For the ongoing safety and well-being of your patients, follow-up appointments are usually a must, especially after inpatient procedures. Follow-up appointments are very useful for your patients, as the process allows for future medical investigations to be acted upon. It also makes things useful for specialists who may be treating the patient further down the line.

How computers are paving the way for better follow-up appointments
A studied published in the BMJ in 2012 analyzed different measures taken by hospitals in the U.K. with 20 sets of clinical notes. The specialists found that a computer system was absolutely necessary for their 24-hour methods of care. Computer systems were also found to give more insight into interventions and proper baseline data. In the future, it seems that online medical billing services might be the standard norm for primary care as well as follow-up appointments.

Follow-ups show you care
In a practice setting, follow-up appointments are also important because they allow physicians to monitor essential vitals. However, these instances also let doctors confirm certain aspects of patient care that could help them avoid issues with malpractice. Some of these might include reports on lab results, checking for proper follow through with referrals and confirming the patient's daily medication regimen.

Fortunately, with the innovation of electronic health records in the past few years, it's easy for physicians to keep track of medical coding and billing issues. EHRs are also much easier for staff in terms of record keeping and follow-up contacts. Much of this software already has a built-in platform that allows these actions to occur for doctors. The technology will simply alert the practice if a follow-up is scheduled or needed.

How doctors can follow up with patients
A visit is usually necessary for chronic issues or inpatient procedures, but even after a standard visit, there are many ways that doctors can ensure follow-ups. One of the most typical methods includes a simple phone call to ensure that the information discussed between the doctor and patient is followed. In some cases, the insurance will even pay for care that is directed over the phone.

Some larger practices have found success with automated call systems, especially when a patient simply needs to know the results of a blood pressure or blood glucose test, or wants to know what certain lab result outcomes are. Follow-up forms are also very common for people with chronic conditions who need to be monitored, such as diabetes. Regular mail can also be an efficient way to deliver normal lab results.

However, email seems to be the method of choice for the future in today's busy tech-driven world. However, you need to communicate with the patient about what times the physician will be available to answer emails. You might also want to point out to the patient that email communication isn't foolproof and might not be the best means of a follow-up for sensitive or personal information.

Make sure that you always follow-up with a patient so that they know you care about their health. This protects your practice and secures physician billing services for the future.