5 Ways to Improve the Efficiency of Your Medical Practice

5 Ways to Improve the Efficiency of Your Medical Practice

What healthcare provider doesn’t want to see their business run more efficiently? A well-run practice usually means happier, healthier patients and increasing revenue.

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What healthcare provider doesn’t want to see their business run more efficiently? A well-run practice usually means happier, healthier patients and increasing revenue.

In the past, providers relied on smart hiring and organized employees to ensure their practices operated smoothly.

But today, it takes a thoughtful blend of solution-based technology and old-school morale boosters to make your medical office more productive while maintaining the quality of care and patient experience.

From online appointment scheduling to better inventory practices, keep reading to discover ten proven ways to boost your medical practice’s efficiency.

1. Identify areas of wasted time (efficiency opportunities!)

Your practice can see more patients if you improve your patient flow.

To identify areas of wasted time, create a patient flow map. There are many software options available to help you track patient movement, but if you’re not interested in adding another software platform to your arsenal, you can easily do it yourself. 

First, create your office layout and trace your patient’s typical path. Then, identify how long they spend in each place and use that information to help you find ways to cut down on wasted time. Creating small efficiencies in several places has an accumulative effect.   

For example, many offices are already cutting down on wasted time today by giving patients the option to complete paperwork online before entering the office. 

Along with the paperwork, you can also automate billing and check out, so patients don’t have to occupy your receptionist as they leave. This frees up your receptionist’s time so they can focus on essential office tasks. It also improves your patient experience as they can quickly get out of the office.

2. Enable Online Scheduling

There’s perhaps no better way to lessen the workload of your administrative staff than with on-demand, 24/7 online scheduling functionality. By adding a “Book an Appointment” button on your website that links to a scheduling portal, you can streamline operations at your front desk. This benefits your team because: 

  • Your administrative team spends less time on the phone. As a result, they can focus on the task at hand and help patients who are physically in the office.
  • Patients who need to call the practice to ask important questions enjoy less hold time because fewer people are calling in.
  • Your front desk staff doesn’t have to worry about scheduling errors, the frustration of phone tag, or people calling outside of hours. 

You’ll likely attract new patients with this feature. Because in today’s world, many people don’t like talking on the phone. It can be a barrier to scheduling an appointment with your office or seeking medical care. 

An online feature allows them to confidently schedule the appointment themselves without the stress of talking to a person. 

An online feature also increases the number of patients you have coming in because it allows them to schedule the appointment. For example, someone might not decide they need medical attention until after your office is already closed for the day and they’ll be urgently looking to find a place they can get care. 

Many EMRs have ready-made tools for online scheduling; check yours to see if your plan covers one.

3. Make procedures - and follow them!

Detailed, concise procedures save time. For example, if each staff member has a list of steps and protocols, they will spend less time determining the proper course of action for each situation.

Procedures save time because they make decisions for your staff. Staff can look to their guidelines and resolve any issue when in doubt.

This reduces the amount of time your staff members spend taking care of business operations and increases their ability to be attentive to patients in the office. When your staff can spend more time focusing on patients, the quicker the patients can get in and out of the office.  

4. Improve Your Written Communication Practices 

Written communication is more reliable than verbal communication. Slips, tickets, and forms all improve efficiency and ensure that any instructions do not slip through the cracks. In addition, written communication helps save time because information can be documented and referred to. 

You can take advantage of written communication within your EMR, too. Task lists built into the system can help make communication more efficient because the team can document and carry out repeated processes and even one-off tasks. For example, a superbill, slip, or ticket could tell your assistant to send off some lab tests and your receptionist to make the next appointment after a specified time.

As a bonus, written communication takes care of another common problem in busy medical offices— physicians will never again have to hear, “you never told me to do that!” There is no confusion when all instructions are documented and working within a process. 

Ensure that you’re not writing or entering the same information more than once. 

Try to avoid unnecessary repetition of information, remember that the patient’s EHR contains a wealth of information, and rewriting it is a waste of time. 

5. Most Importantly….Outsource and Delegate, and Perla Knows Just How to do that for You! 

Your office staff shouldn’t multitask. Instead, each team member should have a finite list of tasks that they must complete every day. This list improves your ability to track efficiencies and keeps the staff member informed about your expectations of them.

Suppose you don’t have anyone in your office specialized for unique and niche tasks like bookkeeping. In that case, outsourcing is a great way to reduce the burden on your staff and increase efficiency. With platforms like Perla, you can easily and quickly find qualified bookkeepers with experience in the healthcare industry or whatever else you need help with.    

Meet Perla.  

Perla is a B2B internet matching platform designed to connect healthcare professionals and entities to trusted, vetted advisors and consultants who have specializations in the healthcare industry. 

Essentially, Perla narrows the search efforts of both healthcare professionals/entities AND healthcare support businesses, bridging the gap between each other and canceling out unqualified leads. 

Using this free platform, you’ll be able to find each other faster, easier, and at no cost than with traditional networking and marketing efforts. 

Let Perla ease your healthcare organization’s pressure and help you find efficiencies. Find Trusted Healthcare Advisors by accessing our network at not cost to you and your organization.

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