There is a balancing act when it comes to efficiently running a doctor’s office. When one step of the process is out of line, it throws off the rest of the process. Having your staff work in unison is key to a well-oiled office. Consider these 9 ways to improve your office efficiency.
1. Qualified Staff
When hiring staff for your office, what they have written on their resume is not the only important ingredient. Sure, you want an employee skilled with the training and experience need to fill the role. You also need someone who is team minded. They need to be competent in their duties, but they also need to be able to support other staff when the time arises.
2. Patient Care
The top priority for you, the physician, is patient care. At least 37 hours per week should be spent on direct patient care. You have spent years gaining an education in your field of science. Your attention needs to be on the patient mainly, not distracted by other tasks that can be delegated out to others.
3. Delegate Tasks
Hire trained staff to manage the day to day details. You need to know what is going on in your practice, but you do not have to do each detail yourself. It would be crazy to hire a MD to do office work. Help your staff develop the skills they need to accomplish their roles.
4. Improve Patient Flow
Most family physicians average four patients visits per hour. You will need to adjust your schedule to fit your needs. A good patient flow is important to a well-run office. You can avoid scheduling gaps by having your staff fill time slots with patients that are willing to come on a last-minute basis, on standby.
5. Use Mass Grouping
The process of doing like tasks together, takes less time than doing them one by one. Use mass grouping to reduce production time. For things like vaccinations, you can provide for 15 patients an hour with mass grouping. Your patients will be expecting a short visit.
6. Create a Patient Doctor Relationship
Creating a patient and doctor relationship will build your practice. It brings the added benefit of patient loyalty. Your patients will see you as a human and will be compassionate with their expectations. Word of mouth advertising is the best and free advertising you can ever get.
7. Collect Co-Pays
Collect the co-pays before rendering service. This will reduce the paperwork and man power it takes to collect them on the backside. Co-pays are a serious source of income. Make it one of the office goals to not bill for co-pays.
8. Eliminate Overtime
There is no reason to have excessive routine overtime. Overtime may be the result of your staff’s inefficiency. Think through the reasons for any overtime your office may have. You do not want to get to the point where your employees expect overtime. Overtime may be needed on occasion, but to use it as a normal practice is not profitable overall.
9. Check Office Systems
Do a thorough office system check. Make sure your procedures are time efficient and necessary. You may consider hiring an outside source to identify ways that your office can run better. Reducing documentation time is key.
Having a well-oiled office, will increase production and profits. You will be able to focus on patient care and not be as distracted by other tasks. Taking the time on the front end, to focus on each of these nine areas, will reduce the amount of time on the back end that they absorb. Your doctor’s office will begin to make subtle changes for the benefit of you, your staff, and your patients.