Creating an efficient workflow in your medical practice offers many benefits, from improving the quality of patient care to improving profits without sacrificing integrity. All it takes is standardization, centralization and delegation in your processes.
If your goal is to improve medical practice operations in the coming year, use these six tips to get you started.
Outsource to a Virtual Assistant
Hiring is a significant expense in the medical world, especially for administrative tasks. Rather than taking on more responsibilities in relation to human resources, consider outsourcing to a virtual assistant specializing in medical practices and related tasks.
Specialized Virtual Assistants for Doctors can handle a variety of administrative tasks, including:
- Operating reception and scheduling
- Processing insurance claims
- Processing payments
- Accounts receivable
The benefit of using a virtual assistant is that they operate as a service provider rather than an employee, saving you time and hassle in onboarding and management. Additionally, they do everything remotely, which is particularly helpful as telemedicine and social distancing protocols become more prevalent.
Use Centralized Scheduling and Billing Systems
Using the right tools and systems will also make a significant difference in how your medical practice operates. Incorporating centralized scheduling and billing systems will cut back on processing time and data incongruencies caused by using separate systems. Putting the right tools in place also makes it easier to outsource and communicate with administrative staff.
Make Information Accessible
Never underestimate the value of handouts and online resources when running a medical practice. Providing literature for your patients to read and review will cut back on visit times and follow-up appointments. Access to information will also help your patients navigate their care with less risk of mistakes and misunderstanding, thereby improving their overall experience.
If you don’t already have a website in place, consider putting one together to share helpful online resources with your patients. Making this information accessible online will cut back on office supply costs and provide guidance if a patient loses a handout.
Empower Patients and Employees
Empowering your people — both patients and employees — will help your practice run more smoothly while improving retention, profits and morale at the same time. Empower your employees by giving them a voice in your organization, listening to their suggestions for improvements, and accepting constructive feedback. Provide opportunities for training and growth that helps them excel in their career and reach their goals.
You can empower patients to take control of their experience by providing the tools necessary to schedule their own appointments, review their medical history, and find information as needed. Again, having the right scheduling tools and available resources is a must for this to work.
Time management is a significant challenge for many medical practices. One effective strategy for creating a better workflow is to implement time blocking. With time blocking, you’ll group similar tasks together in batches to get as much done as possible before moving on to something else.
For example, you may determine that meetings and administrative catch-up should all occur later in the week, as your work week is likely front loaded with appointments. You may choose to create “clinics” during which people are encouraged to schedule their flu shot or well-woman checks, so the basic flow and supplies don’t vary during that time.
Create an Effective Patient Flow
Finally, take some time to review and adjust your patient flow for efficiency. Find the magic number for visits with each patient, allowing for buffer time in between. Keep in mind that there’s a tipping point in which pushing a timeline negatively impacts the quality of care.
Using online portals and scheduling tools can help you improve patient flow while empowering them to share details about their experience.
With these six tips, you can improve your medical practice efficiency, patient experience, and profitability in the coming year.