The new year provides an opportunity for everyone to reflect on things they can improve both personally and professionally. While you may not make resolutions for your practice, you might want to set goals for improvements. This year, use these six tips to improve office efficiency for a more successful practice.
If you aren’t already taking advantage of all the benefits available to you through your PM system or other technology, integrate that into your operation to improve office efficiency. Tasks like appointment reminders, recare notices, or newsletters can be easily automated to free up time. Just make sure that it is actually saving time by ensuring all staff members are able to easily use the technology.
2. Track Patient Flow
You can’t become more efficient if you don’t know what needs to improve. You need to identify bottlenecks in your processes so you can take steps to fix them. Your practice should track patient flow to measure how efficiently patients go through the process from check-in to check-out. You can make this a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly practice. It just depends on how much work your processes need. Track the number of patients who are seen in the office each day, whether they are new patients or follow-ups, and how much of their time in office was spent with the physician. Also, include no-shows in your data.
Then, use the data to identify bottlenecks in the flow. Part of the audit should include analyzing how much time physicians and care staff are actually spending with patients vs the time they spend on other tasks. If there are things outside of patient care that take up too much of their time, find things that can be delegated or outsourced. You may need to re-evaluate your daily patient volume to optimize output.
3. Prepare for Tomorrow
Once you’ve completed your final appointment or task for the day, it is tempting to pack things up and go home. While it’s important to limit working hours to prevent burnout, make the last thing you do every day make a list for the next day. Include major tasks that can be broken down into smaller sub-tasks and important reminders. This will clearly set your intentions for the next day, and getting the tasks out and organized on paper can clear your mind for the rest of the day.
4. Have a Daily Stand-Up Meeting
You don’t want to spend too much time on staff meetings but you need everyone to be on the same page. Each day, have a quick stand-up meeting (or “huddle”) where you go over unfinished tasks from the previous day that need to be carried over, things that absolutely need to be done that day, tasks that can be pushed back, and the general schedule. Just touch on the big points. This activity shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes, so you can discuss specifics later with only the necessary staff members. You can decide when in the day this will benefit you most. You can start each day with it or use it as a midday progress report.
5. Prioritize Communication Within the Practice
Make sure that all employees are clear on your expectations for them as far as what their job entails. They can’t deliver if they don’t know what is expected of them. Follow up on a regular basis to provide feedback on how they are performing, whether it’s constructively pointing out areas for improvement or letting them know they’re doing a good job. Lastly, listen to their insights on processes and what can be improved.
6. Outsource Your Medical Transcription
One of the best ways to improve office efficiency in 2020 is by outsourcing your medical transcription. Keeping experienced transcriptionists on staff can be difficult and expensive. Using Fast Chart’s medical transcription services can save you valuable time on recruiting, interviewing, and managing transcriptionists in your organization. We provide personalized, hands-on service with rapid turnaround time. Our HIPAA compliant transcriptionists are all located in the US and have a >98.5% accuracy rate. If you’re ready to increase efficiency, call Fast Chart at (919) 477-5152 or request a free quote.