For any medical practice, the ultimate goal is to improve productivity while assuring the quality of care and patient satisfaction. Most practices are working hard to keep up with changes in the healthcare sector while improving the overall efficiency. But, the increased regulatory and administrative burden is threatening the productivity of the medical practice. Fortunately, there are a few strategies that a medical practice can implement to improve productivity and reduce the chance for physician burnout.
Employ Right Staff
Having experienced and skilled staff is very important for any medical practice. Your staff should be able to gather the right information from the patient. Administrative staff should find out the patient insurance information so they can know about the eligibility before that patient step-in the practice.
Integrating patient portal with your Electronic Health Record (EHR) system can streamline the process involved and facilitates documentation. Using patient portal to enter patient health information, symptoms, and medications will not only save your time but also makes it easy to track the information when needed. Patient portal facilitates the process of booking appointments, responding to patient queries and refill prescriptions, while enabling your practice to satisfy the criteria of meaningful use.
Practice Management System (PMS)
Choosing the right PMS system will save you time with the eligibility verification process. The system will provide important payer data and reduce time spent on billing. PMS will allow you to track patient status in each exam room, making it easy to prepare for the patient encounter.
Voice Recognition Software
Voice recognition software makes it easy for medical practices to meet the documentation requirements. The system will eliminate the costs associated with transcription process. Also, it allows clinicians to edit and sign-off medical records instantly, so they can spend more time with patients. Deploying software will make it easy for a medical practice to follow the HIPAA requirements.
Analyzing practice workflow is crucial to improve efficiency and productivity. Workflow analysis is cumbersome as the process involves looking at every phase and mapping each step who is going to perform it. As there are numerous processes to choose from, practices should start with pain points first.
Practices that want to start mapping process should focus on three key areas:
- Patient visit (check-in and check-out)
- Billing cycle
- Clinical events
Break down each process into more distinct processes and identify the employee who will be involved in that process. The mapping process should detail each step so that it becomes easier for you to identify steps that are not necessary and those that don’t benefit the practice. To make sure the new process works, map the old or existing processes and collect the baseline data to set goals for improvements.
Practitioners, nurses and other healthcare providers should focus on their key activities. You should not burden them with day-to-day administrative activities to smoothen the functioning of your practice. If there is some work that can be completed by a nurse or medical assistant, let them do that. This will not only improve overall efficiency, but will ensure doctors can spend most of their time in diagnosing patient’s medical histories.
Having a reliant and secure scheduling system can help get patients in and out the door realistically. Choosing an online schedule software solution will ensure you have no schedule gaps and makes it easy for patients to make appointments. With effective scheduling, you can increase your practice productivity and patient flow, which ultimately boosts your practice revenue.
These are just a few ways medical practices can improve their efficiency, but the fact is, you can’t improve what you can’t measure. Having an EHR system will give you ongoing visibility and insight into your practice efficiency and productivity so you can take necessary steps for process improvement.