For those who work in the healthcare sector, the knowledge that operating a clinic efficiently is a great way to attract new patients and retain old ones is no secret. Here are some tips that can help make a healthcare center an efficient one.
1. Prioritize Patient Retention
While outreach to new patients is important, being able to maintain the business of current patients is vital to the success of any efficient healthcare practice. If the turnover of people in your practice is high, word will get around about that and about why people left. Instead, it is a good idea to work to make your practice one that clients join and then want to remain at. One way to make your clinic a place patients want to come back to is by making each individual know that he or she is important to you and that you remember and care about each patient’s history, current issues, and future well-being. One great way to optimize personal connection with patients is to turn to companies which focus on helping organizations provide optimum communication and information to patients so they receive the most personalized care. For example, the company Solutionreach focuses on personalized provision of information and patient connection through a cloud network. Using this type of technology can help healthcare providers do everything from offering reminders, getting the right information to the right person at the right time, helping with effective communication, and meeting any other patient retention need to help ensure patients are fully satisfied with their care.
2. Use a Good Scheduling System
Whether your practice is small or large, efficient scheduling of appointments is paramount to running an efficient practice. Many practices hire low-paid employees to manually schedule appointments, which is a big mistake in terms of efficiency. After all, getting in the maximum number of appointments without overloading physicians or making patients feel rushed through is a key to balance keeping patients with being both efficient and profitable for everyone involved. Instead, develop a top-notch scheduling system with well-paid employees to handle it and ensure that your entire staff understands how the system works. Ideally, make sure this system is computerized rather than manual, too.
3. Confirm Appointments
While the practice of confirming appointments can be daunting and time consuming, it also ups the efficiency of a practice. Life is busy, and it can be easy for patients to let an upcoming appointment slip their mind. However, reminder calls often help with this. Setting up a system where the calls are automated by computer can cut down on employees needing to take the time to make these calls, but if that isn’t an option for your clinic and confirming every appointment simply won’t work, there are other options. Consider confirming only specific types of appointments, such as new patient appointments and appointments that take a large block of time. No-shows cost more than the resources your practice will dedicate to reminders.
4. Dictate Progress Notes in the Exam Room
Rather than having physicians write or dictate notes after an appointment, encourage them to dictate the notes there in the exam room with the patient present. While this may seem awkward at first, it is a huge time saver and patients often appreciate it because it offers a good summary of the appointment and opens communication. Moreover, this practice cuts down on the likelihood of illegible notes from physicians writing in a hurry before moving on to the next patient, meaning better quality care at each visit.
5. Offer Incentives
Practices are most effective when everyone works together to meet goals rather than just an ambitious few. However, people’s lives are busy and prioritizing ambition toward a career can fall to the backburner if there aren’t specific rewards and benefits for doing so. This is where a great incentive program can really help a practice. Incentives help employees realize their work is crucial to the business and does not go unrecognized or unappreciated. Likewise, meeting a goal and being rewarded for it tends to make most people more likely to be ambitious. Realistically, the improved efficiency will save more money than the incentive program costs, thus netting a higher profit.
Following these and other efficiency tips can help your clinic become a place where employees and patients are both satisfied and can work together to meet common goals. Likewise, an efficient practice is more successful in the long run.