If you’re a medical provider, you probably spend a lot of time wondering how to organize your office. Medical offices constantly stay busy, but sometimes that busyness hinders productivity.
Your medical practice performs vital duties for a variety of patients. As such, efficiency is a crucial feature of every successful office. However, many offices fall behind in efficiency by continuing to hold to out-of-date or inefficient practices.
These outdated practices become noticeable in many office procedures that hold employees back from focusing on other priorities. Many doctors struggle to find ways to overcome these issues.
If that describes where you are in your work, then you’re in luck! In this article, we’ll examine seven things you can do to keep your medical practice productive.
1. Shift To Online Scheduling
This simple shift will free your office in ways you’d never imagine. How, you ask? Well, let’s examine the benefits it holds for your administrative staff first. The chief benefit of moving to online scheduling is that patients can schedule their appointments anytime on a 24/7 cycle.
Since your patients no longer have to call your receptionist to schedule their appointments, your receptionist will see a significant increase in freedom. Now that they don’t have to schedule appointments, they can spend their time helping people who are physically present in the office.
Moreover, if somebody does need to call the office, they will experience a drastically shortened on-hold time. Every office has suffered through games of phone tag with people who during lunch or after hours.
If more people schedule their appointments online, your administrative staff doesn’t have to waste time hunting down callers.
2. Automating Office Procedures
If all you do to achieve a productive medical practice is start scheduling online, you’ll see many positive results. However, you can increase the positive results by shifting other office procedures from manual to automated.
Think about all the little tasks your administrative staff focuses on, like giving patients reminders of their appointments over the phone. Once again, this often devolves into a frustrating game of phone tag.
Instead of giving patients calls, you can automate your reminders to patients. In most cases, this takes the form of sending automated text messages.
Another critical procedure you can automate is a patient’s payment. Rather than paying in person, a patient can pay their medical bills online through a patient portal.
For a final online procedural shift, you can investigate hiring an online medical scribe. This person takes over several of the lesser priorities that a physician may have, thereby freeing the physician to handle higher priority concerns.
3. Give Your Patients Paperwork Options
One of the most frustrating experiences for new patients is the amount of paperwork they have to fill out. In particular, people hate filling out paperwork in the waiting room before they can so much as get a check-up.
Paperwork may be inevitable, but you don’t have to make patients do it in the office. Instead, allow patients to fill it out online at home.
Online paperwork provides many benefits for both your patient and your office. For your patient, filling out paperwork at home gives them the option to look up information they don’t know.
When they finish the paperwork, they don’t need to drive to the office. Instead, they can submit the information online.
Online submissions also help your staff. This information will arrive in your system instantly, which allows your system or team to file it.
4. Invest In a Secure Messaging System
Our final online suggestion is to invest in a secure online messaging system. This messaging system is an incredible asset. When you use an online messaging system, you can increase the level of contact between you and your patients.
One of the best options for secure online systems is an online patient portal, which accommodates all of the suggestions we’ve made up to this point. They have other benefits also, such as allowing patients more access to their medical records.
5. Cross-Training Workers
To achieve a perfectly efficient practice, ensure your staff is never missing a link. When you run a medical practice, every employee matters, and especially in a small office.
When an employee takes time off, whether it’s for sickness or vacation, your office feels their absence. To help mitigate that loss in productivity, spend time cross-training your workers.
If your workers can handle two or more tasks required for the office, you increase your workplace efficiency. Take some of the slow seasons in the year and spend the extra time cross-training your staff.
6. Give Your Workers a Break
Considering the advice we gave in the previous section, this may seem like a surprise. After all, medical offices are notoriously busy places. If workers are to complete their tasks and receive cross-training, how much time do you have for breaks?
While it’s easy to fall into this mentality, overwork is a genuine issue for many medical workers. Taking a break is just as essential to their effectiveness as anything else.
To help with this, invest in a relaxing break room. Offer coffee, incense the room with oil diffuser smells, provide comfortable chairs. If you do all of these, your workers can relax for a few minutes and recharge before setting out to work again.
7. What Problems Do Your Employees Want Addressed?
One of the best ways to improve your office is to ask your workers what problems they routinely face. If you can get their perspective, it gives you a better idea of what to fix in your office.
Take The First Step
If you’re wondering how to begin improving your office procedures, an excellent place to start is to hold a staff meeting. Ask your employees what problems they face and what improvements they’d like to see. Once you have some perspective, you can address your office’s specific issues.
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