Owning a medical practice takes a lot of work, especially planning a workflow that works for everybody. Hiccups can arise from anywhere, affecting staff, patients and revenue.
The problem is, most clinics know there will always be problems, therefore trying to fix any or all of them is a bigger waste of time than simply dealing with it day to day. Is this true? How do you know if your workflow is actually working for you or if it could be doing more?
Do You Have an Optimal Workflow?
The basics of workflow optimization always revolve around how your patients and staff feel in your office. Do they feel hurried or encounter bottlenecks? Are you working from the top down or as a cohesive team?
Some elements to consider when it comes to your clinic, team and workflow:
Quantifying, qualifying and recording many of these points can set the tone for how a workflow is doing. If staff are repeating the same questions to the same patient, they are working on top of one another and the patient gets annoyed, feeling like another statistic rather than a human being.
Ensuring there is a logical flow for the patient from the moment they walk into the office not only creates a better experience for them, but also ensures staff don’t waste time and bottlenecks don’t arise. Equipping staff with the right technology and procedures also helps them establish an efficient workflow that works for them and your patients.
Can Your Office Workflow Do More?
A logical medical office workflow includes appointment scheduling, patient check-in, an exam, check-out and a follow-up. All the steps in between, however, are what determine the optimization of your workflow.
It’s important to look at key elements that will ultimately make the difference in the long run. Mapping out the patient “journey” from the moment they walk into your practice is a great start in identifying potential hiccups. You can address these through staff feedback and researching if there is a potential technological fix to augment efficiency.
To help you better understand the elements to tackle for an optimal workflow, HealthInsight have come up with a great Workflow Assessment Guide.