It’s important to continuously consider ways to improve your practice’s efficiency, not just in order to keep patients content and encourage treatment follow through, but also to reduce staff frustration and burnout. Sometimes no-shows, over-complicated processes, and even staff communication patterns can get in the way of delivering a high-quality experience for your patient and a smooth work day for your staff.
There are several strategies a practice can implement to effectively manage patient flow through the office space. Read on for 7 tips to improve your efficiency today.
7 Tips to Improve Practice Patient Management
- Set a clear policy for no-shows. A recent survey conducted at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons coding and reimbursement workshop found that 54% of practitioners found no-shows to be a problem in their office. Compose a written no-show policy and stick to it, including missed appointment fees that might be charged. Train staff to properly explain the policy and ensure it’s posted on your website, as well as an easily visible location in your office.
- Look at bottleneck areas. Does your office have a bottleneck problem? If you consistently see a waiting room full of patients filling out paperwork and experiencing long wait times, consider implementing a pre-registration process to obtain basic needed information ahead of the arrival time. For example, office staff can take initial information over the phone, or through an email form when a new appointment is first
- Prep care instructions ahead of time. Have care instructions prepared ahead of time for commonly seen injuries, diseases, and concerns. Keep these instructions in a commonly accessible folder in your system, so they can be taken home with the patient and printed at the same time as prescriptions and physician orders.
- Create a contingency plan. If a physician is stuck with a patient and the schedule is getting behind, set up a process where a nurse is allowed to check in for a few moments. This gives the physician a chance to transition the patient from exam to exit
- Review charts with techs. Spending five minutes going over patient charts with techs helps provide them with an idea of what they should focus on. This can save time by eliminating the need for the tech to review the entire chart.
- Set up clear check out protocols. Offer the first available appointment for follow-ups, instead of having the front desk constantly juggling patient requests at check out. This will speed up check out time and lower frustration levels for staff and your patients. Include automatic email appointment reminders as a mandatory part of the check out process.
- Get the most out of your PM software. Can you automate more of your system? Utilizing a solid PM system that integrates with your EHR can make patient data more quickly accessible, create standard and customized reports and ease the electronic billing process, all of which will save your staff time. Look into programs that reduce your staff’s load while improving workflow.
By making the changes above to improve your practice’s efficiency, you can begin to experience better patient satisfaction and decrease your staff workload. Use these tips in conjunction with Exscribe’s Orthopaedic PM to assist you in achieving your smoothest workflow yet.