5 Low-Cost Ways to Improve Your Practice

5 Low-Cost Ways to Improve Your Practice

Running a medical practice is expensive but improving it doesn’t need to be.

Did you know you can do a few things to improve your practice and the way it operates? You can if you consider some or all these tips.

Assign, delegate, and train


No one knows how to do everything, and people have different strengths.

Capitalize on these strengths and challenges. If employees are skilled in certain areas, let them focus on those tasks and fields.

Technology-savvy employees, for example, could help design and maintain your practice’s websites. Giving them the time to review your web pages could help them supplement your site, keep it up to date, and respond to any comments or issues such as malware that could arise.

To recognize their skills, you could delegate these employees to be superusers. Superusers have access to technology that others in the office don’t have. They could also be valuable in training others about various digital matters.

It’s also important to train your employees in all sorts of office-related matters. By creating an orientation training program that provides information to new hires, you might prevent current employees from spending extra time looking for ways to provide training. Such orientation programs also provide the same information and make sure everyone knows the same things.

Training doesn’t end when people are hired, though. Make sure your practice informs employees when updates or problems arise by holding training meetings, workshops, or other educational opportunities.

Talk and work with colleagues


In addition to optimizing the skills of your staff members, consider doing the same with your colleagues.

People in the same positions have probably encountered many of the challenges and triumphs you’ve faced. So, ask about them.

Did you attend school with people in your field and still keep in touch? Exchange patient referrals with others who practice your specialty? If so, you might want to talk with them and compare notes about your profession.

Even if you don’t already have these contacts, you can make some. Attending medical conferences or workshops will put you in contact with like-minded people.

When you’re talking with these people, you can share information and perspectives. Of course, you’ll want to be careful that you’re following HIPAA regulations and not divulging patients’ protected health information.

But you could discuss certain matters, such as how you handle missed appointments, if you’ve found certain kinds of office software easy or difficult to use, and matters like that.

If you find that you have similar perspectives and approaches, you may want to take things to the next level: working with these colleagues.

Combining your talents with like-minded colleagues could reap many benefits. Having more doctors and staff members in your practice offers personnel coverage if people are sick, need to leave work for emergencies, or want to take vacations.

Because a combined practice has more employees, you might receive discounts on employee health insurance or investment plans geared for retirement.

And again, more doctors and other staff members mean more opportunities for collaboration. While one person may not have an answer, a coworker may.

Notice verbal and nonverbal communication


Communication isn’t just helpful among professional colleagues. It’s also helpful when it’s between patients and their health care providers.

Although you’re busy during appointments, take time to really listen to what patients have to say at those times. Attentive listening could help you listen to questions and answer them fully.

Since communication is also nonverbal, paying attention to patients is helpful in other ways. It could help you observe your patients’ body language, if they’re nervous about discussing certain things, or if they’re experiencing symptoms that they’re not sharing or noticing.

Similarly, doctors and staff members should pay attention to what they’re communicating nonverbally. They’ll want to acknowledge that they’re listening by nodding their heads and facing their patients, signs that they’re seeing and hearing them.

Nonverbal communication can also relate to the management of personal space. Patient relations consultant and author Karen Leland says that there are three common personal space areas between patients and physicians:

  • An intimate zone, which is a distance of zero to two feet between a patient and a physician. This spacing often occurs during examinations.
  • A personal zone, or two to four feet between a patient and a physician. Many conversations occur within this area.
  • A social zone, four feet or more between a patient and a physician. Teachers frequently use this type of spacing in classroom settings.

Health care professionals who position themselves more than four feet away might be trying to establish their expertise, but it could alienate their patients. Instead, doctors should try to interact in the personal zone, two to four feet from their patients, when they’re conversing.

If patients take a step forward or back, physicians should follow their lead. By doing so, they’re working with their patients’ comfort levels.

Invest in office software


The comfort levels of you and your staff members are also important and should be considered.

Simplifying work tasks could provide professional comfort. Specialized eye care software may help with this simplification.

Treating patients and managing an eye care practice requires performing dozens of tasks and facing always-changing conditions. Just a few tasks may include:

  • Accessing, adding to, and returning patients’ files or charts.
  • Handling prescriptions and working with pharmacies or other outside entities.
  • Scheduling appointments and sending reminders of these appointments.
  • Managing patient flow through front desk interactions, waiting rooms, examining areas, and post-appointment spaces.
  • Working with other health care providers on referrals and other tasks.
  • Interacting with insurance providers and programs.
  • Sending and handling bills and working on other revenue-related tasks.

Oh, and examining and treating patients and everything that goes with those tasks. They’re important too.

The right eye care software helps offices with those tasks. While it may require an initial investment in time and money, this investment could help improve your practice and the way it operates.

Eye care software usually incorporates electronic health records (EHRs) and other patient medical histories. It often integrates practice management systems and digital patient portals and leverages the information of EHR and other data.

Cloud-based eye care software thus makes information more available and usable.

Streamline insurance and payment procedures


In fact, such technology could help you tackle the most onerous tasks.

Insurance providers may pay for some or all of your patients’ treatments, but there’s no denying that insurance-based matters are often complicated. Patients and medical offices determine coverage, research and make claims, respond to and manage appeals, and work on billing and payment issues.

Technology-based tools could make these processes simpler. Since electronic health records include information about patients’ medical histories, you could use them to add accurate information to insurance claims.

With such accuracy, insurance companies and programs are more likely to accept these claims. Without rejected claims, your office and your patients won’t have to participate in lengthy appeals processes.

If claims are accepted, payment may arrive more quickly. This could create more speedy revenue for your office and help you manage your budget.

EHR-based information could also be handy when making appeals, talking to insurers, and working on billing. It informs patients about their health and gives them the agency to manage it.

For further assistance managing health-related matters, contact Eye Care Leaders. We’ll help you develop and use technological tools to improve your practice and your service.

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