Small practices have historically had a disadvantage to achieving better care than larger practices. Small practices must ensure everything is finished, patients are happy, bills are sent out, and then, the entire process repeats itself in an unending battle to stay afloat. Take a moment to think about the typical start to your day in the practice, and think about how the following processes could be streamlined:
The Morning Madness
8:15 - Ensure outgoing mail is picked up.
8:00 - Review faxes and messages from yesterday.
8:30 - Start bringing in patients.
8:45 - Request previous dental or medical records for patients.
8:50 - Enter patient A’s information into the system.
9:00 - 12:00 Continue entering patient information for three hours while completing other tasks.
9:05 - 9:20 Phone call reminders for today’s appointments.
9:10 - Correct patient information that was incomplete on initial registration form.
9:15 - Reorder office supplies, schedule patient A’s follow-up, and check billing information for patient A and B.
9:30 - Clean exam room 1.
9:45 - Repeat the entire process from 8:30 for patient B, and call insurance to figure out what the missing letter in the claims’ entry form is for patient A and B.
Unfortunately, this represents only a portion of the day, and you have to figure out a way to manage all of these tasks as accurately as possible. As your day progresses, you notice delays seem to appear, and patient registration processes are trumping more important parts of quality-of-care. Rather than resigning yourself to simply going through the motions and events as they happen, your practice needs to optimize its services and processes to make the day successful.
When you first glance at the above schedule, it seems to flow smoothly. After all, you can’t realistically register patients who haven’t yet arrived, or can you? This is where practice time management comes into play.
What Is Practice Time Management?
Practice time management is not simply building a schedule; it’s building an efficient schedule that cuts out repeat processes and moves forward with as few delays as possible. The key to creating a fluid, efficient schedule lies in transitioning from manual, paper-form data entry to digital processes, such as online patient registration capabilities , better accountability, and better quality-of-care. Essentially, improving your time management skills is what you need.
At Practice Sense, we know your time is precious, and we hope you download our comprehensive guide on practice time management now. What are you waiting for? Time is passing you by.