With the need for healthcare increasing faster than ever before, providers and managers need tools to keep up with demand, reduce irritating wait times, and deliver high-quality care as quickly as possible.
Improved patient flow will speed up your progress toward reliable, safe, efficient care. Use these five strategies to optimize efficiency in your practice.
Layout, Layout, Layout
The interior layout of your medical practice is essential to good patient flow. You want your patients to move forward through the building without having to backtrack. To achieve this, make sure your reception desk is at the entrance to the office. The area should be large enough so patients can complete paperwork there before moving to the waiting area. From the waiting room, patients should move to the exam rooms and then proceed to a separate exit. Keep the flow in mind if you are building your practice from scratch. If you own an existing medical office, you should consider a remodel and make patient flow a priority.
Everyone in your office should be trained in effective time management techniques — from the receptionists to the physicians. Time management will impact the number of patients that are seen and the overall effectiveness of your practice.
If you notice your practice is continually falling behind schedule, take steps to reevaluate the time set for the different types of appointments in your practice. Write down how long each step of an appointment takes for every appointment that comes in for the week and average out your numbers. Use those numbers to set the length of the appointments and see if it helps your staff stay on time.
Communication is Key
A patient’s time should be viewed as extremely valuable. Their first impression of your practice will not only depend on how long they have to wait to be seen, but the communication they receive from you and your staff.
Build communication into your practice. Have reception greet the patient when they arrive and continually check in with the patients while they are in the waiting room. Inform patients immediately of delays. People are less likely to become frustrated with wait times if you communicate with them.
Electronic Healthcare Records
Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR) is another tool that can help you and your staff stay on top of tasks such as refill requests and insurance checks that come up throughout the day.
Also, consider having your patients fill out medical paperwork on a tablet. Most patients will be significantly faster using a tablet than a pen and paper.
By introducing a virtual medical platform, you can expand your reach, engage patients, and enhance outcomes. From treating common conditions to refilling prescriptions, telemedicine can be used to make your practice run more efficiently. Because telemedicine can allow you to see more patients in less time, it can boost revenue, maximize patient flow, and lead to happier, healthier patients.
Did you know all of the strategies listed above are part of the American Family Care business model?
American Family Care, the nation’s leading franchised provider of urgent care, accessible primary care, and occupational medicine, opened its first clinics in 1982 with the concept of convenient, patient-centric healthcare.
If you want to partner with a visionary leader in the healthcare industry, click here to learn more about franchising opportunities with American Family Care.