If you run a medical office, it certainly isn't news to you that practices of all sizes are under a lot of pressure these days, as ongoing changes in the healthcare market demand that more is done with less revenue and fewer resources. Greater practice efficiency is key to making that happen, which means streamlining the way day-to-day business is done.
One important area in which many practices find they have room for improvement is the efficient use of one of their most important resources – their staff. If you haven't yet examined this aspect of your practice, now is the time to ask yourself – and your staff – whether your staff hours are being used as efficiently as they could be.
To answer that question, you'll need to examine how work is getting done every day in your practice – and by whom. Are staff members wasting time on tasks for which they are overqualified? This is a very common efficiency issue – especially in smaller practices.
Often, basic patient information is being collected by physicians during the consultation, for instance and routine forms are being handled by nurses, and everyone is dealing with phone calls and patient requests as they come in. The patient scheduling, calls for prescription renewals, updating of files and clinical documentation as well as new demands of reporting protocols occupy the day and seemingly leave no time for quality interactions with the patients. If this is an issue in your practice, stop and observe the flow and start identifying everyday tasks that do not require the focus and expertise of the clinic as is currently being done - loom carefully at what is thrown to the physicians, nursing assistants, senior desk staff or medical assistants. What are they currently handling ? what could be reviewed as a process; assigning more appropriately according to urgency and priority for which staff to be responsible in its completion. This review of processes and flow for your practice is an essential first step in using your staff hours to your best advantage.
An up-to-date and comprehensive patient management software that is built to collect data behind the processes can go a long ways towards streamlining staff-hours management. With a good patient management software, many of the tasks listed above can be fully or partially automated, greatly reducing the staff-hours they consume, including:
- Appointment management
- Insurance verifications
- Prescriptions management
- Patient check-ins and Check-outs
- Routine patient/medical form completion
- End-to-end billing/claims management
- Performance analysis
- Patient profiling
Other ways that a solid patient management software can promote more efficient use of staff hours is by working with the newer healthcare IT platforms that offer an inbuilt client-clinician online file. This offering 24/7 online enables secure interactions including secure online messaging, appointment bookings online, questionnaires, consents,payments and intake forms completion. Be the future and invite regular satisfaction scores and client feedback; load up quality patient education, allowing online prescription renewal/referral requests, amongst other 24/7 online offerings. By taking these tasks online with a comprehensive patient management software, you free the staff and gain hours for them to be happy and develop better relationships with other staff, physicians and your client base! So time once spent handling these important tasks –is now spent in face-to-face interactions.