A smoother workflow means better efficiency in your practice and less stress on your staff. They’re more productive because of fewer hitches, hindrances, and hassles. In turn, your staff is more engaged and empowered, which gives them the initiative to find solutions to the problems that may come up with both your patients and the practice itself.
Patients can feel this. Visits to an efficient office are warmer and less hurried. They experience reduced wait times and have more confidence in your office as a whole.
Yet, workflow issues are not uncommon amongst medical practices like yours. Even the most capable of staff members can be stretched thin if they have too much to do which can cause business efficiency to wane and/or patient care and support suffer.
An investment in an outsourced medical billing service can deliver untold returns or your practice’s workflow. We have been helping physician practices like yours for over 30 years improve workflow efficiency, which in turn helps maintain and even improve patient care – and ultimately your bottom line.
But how do you know if your staff and workflow are running optimally? Here are 7 questions to ask yourself to help evaluate your practice’s efficiency:
1. Does Your Staff Know Its Duties?
More to the point, does each member of your staff know his or her specific duties? Clearly defined roles and responsibilities go a long way in reducing bottlenecks and inefficiency because each staff member knows what to do and what not to do. Being unsure who’s doing what is a death knell to efficiency.
2. Is Work Being Repeated?
A major complaint from patients is that they give the same information – address, insurance, case history, etc. – to more than one staff member. This is a red flag that your workflow is suffering.
Everything should be done once and only once, including getting patient information. And, of course, it should be done correctly. If you haven’t already, design a clear work plan so patients have the best and smoothest visit possible, from check-in to checkout.
3. Are You Communicating Well?
Poor communication amongst you and your staff, as well as between the staff itself, will ruin the efficiency of your practice. You’re the leader, so empower your staff to speak up about problems when they arise as well as any ideas they may have about solutions, from billing to patient support.
When your staff is empowered, they work better and more confidently. Small hitches that were causing backlogs and bottlenecks disappear and don’t return. Your practice and your patients will benefit.
4. Does Your Practice Have a Set Schedule?
Something so simple can make your practice wildly successful. Clearly schedule and list daily tasks and deadlines so that necessary tasks don’t fall through the cracks and your staff can complete them quickly and correctly.
5. Does Your Personnel Fit?
This does not mean questioning the capabilities of your staff. This means determining if you’re getting the best from your staff and putting them in positions that best help them and your practice. Maybe you need to add staff, or maybe you simply need to allocate responsibilities better. To know for sure, for a week, have your staff track their tasks completed against time spent on each task.
6. Does Your Staff Understand the Office Technology?
If your staff is not fully up to speed with EHRs, then you should make sure they are. Your EHR vendor probably has training available to help your staff know how to utilize the tools and features available to help work flow more efficiently.
7. Is Your Staff Keeping Up with Industry Changes?
The industry is evolving rapidly. Coding and patient billing regulations are created, revised, or even abolished regularly, and not keeping up hurts workflow efficiency. Make sure your staff is given the resources necessary to keep up so your business doesn’t suffer.