Do you ever wonder if you are running your practice as well as you can be? Are you a “well oiled machine”, or are you a fast paced busy practice that has time for nothing but getting patient in and out? I want to outline 5 ways to improve your medical practice, but I really think there are many more. Anyway, let’s just start with these 5.
1. Staff training – especially on your PM/EMR. Keep in mind that you may have been professionally trained on the software 10 years ago and since then only 2 people that were trained are still there. Susie taught Karen who taught Brittany. Things really do get lost in translation. Does anyone in your practice know exactly what the software does, and all the ways it can benefit your practice? User groups are a great way to keep up to date on features of the EMR that you are using.
2. Patient portal – make sure you are using a patient portal. This will save you tons of time, and valuable nurse time. Patients can look up their own lab results, request prescription refills, etc. All the things a nurse would have to get on the phone and call the patient about. Think about how much time that saves. I know when a nurse calls me, I always have questions. I would say each conversation would be a minimum of 10 minutes. Valuable time!
3. Get an appointment reminder software. Something like patient prompt, televox, phone tree, etc. Knowing that a patient is not coming is very valuable information when planning out your day. This way if patients call with emergencies, you can get them into that slot. Reducing no-shows is a key way to save your practice time and money. A good software will help tremendously with this.
4. Coders – With all the coding changes, i.e. ICD-10, etc, you want to make sure you have a good, solid coder. One that understands your practice, and the codes you use. Keep them educated by allowing them to go to seminars, educational classes, publications, etc. A coder if key to your reimbursements. You want a good coder on hand.
5. Address workflow issues – even though you “know it doesn’t work” and you don’t have time…fix it. Inefficiency will kill you. Go through a full workflow. Act like a patient! This is a great way to reduce the bottlenecks that can slow a practice down, and make for an unhappy patient.
There are many, many ways to improve a practice. The real key is to stay on top of things, and acknowledge anything you see that may be causing an issue.