Is your clinic understaffed and overworked? Does the waiting room resemble a war zone filled with screaming children, strewn magazines and inexplicable stains on the walls?
If your office feels more like a whirlwind than an orderly, pleasant place where patients can see a doctor about what ails them, it’s time to do a complete overhaul of your space. Here are just eight changes you can make to ensure better efficiency in your clinic.
1. Create Set Schedules
Don’t ask your nurses, phlebotomists or dental assistants to work crazy schedules where the hours always change. Not only is this bad for employee retention, but it will also result in mix-ups and no-shows that will cause your patients to suffer from your mismanagement.
2. Use Kiosks
Healthcare kiosks have been taking the world by storm. Eliminating long waits at the front desk, patients can check themselves in, describe their symptoms, get waiting times for appointments and even receive prescription information after their visit is complete. Best of all, they can do everything with a swipe of their finger.
3. Have a Chain of Command
In the event of problems or accidents, there should be a clear chain of command that will get things resolved by the appropriate parties. For example, instead of having your receptionist page you about an issue, instruct them to direct their concerns to the head nurse. If the head nurse can’t figure things out, then you can be consulted personally.
4. Get on Social Media
While it’s true that some people will try to use your Facebook account as a diagnostician, many more will provide honest, constructive reviews of your staff, offices and practice. These suggestions can in turn be applied to your clinic for self-improvement.
5. Automate Your Paperwork
A lot of documentation and organization doesn’t need to be done by hand. If you’re still writing, filing and archiving things manually, it’s time to join the 21st century. There are software programs out there that will do the work for you, freeing up your assistants and secretaries to focus on patient care instead of paperwork.
6. Make Use of Highlighters
Create a color code to help you communicate non-verbally with rest of your staff. This simple habit can make a world of difference in how your clinic operates. For example, a red highlighter can stress severe symptoms while a yellow highlighter indicates mild ones. You can also sneak in things like blue lines for troublesome patients or orange dots for repeat patients.
7. Earn More Money
You may be thinking this is easier said than done, but businessmen like Yosef Meystel have made a career out of investing in healthcare opportunities. If you do the same, you can increase your revenue without having to raise prices for a single patient.
8. Keep Your Tools Everywhere
Every room in your clinic should have a stock of pens, paperclips and notepads. Gloves should be available everywhere there’s a drawer. You’ll save a lot of time looking for extra supplies when you keep the tools of your trade well-stocked and well-placed around your work area.
These are just eight ways to run a more efficient clinic. Whether you’re a small-town doctor or a busy physician in a large facility, these tips should be enough to make your life easier and turn your practice around.