One of the biggest challenges that I hear from physicians is the inefficiency of the office function, that patients are waiting in the lobby 30-45 minutes – why can’t they turn the room quicker? Why isn’t there effective communication? Why isn’t the patient’s file there? Why isn’t it up-to-date? Why aren’t the lab results available?
Business Process Consulting
For a medical practice, we use business process consulting to optimize the physician’s face-time with the patient while still maintaining all of the other areas of the business. This looks at everything from patient scheduling to the staff being able to prep the patients, so that when they physician walks into the room – whether they use a scribe or they’re making their own notation in the patient’s medical records. Verify that the lab requests, that all of the treatment planning has been communicated to either the nurse or the CNA, or the labs need to be drawn so that they can counsel that patient for the next step in the process, which then allows the physician to go onto the next patient.
So really, looking at business processes is to say: How do I streamline what we’re doing so that we are maximizing our outcomes? Both for patient satisfaction and for employee satisfaction, and obviously for financial reasons, you’ve got to have documentation that can be effectively coded so that it can be billed cleanly, so that you are not sitting out there with receivables that you cannot collect on. How are they handling their patients’ accounts? Are they collecting the deductibles and co-pays up-front? You know, so it’s looking at all of the internal process to see where – without really cutting corners, but just having individuals understand how to handle the business – creates the efficiency and the flow.
Scheduling is a universal problem within practices. Most of them will use a very generic 15-minute slot – there’s not a whole lot of thought that’s put into it, but it depends on the type of business or the type of medical practice, and the acuity level of the patient that needs to be examined. So we do time studies, and we drill that down into the type of patient, or the acuity of the patient, that can be expected to be seen during that period of time. We look at scheduling and staff-scheduling – we look at the skill-sets and what we’re asking them to do. How much redundancy is actually happening in the practice, and where can technology assist in a lot of these areas?
The best way to get started is with a medical practice assessment to uncover the opportunities for improvement. With the assessment, we can put together a plan for improvement. For more information and to reach Beau Donegan for to discuss your medical practice complete this form (select practice assessment).