Running a successful medical practice is not an easy job—long wait times, dissatisfied patients, disorganized records, frazzled employees are just a few obstacles private practitioners have to face. These problems can be a considerable hindrance to the long-term development of private medical practices.
If you’re in the same boat as many other medical practitioners, then bringing outside help in to help you redesign your office’s workflows might be a smart idea.
What is a Workflow Redesign?
Every organization and business runs on a specific process and routine to complete essential tasks. This is referred to as the workflow. How efficiently a company or organization runs depends on how effective the workflow of the organization is. If the workflow process is not on par in medical practices, you end up with problems like long wait times, ineffective documentation, and delayed billing. In private medical practices, workflows fall into two main categories:
- The flow of patients itself and the activities required for meeting their needs.
- The flow of patient information, both medical and financial.
Seven Signs You Need to Reconsider Your Workflow
How do you know that it’s time to change the workflow of your clinic? These are the tell-tale signs that will tell you when:
- Incomplete patient records: Incomplete patient records might be the oldest problem in the book for private medical practices since its inception. The patient database must extensively cover medical and financial information, which becomes complicated when your practice crosses a certain patient influx threshold. Incomplete patient records are problematic because it causes problems in patient diagnosis and follow-ups.
- Frequent billing mistakes: While medical practices have humanitarian purposes, there is no denying that money keeps things spinning. Billing is a vital part of sustaining your clinic correctly, and if there are frequent mistakes in billing, you’ll find yourself behind payments, salaries, and rent. That’s something you don’t want.
- Long patient wait times: If there’s one thing, patients hate more than anything else is long wait times. This problem is not always caused by a high patient influx but ineffective scheduling and a lack of proper communication. Whatever the reason might be, it gives your practice a bad reputation.
- Poor reviews and feedback from patients: In the private medical practice industry, status is everything. If you’re receiving poor reviews and feedback from your patients, it’s not good news. Poor patient reviews can stem from one or more factors, so a specialist needs to identify the problems.
- Low patient retention: Some clinics have a difficult time with patient retention, which is a disadvantage, since returning patients keep most private clinics running. If you’re facing this problem, you need to address it immediately as it affects your business long-term.
- You spend more time navigating records than face-to-face with patients: A doctor needs to connect with the patient and gain their trust and confidence. If you’re spending more time looking at your notes than the patients themselves, you’ll be unable to build the necessary rapport. By reorganizing your filing system with a specialist’s help, you can overcome this issue.
- Employee burnout: If your clinic is not managed correctly, then your staff will burn out sooner or later. A consultant can help you assign and monitor their tasks more effectively to avoid these kinds of scenarios.
Different workflow solutions benefit different businesses. In these situations, it’s best to bring in a consultant to restructure your workflow.
However, for private medical practices, bringing in a consultant team to revitalize your EMR system and training might be the best solution. EMR stands for Electronic Medical Records, and this system data compiles and systematically categorizes data to help the physicians and staff of a clinic. EMR allows for higher quality medical care and eliminates the elemental root level workflow problems.
A consultant would complete an assessment of how your office is using its EMR. Based on the evaluation, the consultant helps identify issues, recommends new workflows, and trains staff to use EMR software more efficiently. As an individual medical practice, consultants help create a workflow that makes sense for your office.
If you want to know more about EMR consulting, click here to learn more about NextGen. This article will outline workflow redesign basics and give you an idea if it’s time for your business to leverage them.
Leveraging the Right Workflow for You
Trying a different workflow for your clinic might not be easy, but it’s worth it. If you’re using EMR but still facing the problems discussed above, then it’s time to make changes to your practice. An EMR consultant can assist and guide you along the way.