Before you can see any clients, you need to have a medical charting system in place. Paper charting is always an option but having an electronic record is more efficient and easily accessible from multiple computers, a tablet or even your phone.
Electronic medical record
Having an electronic medical record (EMR) or electronic health record (EHR) system is essential to running an efficient practice. It will allow you to keep all of your charting, client information and scheduling in one place. It will also help you track your client’s progress over time and will improve the overall quality of care.
As previously mentioned in Module 3, some EMRs/EHRs have the capability of creating insurance claims as well. Kalix has special features, such as automatically sending email or text reminders, storing referring physician information, and is designed especially for dietitians.
For example, Kalix has specific terminology and areas designed for writing PES statements, with an online portal where you can access your EMR from any computer. This will come in handy if you are traveling, have multiple dietitians at your practice, or work between your home and main office.
Another platform that many dietitians use is Healthie, which is a HIPAA-compliant EHR and telehealth platform with features specific for dietitians to run a private practice. In addition to charting, scheduling, and billing, they also have a patient features for easier communication, messaging, picture-based food journaling, and telehealth.
Here are the links to EMR platforms for you to check out and consider:
When scheduling a new client, ask what day of the week and time would work best for their schedule, so they will feel that you are putting their needs first. However, when you are setting your schedule in general, do always provide the clients with the general time range in which you accept appointments. Here are some additional tips on creating the schedule that is right for you:
- Set boundaries for the earliest and latest appointment you want to take.
- It is helpful to group the appointments together in the morning and then again the afternoon, so you can give yourself lunch break.
- I typically do not see clients first thing in the morning, and wait until 9:30 or 10 am so I have the morning to answer emails, send faxes, and work on projects.
- Saturday mornings is a popular time for working professionals. I will typically offer appointments until 12pm so I can still have most of my weekend to myself.