You’d be thankful for a full appointment book, a steady stream of satisfied patients, and engaged staff delivering their best work. On a good day, your practice sustains itself like a well-oiled machine.
The secret to such success of course is efficiency. Behind the scenes, your practice managers are juggling tasks like scheduling patients, running meetings, and coordinating staff communications.
With only so many hours in a day, how do they stay on top of it all? If you manage a clinic, discover six ways that practice managers stay organized so time just flies.
1. Keep the office clear
Your office space should be a source of pride and joy. For patients and employees alike, a well-kept office space reduces stress and facilitates better workflows. Get into the habit of routinely cleaning the office and consolidating unnecessary clutter. A clear office allows everyone to breathe a little easier.
Go digital. If you have piles of paper at the front desk, do they need to be there? Go digital and store records electronically instead when you can.
Give everything a home. Create folders and drawers for every paper record and office supply. If something doesn’t have a specific home, it might be better to toss. Spring isn’t the only season for major cleaning!
Waiting room flow. The waiting room is your clinic’s first impression. Make sure the patient intake process is smooth, like ensuring that patients social distance in line, and maintain an inviting office appearance.
2. Automate repetitive tasks
With only so many hours in a day, practice managers should automate any manual tasks that waste time. Modern tools can alleviate the frustration of constant data entry. Practice managers can focus on their most critical work without compromising the importance of human attention.
Simplify timesheets. Make sure that staff get paid on time for their reported hours. A payroll and timesheet tool can accurately track attendance so your staff receives their correct paycheck every period.
Try cloud-based scheduling software. Creating employee schedules can be a headache. With employee scheduling software, your staff can enjoy flexible work, call out on short notice, and find a replacement so your team can plan accordingly. Save hours of time every month.
3. Streamline internal communications
Communication strategies can make the difference between achieving your team goals or missing important deadlines. Practice managers can stay organized by highlighting the most important communications and making sure that employees can find information on their own. That way everyone can find what they need, when they need it.
Use one central communication app. Are your staff emailing, texting, and using Slack? With a central communication app, the team can receive the most important updates in one convenient app.
Send a weekly recap. Unless an update is important, save the smaller notes for a weekly recap. Share the team’s successes and encourage them to keep up the good work. Refrain from flooding your team’s inbox.
Create a help center. Have you noticed that your staff keep asking the same questions? Create a running FAQ that points them towards recurring topics so they can help themselves.
4. Streamline patient support
Your patients likely have a lot of questions. Before or after their appointment, they might have lingering concerns with their issues. To reduce the number of patient phone calls and emails you might receive — and keep your patients happy — consider ways to frontload your support.
Create a FAQ on your website. Similar to your employee help center, a FAQ on your website can reduce your patient inquiries. Many patients prefer to find their own answers before picking up the phone.
Provide aftercare advice. A tipsheet will help patients feel more confident after their appointment. What to feed their cat after surgery, for example, is super helpful to a worried cat parent.
Send patient surveys. After the patient leaves your clinic, send them a survey to provide feedback. You can keep the conversation going without interrupting your daily operations.
5. Work on the big picture
Efficiency and time management go hand in hand. At the start of the day, make a list of your most pressing tasks and commit to completing them first. Once you conquer the most impactful task, the rest of the day will feel more manageable. Productivity apps and calendaring are your friends.
Try a productivity app. Popular productivity apps like Asana, Trello, and Monday are great if you need support with visualizing your workload. These apps put the big picture into greater focus.
Live by the calendar. Team calendars are a transparent way to keep everyone mindful of meetings and individual workloads. Calendar notifications prevent tasks from slipping through the cracks too.
Plan ahead. The beauty of efficiency is that it frees up more time. With your extra bandwidth, consider plotting out your projects for the following week. Being proactive can help you get ahead of roadblocks and secure extra support.
6. Lean on the team
Your employees should never feel alone in their work. Even if you only have one or two receptionists, they should always feel properly supported to create processes, take risks, and make mistakes. The most efficient practice managers understand that collaboration is the backbone to a thriving clinic.
Use meetings. Team meetings are the perfect opportunity to surface issues that are slowing your staff down. Perhaps the voicemails are piling up and patients are getting ignored. Once management is aware, they can implement a better phone system.
Oursource manual work. Your clinic can’t transition to paperless records overnight. Hire temporary help or interns to consolidate your mountains of paperwork.
Delegate to the team. Maybe a practice manager is performing work that is better left to a nurse or care provider. Take notice of every task that your team has to perform, and make sure they are given to the most qualified person. Team efficiency means that people are doing what they were trained and hired for.
Better days ahead
Clinic life by nature is hectic. Your staff are supporting patients in distress and accommodating a million requests. With a few tweaks to their working habits, practice managers can expect to get ahead of the chaos and create memorable experiences for patients and employees alike.
Learn more ideas when you download The Practice Manager’s Guide to a Better Patient Experience and have those perfect days more often.