Improving the workflow at a healthcare clinic won’t just save the practice money. It will also improve providers’ abilities to care for their patients, ensuring the best patient outcomes and even attracting new business to the clinic. Read on to find four tips for improving the workflow of medical clinics that will improve efficiency and allow providers to offer even more exceptional care.
4 Tips for Improving the Workflow of Your Clinic
Buy the Right Equipment
Mobile Medical Carts make it much easier to keep track of patient information. Mobile computer stations can be used to do everything from registering patients to altering their medical charts, changing their medication orders, and more without requiring doctors and nurses to drop everything they’re doing to find a computer. Look for a medical cart that’s easy to manoeuvre with a slim profile but still has all the features healthcare providers need to document treatment plans and provide medications on the spot.
There’s more to running a healthcare clinic than just examining patients and coming up with treatment plans. While many aspects of clinical practice require the supervision of a trained physician, some can be delegated to physicians assistants, nurses, and administrative staff.
There’s no need for doctors to perform basic tasks such as taking vital signs, providing patients with normal test results, or making copies of educational materials. Instead, choose the right skilled staff member and delegate this kind of repetitive work to a nurse, physicians assistant, or administrator. That way, doctors can focus on those aspects of patient care that require their expertise.
Identifying and eliminating inefficiencies is a great way to improve workflow. If, for example, the administrative staff is being swamped with questions from patients about billing confusion, it makes more sense to fix the underlying problem that is causing the confusion than it does to streamline receptionists’ workflows to accommodate it.
One great way to identify inefficiencies is to request task lists from all staff members. It will offer insight into how each of them is spending his or her time and whether there are ways to manage that time better by cutting out redundancies or eliminating inefficiencies.
Improve Patient Flow
Clinics need to provide care to a wide range of patients who all have different needs. Make sure to allocate sufficient time in doctors’ schedules for each patient to avoid unnecessary delays.
If patient visits are scheduled to begin every 20 minutes but they routinely require at least 30 minutes of care, it doesn’t make sense to push every other appointment on the calendar back by 10 minutes. It makes much more sense to assume that each patient will require 30 minutes of the doctor’s time. It may seem like this will create wasted time, but in reality, it will allow doctors to remain on schedule, streamlining their workflows and improving patient satisfaction as a happy consequence.
The Bottom Line
Running a medical clinic can be stressful, especially if the clinic isn’t operating at peak efficiency and patient satisfaction rates are falling. Eliminating inefficiencies and improving doctor and staff workflows to reflect the reality of patients’ needs, not the administration’s assumptions about what they will need, can help. So can purchasing the right equipment, automating and organizing record-keeping systems so that doctors and staff members can take notes on the go, and checking in with staff about the delegation of responsibilities and how they spend their time.
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