Practice management is an important factor for the bottom line of any medical practice or healthcare organization. Improving productivity in daily processes and among staff can improve an organization’s performance drastically.
Workflow & Productivity
Nowadays, every practice is equipped with EHR software, and physicians are faced with many responsibilities beyond patient treatment, which can considerably affect their efficiency and, in turn, their revenue. They must learn how to maintain workflow and ensure productivity. According to a Medical Economics article, there are four important steps that should be taken.
1. Workflow Analysis
One of the first things a practice should do is a workflow analysis of three main areas: patient visit, billing cycle, and clinical event. It’s a lengthy process, as every person and system involved in each event must be analyzed. However, the benefits far outweigh the costs. By detailing the steps, practice staff can understand what each process entails and how to improve efficiency.
There are five C’s to process mapping:
- Classification: Inform those on the team about process mapping and its details.
- Correlation: This step involves collecting data about the processes and analyzing them.
- Causation: Understand the pain points and why they’re an issue.
- Collaboration: Determine potential solutions for the problems.
- Culmination: Apply the chosen solution and see if it’s effective.
2. Medical Billing Services
Many administrative tasks can be handed off to others. Practices can hire office managers, medical assistants, and billing professionals to help them manage day-to-day tasks. More and more nurse practitioners and physician assistants are being hired to help with primary care treatment. Many practices choose to go through Revenue Cycle Management services to complete and submit their claims. In doing this, physicians are able to focus their attention on what they’re qualified to do: treating patients. This helps to improve both productivity and optimize workflow.
3. Patient Portal
The use of a patient portal is one of the strongest methods of refining communication. With this tool, patients are able to ask basic medical questions, request refills of medication, schedule appointments, access lab results, etc. Doctors can respond to patients directly whenever they get a chance rather than waiting for a message to be relayed by front-office staff. The process is quick and simple and saves a significant amount of time. Providers should make sure to inform patients about their patient portal and encourage its use.
4. Workplace Motivation
The key to effective practice is motivated, staff. It’s important for employees to feel valued and respected. Basic gestures, such as a compliment on a job well done or a nice handwritten note, can be strongly encouraging and make a big difference. Examples of good incentives include implementing a recognition program and taking employee opinions into consideration.
Take the time to bring your team together and truly understand what is and isn’t working for your practice. Is your staff comfortable using the software? Are the front-office and billing staff able to coordinate as necessary? Are tasks being performed efficiently? Analyze your day-to-day functions to see what you can improve. Incorporating these four steps into your workflow will pay off in the long run.
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