When patient demand is high, few things matter more to an organization than productivity and efficiency. Unfortunately, most healthcare organizations struggle on this front. Finding solutions could mean the difference between falling behind and increasing profitability.
If you want to increase productivity within your company and transform your processes to be more efficient, it starts with a deep dive into your approach. You’ll want to establish specific benchmarks, eliminate redundancies, avoid silos, and recruit the right people.
In this article, we’ll explore each of these critical steps to help put you on a positive trajectory.
4 Productivity And Performance Tips
As you think about productivity and efficiency within your organization, make sure you’re prioritizing the right action steps. Here are several tips that will have you moving in a positive direction:
1. Set Benchmarks
You can’t possibly be as productive and efficient as you want to be without having a concrete idea of what it means. In other words, don’t just say “we want to increase productivity.” Instead, attach a number to it: “We want to see 10 percent more patients on a daily basis.”
Benchmarks give you direction. And with the right key performance indicators (KPIs) in place, you can easily track your progress in real-time. For these benchmarks to be effective, you need the right data collection methods. Thankfully, data accessibility isn’t a problem in today’s world. There’s software for everything. Find the right tools for gathering data and then use your pre-established benchmarks to gauge your performance in key areas. This will give you a clear indication of where you need to improve and iterate.
2. Eliminate Redundancies
Few things inhibit productivity more than redundancies. When you recognize this, it changes everything.
“Healthcare professionals know that every minute counts when it comes to dealing with patients,” hospital administration expert Diana Hope writes. “A moment’s delay could mean a loss of life, so it’s important for clinics and hospitals to maintain a steady workflow and shorten queues by getting rid of duplicate data.”
Eliminating redundancies is usually done by strategically implementing the right software. For example, tools like ScanSTAT is one solution that makes it easier for hospitals and healthcare organizations to manage health information by improving efficiency around document filing, prior authorizations, chart abstraction, insurance verification, etc. As long as you set the system up properly and establish the right parameters, ScanSTAT keeps you grounded.
3. Care Software
Then there’s care software that arms doctors and nurses with the information they need to properly accommodate as many patients as possible. You can even use software to eliminate redundancies with discharge, ensuring patients don’t overextend their stay and unnecessarily tie up resources that could be given to other patients.
Forcura is a great example of an intuitive care management software that has a robust set of features. It keeps you organized with secure document management, streamlined workflows, medical record tracking, collaboration portals, and even a referral platform for streamlining your referrals from multiple sources and putting them in one accessible location.
4. Avoid Silos
Silos are a huge danger lurking within most healthcare organizations. Because of the nature of healthcare, it’s natural for organizations to split up into departments and specialties. However, you can’t let this impact your internal communication and transparency.
“Given that healthcare needs are constantly evolving, it helps to let everyone in the organization weigh in on decisions that can impact the efficiency of the entire organization,” Hope mentions. “Having monthly meetings involving the heads of each department can provide important insights into how to best improve your healthcare services and determine what it is you need to discard.”
We’re not advocates for holding more meetings overall. (In fact, reducing the frequency of meetings across the board is a good way to eliminate wasted time and supercharge productivity.) However, one good cross-departmental meeting per month will help everyone stay on the same page. If nothing else, it helps gather other people’s insights and crowdsource new ideas.
5. Recruit the Right People
You can do everything right from a process standpoint, but it all comes down to people. And that starts with recruiting the right people.
Most healthcare companies recruit based on experience, academics, and resumes. And while you definitely need people who are qualified, don’t confuse past accomplishments with the likelihood of future success. The reality is that you’ll get more out of people who show signs of being ambitious and having the right attitude. These are people who you can easily mold into highly productive members of the team. (They’re also easier to retain, which leads to lower turnover and less pressure to continually acquire fresh talent.)
When recruiting, don’t focus so much on the resume and application. Instead, prioritize interviews. With virtual meeting technology, there’s no reason you can’t set aside 10 hours per week and engage with 25 to 30 applicants. You’ll learn more in a 20-minute discussion than reading a 20-page application.
Putting it All Together
Productivity and efficiency are at the heart of everything you do as an organization. You can have all of the latest innovations and newfangled strategies, but if individual team members aren’t performing at the highest level, you’ll always be one step behind. By implementing the tips mentioned above and continuing to iterate, you can be successful.