Today’s healthcare practices are busier than ever, balancing an increasingly competitive landscape, staff burnout, and patients who expect convenience at every step of the patient journey. It’s a lot for practice owners to manage.
Fortunately, gaining efficiencies at your healthcare practice can allow your staff to work smarter and not harder. Practices that adopt an all-in-one platform to streamline and automate certain office functions not only improve and enhance productivity, but they deliver a more convenient, patient-focused experience.
While most healthcare practices think of patient acquisition as the top growth strategy, do not underestimate two other key paths to sustainable growth: greater productivity and long-term patient retention. Combined with a strong patient acquisition strategy, practices of all sizes and specialties can achieve continued growth.
Enhancing your healthcare practice’s efficiency
Whether you ask front office staff, providers, nurses or support staff, the consensus is that there never seems to be quite enough hands to complete a day’s work. Staff are balancing patients calling with questions, needing prescription refills, scheduling appointments, managing incoming and outgoing paperwork, patient check-in and check-out, the list goes on. Practice owners are balancing staffing needs, communication, changing regulatory guidelines, financial operations, and healthcare marketing.
Improving efficiency without adding new staff may feel impossible. But for healthcare practices with an eye on growth, it’s an effective way to grow your practice revenue — particularly if you’ve got a full or nearly full patient panel. Practices can use digital tools to streamline and scale numerous front office functions, such as appointment scheduling and confirmations and reminders. Moving these tasks online reduces staff phone time, freeing them up for other important priorities. Similarly, introducing digital registration paperwork and fax can reduce administrative tasks for overburdened staff. Using text messaging and email enhances patient communication, while allowing your front desk staff to facilitate an exceptional in-office experience.
Practice productivity and patient satisfaction go hand in hand
Businesses that run smoothly from an operational perspective often boast greater customer satisfaction. Patients today expect a seamless experience at every step of the patient journey from appointment scheduling through paying their bill. It’s about more than just convenience and efficiency. Practices that implement digital tools to streamline front office tasks allow staff to spend their time doing more meaningful tasks, which is good for both patient and staff satisfaction.
Consider this: By automating digital appointment reminders, your front desk staff can spend an extra moment or two connecting with patients before or after their appointments instead of making dozens of phone calls. Automating manual tasks gives staff more time to facilitate prompt check-in/check-out, which reduces wait times and improves throughput. At the same time, staff will be contributing to patient satisfaction and are likely to feel more fulfilled in their roles. It’s a win-win.
Improving patient satisfaction, reducing attrition
Improving patient satisfaction supports a healthy patient retention strategy, which is critical for sustainable practice growth. PatientPop research indicates that patients who don’t get the experience they’re looking for from their healthcare practice aren’t afraid to switch doctors. In fact, 36.4 percent of patients have left a healthcare provider in the past two years. Their top reasons for moving on? A negative in-person experience and/or lack of access and communication. Specifically, top concerns cited include: a poor experience with office staff; slow or no response to questions or concerns; or long wait times at the practice. Each of these complaints could be addressed by staff who aren’t busy performing menial, manual tasks.
Greater efficiency & productivity = Happier staff, happier patients
Modernizing the patient experience with digital tools like an all-in-one practice growth platform can give patients the convenience they demand, while allowing staff to stay on top of their day’s work. This reduces burnout and gives patients a better in-office experience for a true merger of productivity and patient satisfaction.