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Are your practice's quality control systems in place and current? Here are some ways to check to see if they are.

Once a quarter, it's a good idea to spot check your staff and your systems if you do not employ a full-time person to do this for you, daily.

Here are some key areas to look at to know if you need to update your policies and procedures, have a training meeting, or a private meeting with a particular staff member.

1. Review your daily cash log. If you accept checks, cash, or credit cards, your staff must be keeping a cash log. Your computer system should be able to run a report which will let you know who owes a copay, co-insurance, or deductible before they arrive. You can match these to what is collected by reviewing receipts written or printed from your system

2. Ask your patients when they come back if they have any feedback of the front-office staff or your billing department. This is a little daunting for some, but really facing this fear, you might find that people are much more responsive to you and you can stop an issue before it gets out of hand. Patients also appreciate that you are asking their opinion. If you have a specific complaint, be sure to follow up with the patient to let them know you appreciate their feedback and you believe the issue has been resolved. Task them to provide feedback on their next appointment. It's all about customer service.

3. Meet with your staff members individually. Ask them how they are doing, how they like their jobs, if they are challenged enough, etc. Some people want to walk in, clock in, work, then leave. Others are there to grow, learn, and help grow your practice. You need both of these types of employees. So do not feel compelled to look bad upon the former. They are your foundation and are happy to do the daily, tedious tasks. Be sure everyone is in the position that their skill set best will help your practice.

4. When the phone rings, move towards the front and listen. Listen to how your staff talks to your patients. Even under the busiest conditions, someone who loves what they do, can multi-task and still be nice. That is the person you want as your first point of contact with your customers.

5. Look at your A/R. This should be done monthly, if not weekly, but really looking at the 90+ will give you a great idea of how your staff is doing providing the correct and complete information to your billing department. If they are not supplying everything, or if data is incorrect (date of birth, subscriber name, ID number, etc.) these will be denied by the insurance company and if your billing department is not interested so much in follow up, this could result in an incredible loss for your practice.

Just take a look at these areas for a few months. Identify your strengths and opportunities and start making adjustments to your staff, policies and procedures, or training program. Accountability is key!

Find out more about P.J. Cloud-Moulds and our other Practice Notes bloggers.

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