3 Ways to Help Patients Adopt New Technology

We live in an increasingly digital world, and that extends to the medical industry. From emailed appointment reminders, to online payments, to medical records that are stored in the cloud—for the most part, technology helps our practices run more smoothly and efficiently. Introducing that technology to patients, however, can be an arduous process. People generally don’t like change, and this is especially true for the average rheumatology patient, who tends to be older and less familiar with these advances.

So how do you get your patients on board and improve the level of care your rheumatology practices offers? The following three strategies are a good place to start.


  1. Clearly explain the benefits of the new technology.

    If you don’t explain to your patients why you’ve chosen to change a process or use a new system, they will probably protest. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” right? As a rheumatology practice manager, it’s your duty to make sure patients understand that something is broken, or at the very least can be improved through a new tool. Have conversations with your patients, create handouts, and take the time to walk them through new and unfamiliar processes. Remember to address their worries and concerns, too—you know that their medical records are safe in the cloud, but they still need to be convinced. By keeping the lines of communication open, your patients will trust you when it comes to their health as well as their technology.

  2. Integrate new technology slowly.

    As a rheumatology practice manager, it’s natural to get excited about new tools that will help you run your office. Technology is fun and interesting, and you may be in a rush to integrate these things into your routine. It’s important, however, to slow down and make sure change is gradual. Let your patients get comfortable with one new process before you add another.

  3. Choose technology that fits your practice and helps your patients.

    Not all technologies will fit all practices or all patients. Do your best to choose the tools that work well for your unique situation and community. Perform a cost-benefit analysis, the cost being the work your patients must put in to use the new technology, and the benefits being how it will improve their experience. You may even decide to do a trial run with some of your more willing and enthusiastic patients, to see how they approach the new technology and how much work it creates for the rest of your staff.


We hope these tips help you introduce and integrate new technology into your practice successfully! If you have tips to share or new tools you’re using, let the rest of us know by leaving a comment on the NORM Facebook page.

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  • As a speaker at the first ad hoc meeting of rheumatology practice managers gathered in a single small room at its infancy a decade ago, I’m amazed to see how NORM has blossomed into a high energy organization of depth and professional meetings with parallel break-out symposia between plenary sessions. NORM has truly come of age. This is where the “business” of rheumatology gets learned. The ”guildmanship” for rheumatology practice management is now strong.- Paul H. Caldron, DO, FACP, FACR, MBA, Arizona Arthritis and Rheumatology Associates
  • In a time of demanding changes in the management of medical practices in the US, NORM has been a lifesaver to the community of Rheumatology practices.  NORM has allowed our practice to stay ahead of the many demands of CMS and others payors and has ensured that our practice remains cognizant of new issues that arise in HIPPA compliance, human resources and medical billing to name a few. Sending our Practice Manager to NORM's conferences has been cost-effective and beneficial to our practice because she returns to our office with an abundance of information that otherwise would have taken months to compile. Every Rheumatology practice that wishes to stay on top of emerging issues in practice management should consider sending a member of their staff to NORM's conference.- Michael S. Rosen M.D., Chester County Rheumatology PC
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