An efficient medical practice is one which prioritizes the patient experience and satisfaction and enables your staff to see as many patients as possible in a day. This will have a direct impact on the practice’s revenue, and increased revenue leads to better outcomes for all concerned. The most direct way to address this is to focus on issues which impact the flow of patient appointments. While every practice is different, there are some elements which all will have in common. To start you on the right track, here are four ways you can maximize the efficiency of your medical practice.
Identify blockages in your processes
Take a closer look at the patient flow in your practice from booking appointments, waiting to check in at reception, completing paperwork, waiting for lab results, and paying their bill. You can get this information by tracking and recording how long patients typically spend in each stage, or you could introduce software which tracks patient movement. For example, you might find that billing and taking payment at the end of the appointment takes a long time. An automated billing system would not only mean your staff can get on to serving the next patient or return to administration, but also that the patient can leave quickly.
Ask patients to complete online forms before their appointment
At the beginning of each appointment, time is spent not going over relevant medical history through the completion of a paper form. In a day, these minutes add up to hours and reduce the number of patients you can see. Consider implementing an online patient portal which enables patients to book their own appointment and provide their medical history before they arrive.
From data management, appointment scheduling, billing, and more administrative tasks to performance tracking software and automated chatbots for your patients, technology can free your staff so they can be more productive. Artificial Intelligence from ShAIp can also help physicians in their daily activities, e.g. by transcribing medical notes.
Write and adhere to procedures
If your staff have clearly defined procedures to stick to for a variety of different scenarios, they will not have to spend time considering what to do and waiting for guidance from senior staff. Of course, you cannot anticipate every eventuality, but there are plenty of standard tasks which can be documented. Be sure to refresh staff training regularly to keep these procedures at the front of their minds.
Keep staff focused on their role
The office is often charged with firefighting and dealing with patient queries, but this can distract them from their main responsibilities. While multitasking is often regarded as a desirable skill in an employee, studies have found that the more tasks a person tries to complete simultaneously, the poorer the quality of their work and the less productive they are. Each of your employees has a role to perform and tasks to complete, and they should not be distracted from their objectives by having to stop and help with something else. Ensure that your staff understand their role and what is expected of them each day.