Your patients love your doctors and there’s rarely a slow day in your medical office’s busy waiting room. But recent communication problems with front and back office staff are causing scheduling backlogs, and patient complaints are on the rise. It’s time for swift corrective action.
Quality measurements impact clinical and non-clinical patient satisfaction benchmarks. So, every patient interaction matters from the initial phone call and visit throughout the duration of care.
Improved Time Management = Increased Patient Satisfaction
In an era of instant gratification, fewer patients will tolerate excessive wait times. Time management is an important patient satisfaction benchmark, although not always in our control. Getting patients from the front to the back is one thing. Some patients feel cheated when they sat for 45 in the waiting room and only got five minutes with the physician.
How can you better manage time in order to satisfy patient expectations? Start by putting yourself in the patient’s shoes.
During a typical office visit most patients have contact with more than one person on the team. It is the responsibility of the entire staff to deliver exceptional patient care in a reasonable time frame. And, it needs to begin as soon as a patient calls the office for an appointment.
Everyone in your office, from the front office staff to nurses, x-ray technicians, physician’s assistants, schedulers, and accounts payable, plays a role in good time management.
Helping employees manage time
A good medical office manager always looks for ways to streamline processes. Lead your employees to do the same. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Schedule a 10-minute “stand up” meeting first thing in the morning and try to include the physician(s). Review the day’s schedule. Then, review it for any special orders or circumstances that may have a negative impact on a team member’s time. Try to anticipate and address problems ahead of time.
Prioritize tasks for the staff. Let them know what tasks that need to be completed and by when.
Discuss with the provider any calls that may need special attention or focus by the clinical staff.
Spend time with your provider to address any documentation deficiencies that can slow-down claim submissions.
Make sure the front office is collecting and verifying insurance information with each visit.
Encourage your employees to make a daily “to do” list. Work with them to develop daily and weekly goals.
Consider scheduling frequent reviews of your office’s policies and procedures manual. Not only will it help guide new and existing employees through specific processes or tasks, it is also an excellent orientation and training resource. Your policies and procedures manual is a fundamental part of risk management and a big time saver for you!
Ace Time Management When You Become a CMOM
Want to learn more about time management and medical office leadership? Jump in to module 1 of the Certified Medical Office Manager online course for expanded instruction on prioritizing your staff’s time, delegating tasks, and other tips to help your office improve productivity and patient satisfaction.