The efficiency of your practice impacts profitability. It’s no surprise that practices with too much wasted time and too many missed appointments are not as profitable as their productive peers. We have prepared some quick tips to help you improve practice efficiency.
Utilise technology to remove outdated manual processes.
A large amount of time is wasted by administrative staff calling patients to remind them about appointments or reschedule missed appointments. This is an inefficient use of administrative resources. Modern Practice Management Systems provide both SMS and email reminders that can be automated to remind patients of their scheduled appointment.
Automated reminders also minimise the number of no-show appointments which waste valuable time for doctors and clinicians.
Self-service kiosks can also be utilised to improve practice efficiency. Allowing patients to check-in themselves when they arrive instead of waiting to talk to a staff member, will result in increased satisfaction levels and efficiency. Many busy practices have one staff member that is allocated to managing patient arrivals and registering new patients. A kiosk can eliminate both of these manual tasks and provide staff with additional time for other tasks.
Reduce wasted time for doctors and clinicians.
The costliest asset in any practice is its doctors; so it makes sense that improving their efficiency will in turn impact profitability. The first area where impressive savings can be found, is patient note taking. A good PMS should accelerate the time needed to make notes, look up test results and write prescriptions. Shaving a few minutes from every consultation will keep doctors on time and reduce wait times. Using alerts and reminders will also prompt doctors to offer additional services, such as care plans and immunisations for future visits. This approach will improve patient repeat visits and also demonstrate a pro-active approach to their health care.
Effective Staff Utilisation.
Often doctors are performing tasks that a practice nurse could be doing. When you consider the hourly rate of a doctor vs a clinic nurse, it makes good financial sense to have your clinic nurse performing things such as immunisations or wound dressings. The doctor is then free to see more patients and provide added value to the practice.
Introduce a Continuous Improvement Culture
Regular meetings with practice staff can also lead to increased efficiency. Your administration team are often well placed to identify efficiency savings or better ways to do things within your daily workflows. By introducing a culture of improvement, staff will motivate each other and be inspired to improve productivity.
By also adopting a holistic and pro-active approach to patient care, you can keep appointment times to a minimum and maximise patient attendance. Research suggests that the more frequently a patient visits a doctor, the shorter the duration of the consultation. Helping patients manage chronic conditions with care plans will also benefit the practice by controlling repeat visits and utilising nursing staff for appropriate tasks.