7 Medical Office Management Ideas for a More Efficient Practice
Having a small medical practice doesn’t mean you aren’t busy. On the contrary, you’re likely wearing several hats, working to ensure that patients, employees, and the doctors within the practice are happy and getting everything done.
Medical board statistics show that patient complaints have been increasing rapidly. For example, complaints and medical license investigations filed against California physicians and surgeons have soared 69% from 2009 to 2018. Unhappy patients can lead to stressful and expensive medical board investigations.
The last thing you want is an office that runs ineffectively, with both patients and staff having issues. Instead, look for ways to improve your medical office management.
Learn more about simple steps to take that can transform your office from disorganized and difficult to a consistent flow that everyone can appreciate.
1. Hold Regular Staff Meetings to Increase Effectiveness
Meetings are an essential part of any organization or company, including those for individual’s working in a doctor’s office. Although your mission likely won’t change and will always focus on helping individuals maintain their health, it’s helpful to have regular meetings.
Meetings on a consistent basis allow you and your staff members to touch on topics such as:
- Changes the practice is undergoing
- Things for employees to be aware of
- How the organization wants to solve a current or ongoing issue
It’s important to focus on how the meetings are run. Find solutions to issues and ask for employee input.
Don’t make the meetings solely about blame or grievances, and you’ll find a boost in office morale.
2. Have a Telephone System in Place for Your Medical Office Management
As a medical office manager, you feel that every time the phone rings, it needs to get answered. While it’s crucial to take calls and ensure that everyone’s needs get met, there are cases when that just cannot happen.
To help field calls and ensure they get to the right individual, ensure that a phone menu system gets set up. This can answer caller questions and help your staff members field the urgent calls that come in.
A phone system can include non-emergency information such as:
- Office hours
- How to get a refill
- A system to get folks over to the correct doctor or nurse
These extra steps can keep your employees from feeling overworked while ensuring that patients get the answers to their questions in a quick and timely manner. Consider an answering service for medical doctors as an alternative way to field calls and make the best use of everyone’s time.
3. Encourage Everyone to Go Paperless and Cut Down on Clutter
Going paperless is more than a trend that sounds good and saves the environment. When it comes to working in a doctor’s office, this little step can keep you organized and work effectively.
Going paperless with your patients, employees and even vendors ensure that you’re not spending time creating copies of the paper, leaving yourself open to problems with patient information getting spread around or employees missing a vital memo.
By using email communication for interoffice activities and a paperless system for patient records, you combat these issues before they become problems. If you haven’t made this move already, see how doing so makes your office run more efficiently.
4. Keep Employees Educated and Updated
Keeping employees updated and trained on best new practices as they become available is essential. It sets your office apart from those that don’t make education a priority and leaves your patients feeling like they’re in good hands.
When possible, see when you can have trainers come into the practice, and make time with employees as available and needed. If you have the chance to train everyone on alternative procedures, this makes the best use of everyone’s time.
When it comes to medical office practices, keeping everyone updated on changes in the industry is essential and an excellent way to stay in compliance.
5. Cross Train When Possible, Including Yourself
If you’re already a medical office manager, cross-training sounds like something you’re not looking forward to doing, but feel compelled to do so anyway. Start viewing cross-training as a chance to relive staff and make sure you’re fully covered, even on days when people call in.
Employees are the most important aspect of your organization. Once you’re able to make the most of your role and support them, you’ll discover they’ll have a newfound respect for you.
This means they’re likely to help you out when you ask for it and feel dedicated to an organization that values them.
6. Make a Point to Manage Outside Your Office, Not Just In It
Although sitting in your office and handling the phone calls, emails, and various needs that come up through the day is part of your job, so is being out around the practice. This allows you to observe how everyone is doing and gives you a better idea of what works.
When you’re interacting with patients and employees alike, you’ll get the opportunity to see:
- Where you’re short-staffed
- Areas where problems occur
- Patient-employee interactions
Seeing this information with your own eyes rather than relying on hearsay helps you work with your staff and manage the organization with a hands-on approach.
7. Lead By Example to Help Others Learn
Another benefit of being out of your office and taking charge is showing your employees what type of example you’re looking for. Stepping out and helping the receptionist manage a difficult patient is leading by example and shows your employees how they should act in similar situations.
This gives them additional confidence to do more in their jobs and makes them feel that you do understand the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. Leading by example, makes your medical practice a better place to work at.
There’s a lot that goes into medical office management and ensuring that employees can work their best. By implementing some of these changes, you can help them succeed.
For other ways to help your practice succeed, check out our blog on the top 10 reasons to hire bilingual employees. You’ll help your patients feel understood and bring a greater clientele to your office.