Every once in a while I like to post some tips for an efficient medical practice. I am not a practice manager, but I have worked in hundreds of medical practices, and have picked the brains of hundreds of doctors and practice managers. The list of tips I am creating are the things that all practices have in common. I see a lot of the same issues in every practice I go into.
1. Identify your current job functions – For you to do a great job, you need to make sure you are clear on what exactly your job duties are.
2. Identify your staff’s job functions – You can’t manage them if you don’t know if they are doing the right job. Get to know their job functions personally. This way you can identify weaknesses, and even help on an occasion.
3. Know your workflow – Are you familiar with the workflow of your practice as a whole? Document a full patient encounter, from beginning to end. Try to find the “gotcha’s” in your encounter. What could make the patient angry? What could cause the practice to lose billing dollars? What could cause the billing to go wrong? What can you do to improve the encounter?
4. Know your software. Not just your EMR software, but every software that the practice uses. Quickbooks? Lab software? You want to make sure you are getting the most out of tools the practice has purchased.
5. Communicate with patients – if you have a patient portal, USE IT!
6. Know how to run good solid reports. There is a lot of power in data. Make sure you have outstanding report running ability. Even if you have to take on a third party software. Your physicians will ask you justify any purchase you want to make, any additional staff you want to hire, and any pay increases you or your staff ask for.
7. Keep you staff in “the know” – you are already investing heavily in them by giving them a paycheck. Keep them trained on the workflow of the practice, the EMR, the policies, HIPAA, etc. Your employees will make you look good. Take care of them!
8. Don’t overwork – I know a lot of practice managers that work sun up to sun down. That’s great, but it will burn you out, put stress on you and your family, and eventually have you resent your job. Make sure you get the proper balance between your work life, your home life, and YOUR life.
9. Reinvent the practice – always find new ways to bring new things into the practice. Technology, processes, vendors, etc. You want to stay on top of the latest and greatest. You don’t want to keep your practice in a vacuum.
10. Measure your success – keep a journal of things that you have accomplished. What works, what doesn’t, what needs improvement, etc. It will make a very handy document you will refer to many times.
Tips for an Efficient Medical Practice are something you can use in any job, not just a medical practice. Most practice managers I know are already doing these things. As a matter of fact, they have given me these ideas! If you feel you need help with running your medical practice, there are many healthcare consultants out there that would be happy to help you at an affordable rate. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
Tier3MD is a medical IT support group.