How do you know your practice is suffering from poor time management skills?
Poor time management hides in plain sight. It revolves around the stereotypical problems that any practice faces, but your responsibilities can make it difficult to identify problems in time management. Take a look at the top five indicators of poor time management in your practice now.
Staff Members Have to Reschedule Patients Because of Office-Related Problems Weekly.
Patients will reschedule, but when your staff must reschedule patients due to problems in the office, time management is missing. This single factor could force a patient to abandon your practice in favor of your competitors.
Your Patients Spend Excess Time in the Waiting Room.
An efficient practice should focus on having less than a 10-minute wait. If established patients are waiting more than 10-minutes, their stress levels will grow. Unfortunately, this leads to animosity and poor quality of care. Patients should only be in the waiting room when an exam room is unavailable.
Your Staff Manually Enters Registration Form Data.
In the digital world, manual entry of information is synonymous with errors and wasted time. Your staff members should be able to enter form data within 60 seconds, during the time a patient is signing in. The best way to achieve this speed is by having patient register in advance through electronic patient forms. This also helps to reduce the incidence of missing information. The receptionist only needs to have a patient verify information, and the visit can begin.
Patients Are Not Seen in the Order of Arrival.
Unless a critically ill patient arrives, patients should be seen in the order of arrival. Critically ill patients should be transported to an appropriate care setting, such as an emergency department, as soon as possible. However, waiting for a patient to explain his or her critical problems causes delays and compromises the patient’s safety. Fortunately, electronic patient forms can make the transfer process nearly instantaneous, and patients can continue to be seen in the order of arrival.
Staff Members Routinely Stay Late to “Finish Up.”
Your practice has set hours of service for a reason. Staff members should only stay after closing to shut down computers and lock up. While staying late seems like a way to improve the quality of care, it costs your practice money and resources. Your staff should be able to complete their work as the day progresses, not wait until the end to finalize notes.
Each of these situations reflects how poor time management skills impact your practice, and how your practice processes patient information remains the common component of each process. Your practice needs to transition to electronic patient forms and implement the strategies in our guide, “Don’t Be Late to the Appointment! A Guide on Practice Time Management.”