Everyone knows the feeling of waiting too long in a doctor’s office. From overbooking patients to a disorganized staff, there are quite a few things that patients frequently find intolerable.
It comes down to the medical office manager to keep the office running like a well-oiled machine. Without proper structure the entire office can get out of hand quickly. The less efficient the office, the less profitable. Here are five ways your medical office could be running more smoothly.
Technology is every medical office’s best friend. When used correctly, technology reduces the number of human errors and saves time for both you and your patients. Different programs can allow you to have better access from everything to patient registration and check-out to prescription refills. Imagine the time cut in your waiting room if all patients filled out their paperwork digitally before even stepping foot in your office.
Keep in mind that your office will hold private medical records for patients that could be vulnerable to hackers. Always work with secure systems and trustworthy software companies to ensure the safety and security of your patient’s information. Also, consider a software consultation before you jump the gun and purchase something that may not work for you. If the technology you start using isn’t a good fit it can begin to cause problems rather than solving them.
There are few things worse than looking at a full day of patients and realizing you don’t have enough receptionists, doctors, or nurses scheduled to work that day. Again, staffing software can help with this issue. If you don’t want to go the route of software, begin by tracking which days of the week are busiest for your office and how many staff members you need on hand those days.
As a good rule of thumb, to avoid overbooking and understaffing, always have at least three to four staff members for each doctor. This includes front and back offices. While some variations do exist, it’s always better to be prepared. Being adequately staffed improves patient care and disposition. However, you should never hire too many people just hire to meet a quota. Seek out the right type of employees for the positions they are qualified. After all, you’re looking to make your office more efficient, not more chaotic.
Utilize a Coding System
In addition to understaffed offices and long patient wait times, not having proper insurance billing and coding systems in place is a nightmare. Not only does it cause insurance claims to go unpaid, it also causes a lot of hostility among staff and patients. You can avoid this by implementing proper medical coding solutions in your office. A medical coding system can help your office to organize surgeries, recurring outpatient services, inpatient services, and so many other aspects that can fall behind without the help of automated systems.
A coding system in your office will allow you to simultaneously embrace technology more and use your staff more appropriately. Always have your staff well trained on whatever coding system you implement to guarantee that it will be used correctly.
Cut Overhead Costs
Take the time to evaluate your overhead costs. Sometimes letting the stress of your office costs get to you can cause more chaos and havoc for the entire office. Think about if the practice’s space is too large or if you’re paying for equipment and services the office doesn’t really need, you might want to start downsizing. The key is to streamline day-to-day activities without compromising care. It may be good for you to start with smaller costs and see where that gets you first. However if you know your overhead costs are truly out of control, start with the big money grabbers.
Your biggest overhead costs will be staffing, supplies, and building expenses. From there some of your other necessary but expensive costs could be more than you can bear. Check on what you’re getting charged from radiology, insurance premiums, marketing, and legal fees. These may be costing you more than you realize. Simply speaking with your providers about a discount could be enough to put you in the clear.
Monitor Key Performance Indicators
Monitoring KPIs is a way to see how well the medical practice is doing. Take note of how many new patients you have each month, the number of complaints you receive and how often you need to remind patients their payments are due. All of these factors play a role in the performance of the office as a whole. When you see where the gaps are you can begin to fill them in with more efficient practices and behaviors.
By simply adding a few organizational strategies, updating technology, and training your staff correctly, you can cut your stress in half and keep your office running as efficiently as possible.