Practical tips for eliminating unnecessary steps and time-sappers in your daily operations.
Cheryl Bisera“A stitch in time saves nine”-By rescuing a mishap early on, you save multiple times what it will cost you if left unchecked. Wouldn’t it be nice to save time and money while reducing frustration in your practice by solving problems that are downright annoying? You absolutely can!
Here are four ways to eliminate unnecessary steps and time-sappers in your daily operations. These actions will make patient care a more streamlined and pleasurable experience for you and your patients while boosting practice profitability.
Physicians are at the top tier of revenue producers and salary scales in practices. Protect that investment by keeping physicians doing what only they can do: hire a scribe for charting in the EHR in real time. This best practice has shown to increase physician productivity, patient satisfaction and charting accuracy. Be aware that physicians must still review and sign off on all charting and that hiring for this new position should be done with care. Pre-med students and existing staff who are familiar with the terminology of your dermatology practice are sometimes good candidates. Keep expectations realistic in knowing it will take 1-2 months for a scribe to acclimate to your particular practice.
Too often physicians step into the exam room only to find that the patient and/or room are not ready for them. If the intake nurse knows it’s likely the physician will want to perform a biopsy, why not get the kit out? Does the patient need to undress for the physician examine? Back office staff need to be sure they are doing everything they can to keep doctors and patient visits moving forward without preventable glitches and time-sappers.
NEXT: Standardize exam rooms and establish a morning huddle
Do all that you can to have products and tools in the exact same place in every room, every day. When a doctor or staff member needs to reach for something, it should be there. Period. For a physician to search for a tool or product is a tremendous waste of time and energy that saps profits while detracting from the patient experience, practice image and physician satisfaction.
A quick overview of the day’s patient load and communication between staff members can go a long way. Get on the same page, head off schedule glitches early, and prepare for what lies ahead. This quick team meeting can build morale and reduce miscommunication-a big win-win! This practice is easy to let slide, so it must be built into your schedule with intention and considered a high priority.
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Time is money, and physician time is at an absolute premium in any dermatology practice. By keeping doctors doing what requires their expertise, and by delegating related care and services, practices can increase patient and physician satisfaction while boosting productivity and profitability.
Start by identifying the time-sappers in your dermatology practice and prioritizing them by which ones you believe cost you the most. Tackle them one at a time if necessary, so long as you are making these changes consistently you are on your way to becoming and remaining a best dermatology practice!