Most healthcare providers can accept that patient care is only one part of their job. However, many don’t anticipate just how much time they and their staff will spend completing routine administrative tasks.
In total, 42 percent of physicians are burned out, according to the 2018 Medscape National Physician Burnout Report. Of those physicians, 56 percent cite too many bureaucratic tasks as the reason for burnout, and 39 percent blame spending too many hours at work.
Although it’s unlikely you’ll ever cut out all undesirable office work, it is possible to improve your practice’s performance to make routine tasks less burdensome. Here, we examine six easy ways you can make your practice more efficient, which could increase your job satisfaction and even boost patient retention.
In the digital era, patients shouldn’t have to pick up the phone to make an appointment. In fact, 42 percent want online patient scheduling. When this feature is available, 34 percent of new patients have made appointments outside of standard business hours, according to our research.
Online patient scheduling is beneficial for patients and staff. Patients get quick insight into a provider’s availability and can easily book appointments anytime and from anywhere — or at least anywhere with an internet connection. With more patients scheduling online, staff can spend less time answering the phones and more time serving patients in the office.
Integrating your online calendar with your EMR appointment calendar allows you to experience all the benefits online scheduling has to offer. Industry-leading solutions like PatientPop can be integrated with widely used EMRs to help your staff accomplish more in less time, further streamlining your operations.
When integrated, patients can see your real-time availability on your website calendar and can easily request or book appointments. You choose whether appointments are immediately added to your EMR calendar or are vetted by staff before confirmation.
Integration also means your practice can send patients appointment confirmations and reminders — two types of communication that don’t require a personal touch. Additionally, PatientPop can send post-visit surveys to help you collect valuable feedback and strengthen your online reputation.
Before care can be administered, you need a lot of information from patients. Waiting until the appointment to have people fill out intake forms is inefficient because backups occur when patients don’t show up early.
When intake forms are sent in advance or made available to download on your website, you have all the necessary information in place before the patient walks in the door. This saves time and allows your staff to verify their insurance coverage, to make sure it’s valid and in-network.
Communication is crucial to an efficient medical practice. Chaos ensues if your entire staff isn’t on the same page, so gather everyone together for a huddle first thing each morning and a weekly staff meeting.
Use huddles to discuss the needs of patients coming into the office that day, creating a plan to manage time and resources as efficiently as possible. During staff meetings, highlight any patient issues that occurred during the week, administrative matters, and updates that will impact entire team.
Technology is constantly changing in healthcare. Consequently, 54 percent of working adults say they’ll need training and development throughout their career to keep up, according to a 2016 Pew Research Center survey.
If employees aren’t given opportunities to update their skills, they’re more inclined to leave, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. When you invest in your staff, they’ll bring innovative ideas back that will make your practice more efficient.
An efficient healthcare practice and high levels of patient retention go hand in hand, because people trust providers who have it all together. When your practice is well-organized, you’re able to accomplish more, while delivering an elevated level of care.
For more tips on how to make your practice more efficient, check out “What Makes One Healthcare Practice More Successful Than Another?”