Improving Efficiency in a Medical Practice
Most medical practices today are understaffed, overworked, and looking for more hours in the day just to get everything done. Time is a physician’s most important resource, so anything that can provide a practice with a little more time by making a process more efficient should be seriously considered. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to improve efficiency within a practice by streamlining certain administrative task. The following are a few examples:
Online Appointment Scheduling-Technological advancements such as online scheduling have streamlined the process of booking appointments. Online scheduling reduces the time staff spends on the phone booking appointments; it allows patients the flexibility of scheduling appointments anytime, and it can significantly reduce cancellations by the use of automated appointment reminders.
Utilize a patient portal- An online patient portal is a website that typically integrates with an EHR system to provide patients with access to their personal health data online. Patients can access health information such as doctor visits, lab results, schedule appointments, request prescription refills, and pay bills. Patient portals help to keep patients involved in their healthcare while increasing a practice’s efficiency.
Create a functional website-There is a host of information and services that can be made available on a practice's website. Use technology to help reduce administrative tasks such as registration, scheduling, and form completion. Practices can also provide directions to their office, healthcare information such as instructions for procedures, healthy dieting tips, etc. Having a functional website will help to reduce an influx of phone calls and free up staff to do other important tasks.
Optimize staffing- Optimized staffing entails finding just the exact number of people to perform the right roles. Finding the correct number of employees can almost be as challenging as finding the perfect staff. The use of part-time workers can be efficient by utilizing additional help during peak hours such as in the morning or after lunch. This will help a practice start on time and keep to the schedule.
Keep time available for emergencies- When creating the daily schedule, keep a specific amount of time available for unexpected emergencies or obligations. Don’t schedule that time slot until the day begins; it will almost always get filled and if it doesn’t, this time, can be used for making phone calls or catching up on paperwork.
By incorporating just a few of these simple tips, your practice should be able to streamline many of these administrative tasks which will provide you with more time to focus on other duties.