Remote Workers: Enhance or Inhibit Medical Billing?
The perspective on remote workers differs greatly from small to large businesses and company to company. In many industries (media, IT, finance, etc.), the growth of the workforce includes hiring workers who telecommute or work from a remote locations. Thus far, medical practices have shied away from the trend, preferring face-to-face interactions between patients and doctors (or other medical practice staff).
Could this trend be changing? And, more importantly, should this trend change?
To answer these questions, we must first note how the healthcare industry has shifted into a more technological age. Telemedicine, like online diagnoses, now enables doctors to consult with patients remotely and sometimes treat them. Similarly, administrative roles in practice management, consultation, and billing services are now being headed by remote workers, so the trend is indeed changing.
Do Remote Workers Enhance or Inhibit Medical Billing?
If more medical practices should utilize remote workers, that’ll depend on each individual practice environment and its needs. Here are a few pros and cons to consider.
Pros of Remote Workers:
- Staffer Satisfaction – Some employees are happier working away from the stressful environment of the medical practice. To allow this freedom means that your staff are sometimes more committed in the long term. In fact, 73% of remote workers were more happy with their employer as compared to 64% of traditional office workers.
- Higher Productivity – There are distractions to remote work at times, but overall telecommuters report higher levels of productivity. A considerable 36% of remote workers surveyed by Officing Today reported that they felt more productive in a normal day working remotely than at the office, and 88% claimed to be at least as productive. That, along with less required workspace and utilities, translates into saving money.
Cons of Remote Workers:
- Security – Protecting patient data is of the utmost importance for a medical practice, and trusting remote workers to uphold that requirement is tricky. Not only do remote workers need to be trustworthy, they also need to have an advanced IT solution and be aware of possible threats ‘looking over their shoulders.’
- Isolation – Some telecommuting employees feel disconnected from the teamwork and atmosphere of the office, leading to being disgruntled or antagonistic.
If your medical practice plans to accept remote workers into the fold, be sure to make the transition smoothly for all those involved and affected. In addition, keep lines of communication open and delineate clear guidelines.
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