Over the last couple of years, not only did more people start becoming aware of their health, but their stressful lifestyles also made the number of doctor visits for adults increase dramatically. Since the increase was near immediate, most healthcare facilities had little to no time to prepare for the never-ending influx of patients.
That’s not to say the problem is with the number of patients and that people should visit their healthcare providers less. Instead, it makes it the medical offices’ responsibility to accommodate for the rapid increase in patients. This involves streamlining the entire process of providing healthcare services to patients from the moment they call in to book an appointment and onwards during their recurring visits.
Confirmations are Key
The biggest problem that arises when it comes to a hectic work environment like the healthcare industry is the lack of proper communication between the service providers and patients. It’s essential that you make confirming patient appointments, bills, and general and medical information a priority in your clinic or private practice.
While this might feel like unnecessary additional work at a time where your clinic is already overworked, it can actually benefit you. Confirming appointments and details allows you to speed up in-clinic processes and keep your schedule up-to-date if a patient cancels or books an emergency appointment.
The same applies to critical patient information. Most patients would be willing to hand over the needed information either over the phone to one of your employees or online through a secure and private submission form. Patients can also use this to answer questions before their first visit.
Proper Hiring Makes a Difference
Your clinic and the quality of service you can provide your patients are tightly linked to your staff’s efficiency and performance. Every clinic and healthcare facility is different from the next. You need a specialized and strong hiring process to ensure you’re not only hiring people with impressive credentials but also those who fit in well with your work environment.
Your hiring process needs to have the perfect balance between speed and effectiveness. Hiring the right staff members means finding people who are organized, can work as a part of a team and are capable of providing quality healthcare to your patients.
Having a great clinic doesn’t end at having state-of-the-art equipment and highly skilled staff. Most patients and employees expect you to implement and make use of the latest digital healthcare technology. One type of software that a modern clinic cannot function without is electronic medical records (EHR) software.
EMR software allows you to keep a digital version of your patients’ medical records and clinic files. That way, you and your staff can have up-to-date and easy access to any patient’s records without having to comb through thousands of paper documents.
EMR software also allows your patients controlled access to their records. This lets them better understand their condition and general healthcare situation, resulting in more cooperation and higher levels of trust. Additionally, NextGen EMR software helps you run your clinic more effectively and avoid prescription errors as it supports the creation and sharing of electronic prescriptions with patients and their nearby pharmacies and medication providers.
The average time for a patient’s appointment isn’t strictly limited to the duration of treatment or procedure. Even patients coming in to get their flu shot would be around for longer than the five seconds required to administer the vaccine. One way you can cut back on all of this lost time is by practicing appointment grouping.
Appointment grouping combines all non-urgent medical procedures and examinations of a patient into a single appointment. Not only would this benefit your clinic’s work efficiency and streamline operations, but it’s also more convenient for your patients. They only have to schedule time every once in a while instead of several times a month for multiple visits.
Another essential element of appointment planning is making sure the physician, technician, or staff member needed for a specific appointment is free at the time of the appointment. Scheduling software helps you see an overview of all employee schedules easily. That way, patients won’t have to waste time in the waiting room.
Always Ask for Feedback
While there’s a general perception of how a clinic should function, it isn’t completely universal. Your clinic should operate in a way that best suits your patients and the area you generally serve. For instance, what works with a big city clinic might negatively affect a small-town clinic. Ask for patients’ feedback on what they think of the current services you provide and any suggestions that could make the service better for them.