5 Ways to Increase Productivity at Your Office
Medical practices are people-oriented, so it may be challenging to make them more productive. They aren’t industrial situations where you could program machines or make other definitive adjustments to create your desired results.
But people are flexible and willing to learn. By considering a few changes, you could make your medical office more productive while continuing to provide top-notch medical care.
Create standardized training and orientation procedures
Productivity starts early.
Standardized orientation and training ensure that staff members don’t need to create separate onboarding procedures for each new employee the office hires. Instead, your office will have established procedures they could refer to in these times.
By referring to training materials, established employees could make better use of their time. They’ll be less likely to remember and share scattered tips that might be outdated, unorganized, irrelevant, or just plain wrong.
For reference and retrieval purposes, create a training manual and add it to a paper or computer file. Add anything related to onboarding, orientation, and training to this file. Even if you don’t need everything you’ve added there, you’ll have easy access to materials that could be helpful. You also won’t need to spend valuable time looking for them.
Printed instructions are particularly handy because they establish a single way to do something. People could look up these set practices to clear up any doubt.
Eliminating doubt is useful for any employee, whether they’re still training or a veteran staff member. So is ongoing training.
Medicine requires ongoing training to maintain licenses and certifications and just to stay current with the latest developments. You should take this approach with your staff as well, holding meetings or classes to share updates regarding your profession or your office’s procedures.
People have different strengths and weaknesses.
Isn’t it more productive to capitalize on your staff members’ strengths instead of focusing on their challenges?
Some of your staff members might be good with people. These skills are so valuable in so many instances.
So, use them to your advantage! Ask these staff members if they’d like to focus on positions that feature constant interactions with people, such as working at the front desk or calling insurance providers. If they do, let them loose.
When employees are good at particular things and have opportunities to focus on them, they won’t need to spend lots of time jumping from task to task. They’ll be more productive because they won’t have to muster their physical and mental energy to do things they might not be good at or might not like.
Allowing employees to focus in these ways, and acknowledging their skills, could make them happier, more confident employees. This positivity may be contagious among their coworkers, creating a happy, more efficient office environment.
On the other hand, the negativity and anxiety that could stem from employees who are struggling, unacknowledged, and unhappy could also be contagious, but obviously not as welcome.
Happier employees are also more likely to be loyal and stay with your medical practice. With less employee turnover, you won’t need to go through the constant hassle of recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and training new workers and the disruptions these personnel transitions may cause.
Communicate often to address issues and achievements
Not all employees may have good people skills, but they could take steps to improve them.
Communicating thoroughly is one such skill. This communication isn’t just important with patients, but is also crucial for cooperating with coworkers.
If something is wrong or if an employee has a concern or question, it’s best to communicate this question or concern as soon as possible. Not mentioning problems could worsen their impact and allow bad feelings to fester.
Discussing mistakes quickly catches mistakes before further action makes them worse. Corrective measures could also prevent people from doing incorrect things repeatedly. These missteps are less likely to become ingrained habits.
Offices should encourage an open-door policy. If people find it awkward or difficult to talk about certain topics, offices might want to start a suggestion box or online form that allows people to make statements anonymously without any fear of repercussions.
Suggestion boxes or forms might also be good for sharing more neutral information, such as employee ideas for developing team-building exercises.
But medical practices should focus on more than using communication to correct the negative. They should celebrate the positive as well.
If an employee does something well, try to acknowledge it. It might seem awkward, but the employee will likely appreciate the recognition. This appreciation could help sustain the employee’s good attitude and lead to even more good work.
You could also ask your staff to anonymously vote for an employee of the month. The winner of this accolade might have access to the parking space closest to your office or a similar reward.
Again, recognition could lead to loyalty, and loyalty could lead to positive work environments and lower employee turnover, which could produce happier, more productive atmospheres.
Use software to schedule and manage staff
You use technology to make so many other aspects of your life easier, so consider using it for your health care practice.
Did you know that you could use specialized cloud-based software to manage many aspects of office management?
For example, there are cloud-based software solutions that could help you assist you, your staff members, and your patients.
Such solutions could help streamline every aspect of a patient’s experience and beyond. For example, practice management software might give patients the option to schedule their appointments and then remind them of their upcoming visits.
Prior to their visits, patients might complete forms and update their medical histories for their electronic health records (EHRs). They’ll have the opportunity to research and take time completing these forms, which could produce more thorough, accurate reports.
Once they arrive at their health care offices, they won’t need to try to remember this information. Instead of instructing patients about their histories, staff members will have more time to complete other tasks.
During appointments, doctors and other medical professionals could enter data from their examination notes directly into their patients’ electronic files. Again, this could create more thorough reporting and reduce errors instead of professionals trying to remember what happened during the examinations after they occurred.
Using these comprehensive, correct notes and records, medical practices have the ability to submit more accurate information to insurance providers. If insurance providers don’t cover certain procedures or visits, medical offices could use the information from EHRs and practice management systems to create and track bills and manage the revenue their medical offices collect from them.
Incorporate online patient portals
Patient portals are a major part of many of these electronic health record (EHR) and practice management (PM) systems.
They’re the parts of the software systems that allow patients to access information about their medical histories.
Portals allow patients to do this on their own, from any place, and at any time. This is convenient both for patients and medical providers who would normally need to spend time helping patients with this process.
Using their medical information, patients are better able to understand what’s happening with their health and work with their medical providers to improve it. They could even take this information to other medical specialists to address various matters.
Patient portals also have messaging systems, a useful feature if people want to report recent updates or have questions or concerns that can’t wait until their next appointments.
A quick discussion on a patient portal could lead to a more immediate solution. It could prevent the need to address an ongoing problem that’s been building since the patient’s last visit, a problem that may be more difficult, costly, and lengthy to treat.
Do you want to discuss some things yourself? We’d be thrilled to talk. Eye Care Leaders could work with you to find solutions that help you, your practice, and your patients.
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