Let's face it, 2022 could have been... better.
The healthcare industry is still struggling to find its footing after the pandemic, and this year came with many ups and downs.
You know something in your medical practice needs to change in 2023, but aren't sure where to start.
Fortunately, by implementing these 10 changes, you can bring in more patients and enhance your practice next year:
1. Start with your scheduling
Improving patient flow starts with scheduling.
If seeing a patient every 15 minutes is overwhelming for you, it's okay to switch up your process.
You may wish to consider seeing a patient every 20 minutes and giving yourself 5 minutes for breathing room between each. The less overwhelmed you are, the better you can serve your patients.
You can also make things easier on yourself by investing in scheduling software that integrates with your patient portal and billing systems.
If you're struggling financially, this will also help you cut out the hourly rate of hiring an employee to manage scheduling for you. In the long run, a decent scheduling system can increase your patient flow by 2 or more people per day.
2. Automate appointment confirmations
No-shows are one of the biggest contributors to wasted resources and lost cash flow.
Fortunately, automated emails, text messages, and phone call appointment reminders can help reduce the number of no-shows you experience in your practice. These automated systems can also save you the time spent manually calling patients, and are a quick and efficient way to allow patients to reschedule if something comes up.
3. Implement an incentive system
Incentives are a great way to encourage employees to meet production goals. You can create a system that rewards employees for meeting patient flow goals, such as offering bonuses when they meet their target number of patients per month.
This type of system helps to motivate the team, increase productivity in the practice, reduce wait times, and ultimately improve patient satisfaction.
4. Streamline your processes
Efficiency is the key to running any successful medical practice.
To increase efficiency, take a look at your current processes and see if there are any areas where you can streamline things. Eliminate any systems that are redundant or no longer serving your practice and replace them with competitive features.
For example, you may want to consider having an at-home electronic signature system for patient intake forms. This will reduce the amount of paperwork that needs to be filled out by patients in-office and can help speed up the process by letting them fill everything out in advance.
You'll want to be very granular about this process and really put some thought into how to make it as efficient as possible for your patients. Another example may be using check-off forms so that patients can save the time they would have spent writing out all of their information.
5. Strategize staffing
If you're finding that your staff is overwhelmed or overworked, it may be time to strategize staffing. Review the roles of each employee, determine areas where they can be more efficient, and make sure everyone is doing their part in providing quality patient care.
Having the right number of staff members is also essential for boosting patient flow. If you're understaffed, this could cause long wait times and hinder patient satisfaction. If you're overstaffed, you'll need to grow your patient volume to compensate.
Continually assess your processes to ensure that they make sense, and that each staff member has the skills necessary to handle their assigned tasks.
6. Create a group
Create or join a physicians group. This will allow for the greatest chance of effective management.
Well-managed groups not only provide higher physician incomes for the same amount of business, but they also improve resource utilization.
As a group, you’ll be able to fund better infrastructure, facilities, and technology, as well as offer increased leverage when it comes to negotiating with health plans.
7. Dictate your notes in front of your patients
Dictating your notes in the exam room will feel strange at first, but it's a great way to improve communication and help your patients feel heard.
Not only will this save you time, but it could help reduce transcription costs and billing errors due to transcription mistakes, improving your overall accuracy in the notes.
8. Use handouts to enhance communication
In addition to dictating your notes, handouts are a great way to ensure that patients understand their conditions and treatments.
Most of the time, patients forget what was said in the exam room during a visit. By providing them with written information about their care, you can help make sure they get the most out of every appointment and improve their overall satisfaction and outcomes. This will also reduce the number of unnecessary phone calls for basic questions and prevent patients from resorting to Dr. Google for help.
9. Say goodbye to overtime
Overtime can be a costly issue for any practice, so take the time to analyze why you’re needing extra hours in the first place.
If overtime is needed due to additional appointments, consider adding another physician or nurse practitioner to your staff.
By addressing the root of the problem, you can help reduce overtime and maximize your practice's efficiency. Most of the time, it can be managed by reassigning duties. More balanced workloads equates to more satisfied employees, which trickles down to your patients.
10. Revamp your budget
Regularly reviewing your budget is an essential part of managing your practice. It helps you plan for the future and ensures that you're making the most out of every dollar.
Two of the most important budget items to monitor are salaries and marketing.
One common mistake that medical practices make is tightening salaries to control costs. If you want to keep and attract good employees, equally good pay is essential. Likewise, if you want exceptional staff, you'll have to pay exceptionally.
Another common budgeting mistake that medical practices make is decreasing marketing spend to save money. Decreasing marketing spend to save money is like stopping the clock to save time! It doesn't work. Without marketing spend, you'll lose more money in the long run.
With that in mind, the best way to enhance your marketing practice and bring in more patients next year is by investing in your practice.
When you implement the OPTICS™ framework in your practice, our proven and structured process helps you scale your revenue by building a high-performing business development and marketing team that will execute your vision with competence and precision–without the need for your constant oversight.
This framework is essential to helping you generate the insights needed to grow exponentially in the coming year. To get started, schedule a free strategy call with Bizzuka. We’ll walk through your current strategy, help you recognize where you may be falling short, and determine whether OPTICS™ is a good fit for your organization.