One of the most important factors in whether a clinic runs well is its workflows. Having proper processes in place for all aspects of your clinic—from scheduling and patient check-in to referrals and medical billing—ensure that you can see the maximum number of patients each day and that you are able to collect as much revenue as possible for the services you provide. One of the places where many clinics have room for improvement is during patient check-in.
Map Out Your Current Check-In Process
You can’t optimize a process until you know what the current process looks like (if there is one at all). The first step is to map out each step that a member of your front office staff or your patients must take when they check-in. This should include both formal processes that you have in place, as well as informal steps that your staff is taking. For example, verifying insurance might not be part of the process but some staff members may be doing it on their own already.
Identify Overlap or Wasted Effort
Many clinics that lack official workflows find that there is a lot of overlap. There may also be steps people are taking that are unnecessary, leading to wasted time and effort that could be better spent on other tasks. Overlap and wasted effort can take the form of:
- Tasks: duplicated tasks or ones that aren’t necessary.
- Team: staff who don’t understand their responsibilities and miss-steps or do redundant work.
- Tools: are your software or other tools outdated, or do you have technology that you’re not using effectively? Are you missing technology that could benefit your workflows?
- Processes: do you have a written process that you train your staff on and that can be replicated? If not, it’s time to get some in place.
Determine the Tools You Need
Technology tools are available for medical clinics that can streamline manual processes, saving a lot of time. They can also reduce the chance of errors like incorrect patient information, inaccurate medical records, or errors in billing that lead to denied or rejected claims. The most effective technology tools are:
- Integrated to provide seamless data transfer
- Comprehensive to address the entire patient journey from scheduling to medical billing
- Intuitive and easy to use so they enhance your practice and don’t detract from patient care
- Built specifically for your needs, with the ability to add on or change over time
Tools like a practice management software that coordinates with patient scheduling, electronic health records (EHR), medical billing software, patient portals, and more are essential for small and independent clinics.
Now that you know what you need to do, assign a champion to oversee implementation and make sure everyone on the team understands his or her role. Evaluate your progress regularly so everyone is one the same page and be ready to adjust as you implement ideas and find gaps or inefficiencies in your plan.
To learn more about how AdvancedMD can help your clinic with technology that will enhance your practice, automate manual workflows, and improve patient satisfaction, contact us to schedule a demo.