Every business, no matter the industry they are in, wants to run as smoothly as possible. Unfortunately, there are some days when things fall flat and before you know it everything has fallen apart.
Imagine this. You get to your medical office and open up your computer to an unfinished email that you started yesterday, the first patient of the day is now 15 minutes late, collections are much farther behind than you’d like them to be, a patient posted a bad review that needs to be addressed and today is the day that all of your customers decide to call in to schedule overdue appointments. Does this sound familiar? These are the types of days where we all wish we could just climb back into bed and pretend nothing ever happened.
Managing your medical office efficiently can significantly maximize productivity. Not only that, efficient medical practices are more profitable than their less efficient competition.
Research done shows that overhead in medical practices that are not focusing on efficiency can take up around 60% of all revenue. This is compared to an efficient practice, which only takes up about 35% of their revenue. That is quite a difference! Medical practices that run efficiently can see fewer patients, which improves not only the patient experience but satisfaction levels for staff.
If your practice is not at its peak efficiency there are some simple steps that you can implement to keep your office running as efficiently and smoothly as possible. By adding in a few strategies and daily habits you can reduce some of the stressors that are created by challenging and unexpected problems that tend to pop up now and again.
Automation is perhaps one of the most important steps to implement to improve efficiency. There are a lot of time-consuming tasks that are completed on a daily basis – most of which can be automated.
Simple steps to make your medical office more efficient:
Automate: Technology is perhaps one of the greatest allies of efficiency. When used correctly, technology can significantly reduce errors, improve the patient experience and also save time. With the help of technology, such as medical office scheduling software, you can automate many time-consuming tasks like sending out appointment reminders, newsletters and more.
With that being said, it is critical that all of your employees are thoroughly trained and onboard with any new software or hardware you use. If technology is not used to its full advantage, then it can end up slowing things down. So don’t let the benefits of technology go wasted and train your staff on any new solution you integrate.
Online scheduling: Online hospital employee scheduling software can be a huge time saver. It takes, on average, about eight minutes to schedule every single appointment. That time can add up quickly, and many offices find themselves wasting too much valuable time throughout the day scheduling appointments.
By implementing medical office scheduling software where patients can schedule their appointments can significantly cut back on phone time wasted scheduling or rescheduling appointments. If online scheduling is a new tool for your practice, then you can use automated newsletters along with in-office communication to help your patients become aware of your online booking options.
Clear communication not only between staff but patients as well is another important aspect of efficiency. If no one has any idea which patient they’re going to see next or that patient’s history, this can cause a big headache for all parties involved.
Improve communication: Clear and concise communication between your employees is critical to ensure your medical practice runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. A majority of your patients will need more than one consultation with a doctor, to help improve those communications consider investing in online medical office scheduling software that allows patients to send messages to their medical team. All messages would be saved for other staff members to view so that everyone is on the same page.
Not only does allowing communication between staff and patients minimize errors and boost accuracy as well as the efficiency of treatment, but it can also significantly improve the customer experience.
Plan ahead: To maintain the highest level of efficiency and profitability, you need to know what’s on the schedule, what patient information needs to be gathered as well as what holes need to be filled. At the end of each day, you and your staff should take a few minutes to review the following day’s to-do list and evaluate and rank items based on priority.
By doing so, you can determine and implement deadlines and assign tasks to each of your team members beforehand. Follow your list line by line and try not to get distracted by less important work.
Take the time each day with your staff to review upcoming appointments and make sure that you have everything in place to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Take into consideration things that could go wrong such as a patient showing up late or even not at all.
Review schedules: For both your staff and patients, medical office scheduling software can have a massive impact on efficiency. When running a medical practice, every minute counts. You know your patients better than anyone else. Think about natural tendencies based on their demographics. This can include their age, location, work status, gender and more. You may have patients that have to drive long distances to get to your medical practice. Or you may have patients that always show up 15 minutes early.
Take these habits into consideration when creating a schedule. If your first appointment is at 8:00, but the patient scheduled still shows up at 7:45, then consider scheduling your staff to arrive at 7:30 so they can get ahead of appointments for the day.
Running an efficient practice can lead to higher profitability and improved staff morale. Start by trying to save just a few minutes every day and continue to work up from there. Set the expectation of efficiency with all of your employees by implementing daily “stand-ups.” Doing so will allow everyone to reap the benefits of a less stressful and more efficient environment. With a more organized and structured working environment, patient and staff satisfaction is bound to increase.