Adjustments to how your practice handles daily administrative tasks can help decrease staff burnout, increase patient satisfaction, and maximize profits.
In any small business, streamlining the workflow and attracting the right talent is critical for sustained success. Independent practices are no exception, especially when it comes to the workflow of front desk staff. Adjustments to how your practice handles daily administrative tasks can help decrease staff burnout, increase patient satisfaction, and maximize profits.
Let patients self-schedule online
Self-scheduling is an excellent option for patients and front office staff alike. This type of online appointment booking streamlines workflow by reducing the number of phone calls front office staff receives daily, enabling them to focus on revenue-generating tasks. In addition, by automating your appointment scheduling process, mistakes that often transpire when patients book appointments by phone can be greatly reduced.
Practices can add a link to their appointment calendar on their Google My Business page or their website, allowing new and existing patients increased accessibility to schedule appointments directly from a quick online search. Considering sixty percent of doctor’s appointments are booked outside of office hours, enabling this capability can also increase patient acquisition.
Automate your appointment reminders
Ninety percent of cell phone users ignore calls and rarely check voicemails. However, people respond to text messages in about ninety seconds and check emails more than thirty-four times daily. Practices utilizing appointment scheduling software can set up reminders and notifications for upcoming patient appointments. Patients can confirm, cancel or reschedule with a few clicks.
For practices, automating appointment reminders reduces no-shows, improves scheduling accuracy, and eliminates the time-consuming task of manually confirming appointments. In addition, when appointments are canceled in advance or left unconfirmed, the practice can fill those available appointment slots to maximize profitability.
Offer digital intake
In today’s digital age, patients have grown to favor the option of completing forms online before they ever enter your office. They want to do it from the comfort of their own home, on their own time, and they expect a modern, digital experience. With online patient intake, practices can capture pertinent information like patient insurance, medical history, and digital consent forms before patients even step foot in your practice. Modernizing your practice with self-serve digital capabilities, you can significantly reduce manual data entry errors and save countless hours wasted on redundant data entry steps from the patient intake process. Streamlining this process not only saves administrative time and improves the patient experience, but it ensures you have the accurate patient information you need to get paid quickly. In addition, this allows the provider to spend more quality time with the patient, building a relationship and discussing the patient’s health since the other information was already collected.
Improve billing accuracy and payment timeliness
Due to antiquated systems and processes, billing and payment collection often dominate administrative hours. The right practice management software will allow front office staff to decrease time spent on billing processes, and easily deliver patient statements through patient-preferred channels like text and email. For maximum efficiency opt for a practice management software that supports automated statements, and can disseminate multiple statements at a time with ease. By automating this process, errors like patients receiving the wrong statement are eliminated.
Practices can also expedite the patient check-in process by verifying a patient’s eligibility before they arrive with electronic eligibility checks. This will ensure your practice receives prompt reimbursement from the patient's insurer. In addition, allowing patients to prepay for their upcoming visit allows for a simplified checkout process, and ensures service payment.
By streamlining administrative processes and using innovative technology, practices can reduce the time office staff spend on unnecessary tasks allowing clinical staff to focus more on patient engagement and care delivery, which is why clinicians go into the medical field.
In addition, patients will appreciate the modern experience and improved care delivery, increasing retention and word-of-mouth referrals.
Andrea Kowalski is Senior Vice President of Products at Tebra, a leading cloud-based healthcare technology platform. In 2021, Kareo and PatientPop merged to form Tebra and Andrea enthusiastically accepted the opportunity to oversee the integrated Tebra product team. Andrea joined Kareo in 2018.