Your clinic is active. People visit you every day and the volume is increasing, not decreasing. While business is good, the workload can often get a bit overwhelming. Sometimes the workload is so much that you and your staff make mistakes and sometimes fall behind. It is normal to face these difficulties when business is good. The following are some ideas to help you keep your staff organized and on track without compromising how well your business is booming in the process.
When it comes to rounding out the workload, one way to make a difference for you and your staff is to make slight changes to the scheduling process. If you just put a few more minutes between the patients, though this may not seem like a lot, it will help to slow things down enough to make a small difference. This small difference will allow you and your staff to catch your breath and put a little more attention to detail when doing things. If necessary, you may even want to add an extra hour to the end of the day to make sure your patient volume remains the same. An alternative way to think about this is to schedule patients a half-hour apart in the mornings, but towards the evenings, schedule them about 45-minutes apart instead. This helps because as you hit that late afternoon lull in energy, your staff will not feel so overwhelmed by the pace.
Hire a New Staff Member
When the work gets so overwhelming that your staff members are starting to make serious mistakes, then it may be time to consider hiring a new staff member to help pick up the slack. Since you do not want to compromise quality, the new staff member can learn to help out in many ways to take some of the pressure off other staff members who are falling behind. Then again, you might only need this new staff member to come in a couple times a week to take care of authorizations or excess billing. This will free things up for your other staff members to have time to catch up with other important functions they perform around the clinic.
Take the Phones Offline Longer
A lot of doctor’s offices and large clinics have people there to answer the phones, except maybe during lunch. Dealing with random calls that interrupt other processes that your secretaries perform can turn into a backflow of work quickly—especially when the phone is ringing off the hook. To avoid this type of problem, feel free to forward the phones to an answering service for more than two-hour for lunch. In fact, it may be far more productive to outsource your calls to an inbound answering service that has the in-house staff to make you and your staff’s job easier. Without all the interruptions of incoming calls, your staff will be free to better budget their time to get their other work completed as expected.
Sometimes what leaves a clinic in disarray is an overwhelming lack of leadership. Since no one in charge knows how to take charge, things that should get done are left undone. This is not how a business thrives. With a little leadership training for you and the senior members of your staff, this can go a long way towards helping to foster strategic alignment around the clinic. This will not only improve the efficiency and organization around the clinic, it will give the impression that your clinic is now more professional in how it operates than before. This can be excellent for business.
Running a clinic with an overworked, under-disciplined staff is no way to do business. To get your clinic to function like a well-oiled machine, you must think more carefully about how the office workflow is being carried out. By taking notes on areas where things get mucked up, you can begin to take charge and help improve the efficiency and organizational aspects behind these procedures for producing a far better outcome. In the end, your clinic will be a better place to work because of your willingness to take the time to iron out these issues.