Now that you are tracking your daily / weekly / monthly reports, what do all of the numbers mean?
After a few months of gathering the data from your reports, it's time to start utilizing this information and making decisions about your practice and how it can help move you forward, toward your goals.
Review the basic information like: cancellations and no-shows, front office collections, number of patients seen, and type of appointments, etc. Set an acceptable range that you are willing to allow these values to fall under, and create improvement goals for each area you are looking at.
For instance, if you have four practice associates (physician, physician assistant, nurse, etc.) each with their own schedules, you can review the monthly cancellation / no-show rate. Ask yourself these questions: Are the cancellations / no-shows consistent from month-to-month? Does one individual have a higher rate than others? It's worth investigating why this might be. There are several possibilities: unbalanced schedules resulting in patient not feeling they are getting enough face-time with a practitioner, the practitioner is often late, appointments are scheduled or communicated incorrectly from the front office staff. Now that you are aware of how many cancellations and no-shows are happening, and have investigated possible reasons for these, it's time to address those reasons and set new goals. Sit down with your staff and ask them why they think this is happening. Be sincere and concerned and not accusatory. Remember, you are trying to resolve an issue and create a new opportunity, after all.
These same steps can be taken with monitoring front office collections, types of appointments, number of patients seen, insurance denial, coding issues and many other areas you want to look at.
Often, taking the step to review your practice statistics can be a little daunting. But by changing your frame of thinking to, “I'd love to find something I can fix here …” will set your practice apart from those who are afraid of opening that Pandora's Box of secrets. Start with one item at a time to review and monitor. Once you have that cleared up, move on to the next one. It's a good idea to review these goals and results on a quarterly basis with your staff. Be sure to keep track of these numbers so that you can see how far you've come!
As always, keep the focus and goals positive and that is how this will work out for you.
Next week we will talk about how to motivate and engage your staff in order to reach your practice’s goals.
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