Medical practices today are facing a larger set of problems than ever before. From increasing patient satisfaction levels to choosing and implementing the best technologies, here are ways that medical offices can improve efficiency.
New technologies and automations have changed how medical professionals approach each problem, which has improved the patient experience with wide-reaching long-term benefits.
Why do you need to improve medical office efficiency?
Good patient experience is only possible in an organized medical office. Medical professionals have tasks that need to be completed and processes that must be followed. The way these tasks and people flow together directly impacts the patient experience. Efficiency drops once these tasks and processes become disorganized, wasting valuable time for everyone. Why not improve medical office efficiency to make a better experience for patients and medical professionals?
New technologies and automations have changed how medical professionals approach each problem, which has improved the patient experience. For example, electronic medical record (EMR) systems have quickly become the industry standard with wide-reaching, long-term benefits.
At the end of the day, it is important to assess which processes and tools work best in your practice. This will look different for each healthcare organization.
8 ways to make your medical office more efficient
No matter your organization type (hospital, clinic, private practice, etc.) here are ways to make your medical office more efficient:
Map the current patient journey
The first step (and a highly critical one at that!) to making your medical office more efficient is taking the time to assess your medical office workflow and mapping out your patients’ journeys.
A patient journey refers to the set of possible events and scenarios, from beginning to end, that a patent goes through. You should determine how you interact with each patient from when they enter the facility to when they leave. Also think about what processes you take when you have a returning patient. This exercise will give you a clear overview of how processes currently work and identify areas that can be adjusted to improve the patient’s overall experience.
Give more autonomy to patients
Medical offices are increasingly putting the power of healthcare ownership in the hands of patients. This also gives the medical staff more time to focus on other tasks. Some examples of this include:
- Giving patients the option to schedule their own appointments
- Providing an online portal for patients to view all of their personal medical information, prescriptions, and previous and upcoming medical visits
- Giving patients the option to receive notifications via voice, text, or email
Most patients these days are comfortable with working digitally. Therefore, giving patients more access to their information and scheduling online is a great way to improve the overall patient experience.
Move to the cloud
Moving electronic medical record (EMR) systems to the cloud can free up the time of your office staff from having to enter, track, and manage patient data manually.
If you are still running an on-premise EMR, you run the risks of slower operation and potential crashes. Cloud-based EMRs increase physician and medical staff productivity. This increased productivity allows medical offices to serve more patients.
What’s more, a cloud-based EMR system helps medical offices cut down on costs since there is no need to keep up with an expensive on-premise system. This means saving on licensing and maintaining your EMR.
Look for a cloud-based EMR that covers all the needs of your medical office and patients for a flat fee. Today, there are many comprehensive systems to choose from.
Outsource/delegate simple tasks
Outsourcing and delegating simple tasks in your office frees up your staff’s workload so they can focus more on improving the patient experience.
Remember the patient journey we talked about earlier? Try listing out the tasks associated with each ‘step’ in that process. Those that lack purpose or that are redundant can be eliminated. See if you’re able to group these steps by what tasks only you can complete and what can be outsourced or delegated to another member of your team. For example, data collection and patient education can be delegated to trained administrative staff.
You can start automating simple tasks with technology. This makes it possible to work much faster than with just your office staff. Using the right software is one of the best ways to improve your medical office efficiency. Some software might even track performance so that offices can more quickly detect where time is being lost. Some of the best tasks to automate in a medical office are:
- Automatic prescription dispensing services
- Patient reminders
- Employee timekeeping
Send customer service surveys
Keeping an open dialogue between your medical office and patients is a surefire way to improve efficiency. You can learn patient pain points directly from the source and, depending on how often patients bring up these pain points, where to prioritize improvements.
Sending surveys and making sure your medical office has a presence on Google and review sites like Yelp can also open the door for new patients to the office.
Use EHR voice recognition & transcription software
One of the biggest efficiency boosters is speech recognition. Some medical offices still do not use speech recognition to speed up dictation and other daily tasks – and many who do use speech recognition don’t get the most out of it. Speech recognition software can revolutionize how your medical office works, allowing you to get tasks completed without even having to touch a button or keyboard!
Using Fusion Narrate, medical professionals can take advantage of multiple transcription and voice dictation features. Learn more about it here and how to get it working for your organization.
Searching for speech recognition software?
Start recording your dictations accurately with our easy-to-use platform, Fusion Narrate.
This seems simple, but setting goals is such an important step to improve medical office efficiency. Setting goals, and working hard to achieve them, helps to maintain consistency within your facility. You can also use goals to progressively increase your responsibilities and improve your efficiency over time as a result.
When you’ve finally mapped the patient journey, delegated tasks, and automated the other tasks, try setting some goals for the medical office to achieve. Doing this helps each office employee perform their best in their role. This can lead to a happier, more productive workplace.
We hope these eight different ways to improve your medical office efficiency have been helpful.
If you are interested in implementing voice dictation as part of your optimized process, you can learn more here. We’ll show you what voice recognition can do for your practice!