs significantly less to employ an NP or PA than it does to employ a physician. Patient wait time will also be lessened. With an NP or PA on staff, the patients will not have to sit as long in the waiting room for a busy physician. As patient flow increases, the office will run more efficiently. For patients that have questions about preventative strategies NP’s and PA’s are the perfect fit for helping teach patients about obesity, newborn care, hypertension, diabetes etc. Patient compliance will increase and this frees up the doctor to see more patients throughout the day.

NP’s and PA’s can act as an alternate for the physician. If a physician is unable to see a patient and sends in an NP or PA, they are qualified and credentialed to give the same quality of care you would get from a doctor. NP’s and PA’s are trained to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. They both have extensive clinical experience and practice under a variety of specialties. As a patient, you want the best care and NP’s and PA’s are fully qualified to provide that care.

A physician has the ability to train the Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant in the manner that best suits the needs for the practice. This will help patients who may not feel as comfortable seeing an NP or PA have reassurance of their capabilities. In conclusion, physicians can benefit a great deal from utilizing an NP or PA in their practice.

To take a look at any open phsyician assistant or nurse practitioner positions/job descriptions please click on the following link SpineSearch Positions

Whiplash Injuries and Neck Pain

Guest Blog

If you have ever been involved in a car accident where you were rear-ended, you may have experienced whiplash firsthand. It’s a common injury that can go away within a few days, but it also has the potential to become a source of chronic neck pain.

It’s easy to get whiplash from this kind of accident, because the head is suddenly accelerated forward, and quickly decelerated backward from the force of the motion. It can put an enormous amount of strain on the muscles in the neck, leading to a painful long-term condition.

Sudden forceful movements like this type of car accident can damage the ligaments and tendons in the neck. These muscles are extremely important, as they help support the vertebrae that hold the neck and head up.

Besides car accidents, it’s possible to get whiplash from many other kinds of accidents, like sports injuries and physical abuse. Athletes are often thrown into unnatural positions in contact sports, which can cause the neck to snap backwards and forwards. Repetitive motions like throwing, or falling awkwardly on an arm or a leg during a game can also make an athlete more prone to injury.

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Spring 2013 SpineSearch Newsletter- Join Our Mailing List Today!

SpineSearch is pleased to announce the arrival of our second SpineSearch Newsletter. Our quarterly newsletter is aimed to keep you informed about recent “SpineSearch Sightings” and upcoming SpineSearch events including: industry conferences and SpineSearch continuing education courses.

Our Spring 2013 Newsletter features articles on employee topics such as: “Creating an Emergency Action Plan”, “Identifying Bad Habits in the Workplace” and “Tips to Address Your Employees Bad Habits”.

Please contact us today with your name and mailing address to be added to our quarterly SpineSearch Newsletter mailing list. Click the blue link below to view our recent issue: Spring 2013 Newsletter Happy Reading!

Enterprising Women

Nicola Hawkinson, CEO of SpineSearch has recently joined the Board of Advisors for the publication Enterprising Women www.enterprisingwomen.com. Enterprising Women is dedicated to women entrepreneurs and lives by their mission to: reflect and amplify the voices of entrepreneurial women; to share their stories of risk and success; to chronicle their growing political, economic and social influence and power; to celebrate their triumphs; to provide solutions to their problems; and to identify and promote a new generation of leaders, along with role models and mentors for tomorrow’s leaders.

SpineSearch is pleased to announce that Nicola is presently featured in a SpineSearch“Spotlight” article which can be found in the current issue of Enterprising Women. This spotlight article focuses on the hard work and dedication that led Nicola to the creation of SpineSearch, as well as SpineSearch’s success as a premier recruitment and education organization for spine professionals (and beyond). Please click on the attached link to view the featured article entitled “Strong Drive to Succeed Supports Spine-focused Firm”.

(This article first appeared in Vol. 13, No. 4 of Enterprising Women magazine (www.enterprisingwomen.com) and is being reprinted with permission from the publisher.  All rights reserved)

Pituitary and Skull Base Course- Hicksville, NY

SpineSearch would like to send out a special thank you to faculty members Dr. Mark Eisenberg, Dr. Todd Schaeffer, and Dr. Rick Madhok for the success of the Pituitary and Skull Base Procedures course which took place on Saturday November 17, 2012 at Fusion Solutions Lab in Hicksville, New York. We would also like to thank the course participants for attending on their day off to expand their knowledge in the field. We had a great mix of clinical positions in the audience including RN’s, MD’s, CNIM’s, and Chiropractors to name a few, whom were all able to add their experience and enthusiasm to the course material.

The course aimed to educate and empower healthcare professionals with knowledge regarding brain anatomy, diagnoses and surgical treatment options through the use of classroom lectures and video case study presentations. Thanks to Fusion Solutions the course concluded with a saw bone demonstration and cadaver lab session.

Here at SpineSearch we have received positive feedback from everyone involved and look forward to seeing you all again soon. We welcome you to post additional feedback and comments below and invite you to visit www.spine-search.com to learn about our upcoming courses.