For modern medical practices of all types, the goal is improved efficiency while maintaining a high level of care and patient satisfaction, but that can be easier said than done.
Most medical practices are working to keep up with changes in the healthcare and insurance industries while simultaneously being pushed into increased workloads and reduced staff levels.
These factors all necessitate the utmost in productivity and above all, efficiency.
Below are four attainable ways most medical practices can improve their overall level of efficiency, without needing a massive overhaul.
- Use the Initial Appointment Phone Call to Gather Relevant Information
Gathering the right information during a new patient’s initial phone call isn’t just a good way to make the administrative parts of an office move along more efficiently. This will improve the productivity of the entire office if the right questions are asked and answered.
For example, administrative staff should find out the patient’s insurance information so they can begin looking at eligibility and patient responsibility before that person ever comes to the office. This should also be done with existing patients every time they call to schedule an appointment, in case information has changed.
- Delegate Appropriately
Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare providers should use their time very wisely. While you don’t want to become so removed from administrative duties that you’re in the dark about the day-to-day functioning of your practice, your time should be used very wisely and if there’s something someone can do, let them do that.
If there is introductory or prep work that can be completed by an assistant, such as a nurse or a medical assistant, try to have them do as much of that as possible. This will not only improve overall efficiency, but it’s also a good way to make sure the doctor’s time is maximized with each patient.
- Put It In Writing
Everyone in your practice is likely to feel like they have a better understanding of what needs to be done and who’s responsibility it is, if it’s in writing.
Rather than relying on verbal commands to make sure everything gets done in the most efficient way possible, instead create guides and written materials that direct everyone throughout the practice on what they should be doing and how it should be done. Along with task lists, try to write out instructions whenever possible as well.
- Outsource Work Appropriately
There are quite a few areas medical practices can outsource work. A couple that are most common include the billing and the handling of things such as medical waste.
When you can find companies that are affordable, trustworthy and offer the services you need, you can significantly reduce the workload of everyone in your practice which will let them focus their attention on the most important tasks, while improving the efficiency of the entire office.
These are just a few ways medical offices can up their efficiency and focus more closely on meeting patient needs without spending more or hiring more staff.