Long wait times lead to lost patients. It’s that simple. But harnessing the power of greater efficiency will ensure your patients keep coming back. Here are seven tips to get you started.
Establish a Solid Patient-Outreach Process
Patient outreach is critical. It allows you to address a patient’s concerns and demonstrate that their health is your top priority. Done well, it ensures that they feel confident in completing their patient journey with you as their guide. It might take and trial and error to find your unique patient-outreach “secret sauce,” but the result will be efficient (and successful) calls, more patient satisfaction, and better outcomes.
Regularly Evaluate and Map Out Financial Goals, Budgets, and Plans
Your patients and their needs come first, but your practice is still a business. Don’t lose sight of your financial benchmarks. Develop a budget, then share it with your team. Transparency creates buy-in (and behavior adjustments), keeps you on track, and helps with implementing goal-oriented processes. Efficiency naturally results.
Find New Ways to Engage Your Team
Employees who feel invested in the practice find ways to help it run more efficiently. In fact, according to a study by Business 2 Community, companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202%! Some easy ways to create engagement are:
- Regular team meetings. Make sure all team members share what they’ve done since the last meeting and what they hope to accomplish in the coming weeks. This helps cross-functionality and communication.
- 1:1 check-ins. This shows each team member that you care about their success professionally and personally.
- Align company goals with team member goals. This gives your staff some ownership in the practice’s success. Per Cvent, customer retention rates are 18% higher on average when employees are highly engaged in their company.
A great way to create engagement in your team is captainships. Give team members something to oversee, such as social media, process fine-tuning, or organizing patient paperwork. As each captain shares their successes and challenges in team meetings, a feeling of ownership develops. Others also gain an understanding of what’s happening across the practice. To maximize captainships, assign them based on team members’ strengths: A Gallup study reported that employees who exercise their strengths daily are 8% more productive and six times more likely to be engaged.
Implement a Block Schedule
Block scheduling is an effective way to make sure your schedule is helping you meet your goals. A block schedule keeps your practice on track, minimizes wasted time, and ensures you find a balance between revenue-generating appointments and other priorities, like patient outreach.
Interested in learning more about how block scheduling can help your practice? These blog posts are a great start!
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Outline a Clear Retirement Strategy
Many practice owners don’t think of a succession plan until it’s too late. Your practice may be your whole life now, but will it be stable enough to continue without your leadership? Outline a clear exit strategy now so you have benchmarks for tracking your retirement goals. These benchmarks will double as day-to-day indicators of how to improve efficiency.
Evaluate and Simplify Your Processes
One of the biggest efficiency roadblocks is a complicated patient process. If your patients have long wait times or don’t follow through on their full treatment plan, consider a process overhaul. Sit through an entire patient cycle (or have someone you know do it), take notes on things that are inconvenient, and calculate how much time is spent in each part of the appointment. Happy patients are a key indicator of efficiency in your practice.
Practice efficiency is a process — not an accomplishment.
There will always be room for improvement, so grab our guide for the journey!