Keeping Your Practice Efficient: Here's What to Do
M3 India Newsdesk Feb 11, 2024
This comprehensive guide provides strategies for medical practitioners to enhance efficiency in their practices, addressing challenges such as patient management, technology utilisation, and financial considerations.
"Good enough" is insufficient these days. It is "make it better or lose it" for modern family practices.
Poor performance may soon worsen and result in unfavourable attitudes, poor ratings, and a lack of communication in medical practice. Patients may see that the clinical staff appears to be in a constant state of dissatisfaction, that follow-up calls are not made, and that communication within the office is disorganised.
An ineffective practice may result in bad working circumstances, distrust among coworkers, a lack of boundaries, and little to no support for professional development. These factors can cause stress, exhaustion, and burnout.
Given the hectic nature of managing a practice—which includes an increasing number of patients, more paperwork, and less time spent with each patient—what is the best strategy to address inefficiencies as soon as possible?
To begin with, in order to enhance the practice and the bonds between all employees, everyone must collaborate as a team. We are aware that your patients face high costs for private health care. However, you can guarantee that your patients get value for their money each time they visit by streamlining your practice's operations.
Below are several strategies to transform an ineffective practice into a beneficial one:
- Practice improvement becomes more vital the more pressure the market places on your practice.
- To determine if your practice is well-managed, you must at least have a basic understanding of it.
- The key word here is effectiveness. Ensure that everything is operating properly and that you are using the resources—facilities, staff time, and your own time—to the fullest.
Clearly define your practice's vision
It might be beneficial to start again from scratch by reflecting on your original practice concept, even if you have an established practice.
In this manner, you may choose the services you're willing to provide and the sort of care you want to give. The right strategy will then be obvious to you.
Utilise technology wisely
Make use of sophisticated software programmes, including billing or patient record management systems, which may save costs, improve organisational effectiveness, and lower mistake rates.
Put money into automation software
Although not all instruments have this functionality, automation may be a medical practice's greatest friend. Or, even worse, its automated features result in a less productive practice. When used correctly, automation may reduce mistakes, save time, enhance patient access, and provide revenue.
Handle money sensibly
Regular budget monitoring ensures that staff payrolls are paid on schedule, supplies are purchased effectively, and taxes are submitted correctly.
You can carefully manage collections and keep an eye on important insurance policies when you have a complete picture of your money.
Assess employees correctly
One of the most significant investments a practice can make is in its workforce. Create a culture where nurses, receptionists, and administrative staff collaborate for the good of patients rather than always competing if you want to get the best out of your team.
Set explicit rules
Establish regulatory frameworks to direct employee conduct. This includes setting deadlines, outlining workflow responsibilities across departments, and stressing appropriate patient engagement during onboarding. Patients will feel as if they are receiving timely assistance in this way.
Your policies should also guarantee that your employees are adhering to any applicable state or federal laws.
Offer good guidance
By offering regular training opportunities that maintain the sharpness of their abilities, employers may ensure that staff members understand what has to be done and how it should be done. Even if a member of your team has previous expertise in the healthcare industry, you should never assume that they are informed about their position and tasks.
It is recommended that employers provide seminars covering basic medical procedures, themes, and security protocols. When staff members are well-trained, your practice will function seamlessly.
Track customer happiness levels
Use surveys or questionnaires to track patient involvement frequently throughout critical phases of visits, including examinations, blood work, or recovery after surgery. This will enable you to change course and improve your practice in addition to assisting you in understanding what is already functioning.
Make use of marketing strategies
Increase exposure and connect with prospective customers who might benefit from your services by running awareness-raising initiatives that are strategically planned. Online platforms including email campaigns, mailing lists, and social media are all affordable means of promoting your clinic.
Examine scheduling errors
Scheduling errors are a common problem for medical practices. A patient's fifteen-minute tardiness might upset the flow of the whole day. Scheduling patients for 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment is a simple workaround for this. Additionally, it may aid in your staff's catch-up.
Create a robust patient-outreach procedure
Reaching out to patients is essential. It enables you to respond to a patient's worries and show that you place a high value on their health. Better results, increased patient happiness, and successful calls will be the end result.
Enhance the flow of patients
The objective is to establish an effective timetable, regardless of the composition of patients. Prioritise treating as many members of the patient population as you can with adequate care.
The procedure has to be changed if you feel overburdened seeing a patient every 20 minutes.
When their appointments are properly organised, the majority of family doctors can see four patients in an hour on average. Keep to your timetable and don't stray from it.
Make progress notes in the examination area
It may not always be suitable, and it takes some getting accustomed to it. However, dictating notes in front of the patient allows you to take more concise notes without having to spend time dictating outside of the visit. It also enhances communication, saves time, and provides the patient with a good summary of the appointment. It also helps with coding.
Improve dialogue by using handouts
By employing pamphlets and handouts, you may cut down on the amount of pointless phone calls for straightforward inquiries. These might include details about your profession as well as clinical subjects. Providing patients with handouts on their ailments or treatments may also aid in keeping the visit on topic and ensuring that crucial information is conveyed.
Be wary of those paychecks!
Paying too little is a popular way to manage expenses. Paying handsomely is necessary to attract and keep talented employees, but the focus should be on performance and abilities rather than longevity. If you need excellent workers, be willing to pay more than the going rate, but only if they are extraordinary.
A highly competent back office staff member may be able to improve patient interactions and flow of patients in specific situations, saving the doctor's time. Before rewarding anything, be sure it will benefit you.
Use caution while recruiting
It's simpler to identify problematic employees than to fire them.
- A problematic employee raises your chance of a wrongful termination lawsuit while also adding to your stress, workload, and expenses.
- Before recruiting, specify the expected levels of expertise and make sure the proper hiring procedure is followed.
- Measure the talents of applicants to make sure you make the proper hire; objective exams might provide useful information.
- Set clear expectations for each new employee and ensure that they are held responsible.
There's a fair chance that your practice's overhead is more than it needs to be and that its income is below what it might be. There might be room for a net income rise of up to twenty per cent.
As managed care grows more prevalent in your market, it becomes more crucial to take action to improve the bottom line. Effective resource management will put you in a better position to handle risks when chances for risk-sharing arise.
Your practice will be more rewarding—not only financially—if you are aware of your expenses, take proactive measures to increase your performance, and make the most use of your team. However, from an economic standpoint, it will improve your bottom line and increase your appeal to new clients and health plans.
Every medical practice may sometimes have problems that make them ineffective, but with these suggestions, the likelihood of these occurrences should decrease. Maintaining a high level of efficiency requires constant oversight, which you can only do with properly trained personnel and proper tools.
Whether you take the lead or not, the healthcare industry is going to change, therefore positioning your practice to benefit from change is worthwhile. Physician-led organisations are the most effective.
Disclaimer- The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of M3 India.
About the author of this article: Dr Monish Raut is a practising super specialist from New Delhi.
Exclusive Write-ups & Webinars by KOLs
Daily Quiz by specialty
Paid Market Research Surveys
Case discussions, News & Journals' summaries