Practice productivity: Why it is essential and how to improve it

A practice's productivity directly impacts the level of its success. How efficiently physicians are able to document data and the accuracy of their inputs affect the number of patients they are able to see, ultimately impacting practice revenue. 

How practice productivity impacts the bottom line
The bottom line for most practices is how much revenue they are bringing in. The level of productivity directly impacts how successful they are in this area.

  • Errors: Even the smallest errors can be extremely time-consuming to correct. Input errors, incorrect diagnoses and misinterpretation of data can halt productivity levels. Not only does fixing these errors take away from the time you could be spending with patients, but it lowers the number of patients you can see each day.
  • Documentation: One of the biggest time-consuming elements of a physician's daily workflow is accurately creating documents for his or her patients. Documentation involved in diagnosing a patient and prescription documentation that must be quickly sent out can take long periods of time and will hold physicians back when not using an efficient system. 
  • Compensation: Recent surveys have shown that a significant number of practices base their compensation off of productivity. This can have a negative outcome, for if productivity is lacking or disrupted, this will hurt compensation, which may ultimately lead to even slower productivity levels among employees of the practice.  

How to improve productivity
Since productivity is crucial to a practice's yearly income, it is crucial that physicians take measures to improve their productivity levels.

  • Analyze workflow: The practice workflow can often become just another part of the daily routine and may not be as efficient as it could be. Every once in a while, a practice can benefit from closely examining each daily process and who performs it to ensure that it is assigned to the most capable employee for the job. 
  • EHR: Electronic health records have been shown to improve patient outcomes and speed up several of the processes that tend to disrupt efficient productivity. EHRs are known for reducing input errors and making the documentation process faster, increasing the number of patients a practice can serve. There are also specialty EHRs that are designed for specific practices with the documents and forms that you use most.
  • Patient portal: As  part of an EHR system, a usable interface for patients will assist them in better understanding diagnoses and their current health conditions, which in turn will make face-to-face discussions during appointments more efficient and less time-consuming.