Is Your Practice Running As Efficiently As It Could Be?
Many healthcare providers are continually trying to bring in more patients due to declining reimbursements. You are probably asking yourself, “How do I find more time to see more patients?” That’s why we have come up with our top five ways to increase efficiency in your practice.
- Create and use EHR templates.
Almost all EHR systems have templates. These are customizable forms that will help you and your team collect patient data faster and keep it all organized. If used properly, these templates will reduce typing, which will improve both your and your staff’s efficiency. Templates will also help you collect the appropriate documentation required to bill each visit. Of course, this is assuming you have set up your templates to include the necessary information in the templates. If you need assistance with this, consult with a healthcare compliance expert.
- Enter patient data while you talk.
Physicians often wonder why they are not able to see more patients - and it's because they are spending so much non-patient facing time on each visit. We know many physicians don't like to type while speaking with their patients, but you could consider having someone else there to do it for you. Having a nurse or assistant available allows the note to be typed and completed before the patient leaves the exam room. You can have desktop computers in your exam rooms or mobile laptops that allow your staff to move from room to room.
- Schedule patients accordingly.
Patients tend to arrive late for their appointment. The best way to get around this is to have your scheduling department ask patients to arrive 15-20 minutes early for their appointment. This step alone will help keep your patient schedule on track and reduce late appointments.
Another solution is to create a late policy. We recommend either re-scheduling patients who are 15-20 minutes late or have them be work-ins, i.e., worked into the next available time slot. If you decide to go this route, make sure your patients know the policy beforehand.
Scheduling issues are a common source of physician frustration. As you can see, we created an entire blog post about it here.
- Limit the interruptions.
Assign a designated time slot each day for non-emergency clinical tasks. By handling staff and patient questions during a specified time, you can spend more time with the patient. This step also keeps your patient schedule on track.
- Make your patient portal a benefit, not a burden.
Discover, arrange staff training, and master your patient portal. This feature is usually available through your EHR or Practice Management system. A few of our favorite features often include HIPAA compliant patient messaging, online scheduling, prescription renewals, and patient registration.
We often see clients pay for this feature but either never attempt to use it or use it inefficiently. We’ve also seen where the patient portal created unnecessary chaos because there was no protocol or staff training.
You can read more about the patient portal here.