Medical Office Management: 5 Ways To Improve Efficiency
Ask 100 patients what their top complaint is about their medical care and 96 will tell you it’s the inefficiency. Whether being made to wait or not knowing what’s going on, patients are stressed out when medical office management fails. In order to retain patients, it’s vital to improve efficiency in all aspects of medical office management.
Here are five ways to make your office more efficient in every way.
1. Make the Patient Flow Smoother
Your patients are on the front lines of how efficiently your office functions. Only they know exactly how smooth your office works.
From the moment that try to schedule an appointment, they experience how smoothly your office functions. When they arrive and check-in, they often have to give redundant information. They sit in the waiting room and suffer waits when in the examination room that don’t make sense to them.
Once they’re dealing with their physician, they might feel rushed and unable to talk to the doctor. They’ll check out and pay, unhappy with the entire process and you might never find out until they fail to come back.
Providing great care entails ensuring that your patients always come back. High-quality care and excellent customer service not only pleases patients but improves your revenue. Investing in a patient flow assessment will get rid of unnecessary hurdles and help your office to be noticeably more efficient.
2. Work On Communication
Ultimately, medical offices require communication to provide the best care. More than just talking and listening, respect and understanding are vital between colleagues. You also need to provide the right tools for everyone to stay in touch.
Make sure that the office manager and every staff member understand the importance of privacy. In order to avoid violating HIPAA regulations, (USE THIS LINK: https://www.hipaajournal.com/employees-prevent-hipaa-violations/) no private information about patients should be shared in hallways. This is to be a fact even when no patients are around.
There should be a secure channel for all staff members to communicate. Finding the right software tool that’s compatible with everyone’s devices is essential. Make sure that there is someone, like the office manager, there to moderate and provide feedback to anyone who accidentally breaks the rules.
It’s never a bad idea to hire someone to help deploy and implement new communication tactics. This ensures your office runs smoothly and that everyone’s feedback is valued.
3. Efficient Workflow Increases Productivity
Once you’ve nailed down the patient flow, focus on workflow. The more that you can streamline productivity in your office, the easier it will be to be productive. When staff members can work without interruptions, with clear job duties and tasks ahead of them, they can work more effectively.
Detailed and well-developed policies should be put into a manual. The first few iterations of the manual should be open to employee feedback so that the new implementation actually works for everyone.
Working together to agree on implementation can strengthen the entire team. When the team feels involved in the process, it’s easier for everyone to agree to new routines than accepting things that are handed down.
4. Make Insurance Reimbursements Easier
If you want your office to stay open, you need to ensure that the revenue process is smoother. Your financial stability means making sure that each phase of the revenue cycle is accounted for.
You need to get payments quickly but also lower the burden that you put on your billing staff. Keeping down administrative costs is as important as bringing in money. More than anything, you need to also keep a positive rapport with your patient through the process.
Make sure that eligibility and verification are handled before you offer services. This allows patients to make informed decisions about their care and decide whether or not they can afford what they’re getting.
Claim follow-up and bill reconciliation (CHANGE LINK TO: https://www.doctors-management.com/top-10-billing-mistakes-made-by-medical-practices/) need to be able to be done automatically whenever possible. The more that you can automate, the more time your staff will have to complete the other tasks that keep your office running.
5. Build Better Budgets
Bringing money in is important, but ensuring that you’re not wasting any of the money that you earn is also important. As more offices are pressured to implement high-tech solutions and buy more technology, small offices struggle to keep up with larger practices. Keep your costs lean and you’ll be able to provide great service that attracts patients.
Medical supplies are a vital and expensive element of any practice. It’s important to balance buying and saving with bulk while not buying what you don’t need. Keep a log of things with a shelf life to ensure that you don’t have to throw anything out.
Office equipment helps with productivity but can be a costly expense. You can reduce costs on everyday purchases as well as equipment investments by belonging to a PowerBuying program (LINK: https://www.doctors-management.com/services/practice-operations/power-buying-program/) that focuses exclusively on medical practices.
The more that you cut spending, the more you’ll be able to invest in growing your business and paying employees competitive wages.
Medical Office Management Can Improve Efficiency
While medical office management can’t improve the care or the quality of services, they can lay the groundwork for better service. By implementing plans to get staff to communicate better and to bill more smoothly, patients will feel the trickle-down of those impacts. Patient retention is a serious issue for many medical offices and so much of it comes down to how efficiently the office runs.
If you think it’s time to assess the efficiency of your own office, check out our step-by-step guide.