When your livelihood is based off of the amount of patients you’re able to see in a given day, it only makes sense to work as efficiently as possible. However, there also needs to be a balance between good patient care and a reasonable turnaround of exam rooms. So what can you do as a physician or practice manager to get the largest amount of people through your office while still maintaining quality patient care? Here are three things you may want to consider doing in order to have a more efficient medical practice.
Use Electronic Medical Records
Before electronic medical records were around, it was easy for patient files to get misplaced. Trying to run down lab results or a radiology report while a patient was sitting in your exam room is the last thing you want to do as a physician. This is where having electronic medical records makes you life a whole lot easier. By having all patient information in one centralized location, it eliminates the possibility of losing patient files while also allowing other medical professionals to input their own findings on your patient so you have a more complete view of your patient’s overall health.
Eliminate Time-Wasting Activities
It’s easy to get distracted between patients or even while talking with patients during their appointments. While these small gaps in efficiency may not seem like they’re causing you significant losses in time, spending just a few minutes on non-work related items between patients or while with patients can really add up. Not only this, but there are plenty of other activities you do during the day that don’t actually benefit your practice.
Monica Gomez, a contributor to MedicalPracticeInsider.com, shares that some of these time-wasting activities your practice participates in are having patients do paperwork at the office, coming into work without enough time to prepare for the day, and making your days too full that you don’t allow yourself time to catch up. Consider how you can make changes to eliminate these time-wasting activities.
Delegate Tasks Wisely
While you may not like letting go of some of the tasks you currently do as a provider, there are actually quite a few things you could delegate to other workers within your office to improve efficiency and free up more of your time for patient care. This is why doctors Kevin D. Hopkins and Christine S. Sinsky, contributors to AAFP.org, recommend for physicians to delegate certain documentation tasks to other members of their clinical team. By allowing your nurses or medical assistants to take care of gathering data on your patients and performing the majority of the communication, you can have a much more efficient office as well as more time on your hands for your specific duties.
Even if you feel like your office is running relatively smoothly already, there are always things you can do to improve efficiency and the patient experience. Use the tips mentioned above to have a better run office starting today.