Operating a medical or dental practice involves a lot of moving parts that go beyond patient care, such as communications, billing, insurance, and documentation. Here are our top 9 tips to build greater efficiencies into your practice and pave the way for success.
Without relevant metrics to measure performance, it’s nearly impossible to plan for growth or adapt to change. Measuring performance will help you reach goals, make improvements, and benchmark your practice against standards.
You can monitor these metrics internally, but you can also opt for medical practice consulting. With this type of consulting, you’re enlisting an experienced third-party to examine your performance , discover valuable insights, and catch costly errors.
Technology is integral to running an effective medical or dental practice, but it requires an investment. A strategic investment in technology can help improve the patient experience and ensure your practice thrives.
Medical practice consultants can help you identify the right technology for your practice’s operations, integrate it into your processes, and train your staff to use it effectively.
Struggling to find a balance between operational IT spend and transformational IT spend? You’re not alone. Learn how organizations can allocate their IT budget for a strategic, long-term investment.
Bring data analytics into your strategy to amplify the usefulness of your metrics and technology and make data-driven decisions.
If your decisions stall action or leave expectations unclear, it leads to confusion, miscommunication and, ultimately, poor patient care. To build immediacy into your processes, clearly define and document key decision-makers, rules for communications and approvals, and best-practice responses for various scenarios. Each staff member should understand their role in the decision-making process, who to inform and when it’s appropriate to act.
Planning for multiple scenarios in key areas of your medical practice will help you adapt and remain in operation through any disruption or change. This planning should include worst-case to best-case options, keeping in mind that even best-case scenarios can be mismanaged.
It may seem like a given that medical and dental practices should be careful about documentation and reporting. However, it’s not uncommon for busy practices to get too relaxed about these key activities. Issues like illegible writing, lack of notation about a complaint or condition and patient misidentification can lead to poor or improper care. Some situations even call for extra reporting, such as opioid use.
The American Health Information Management Association has developed seven key strategies for proper clinical documentation that should be present in every entry in a patient’s health record, regardless of diagnosis:
Illegible documentation can lead to inaccurate coding and improper patient care.
An example of unreliable documentation is a record stating a patient should continue methadone therapy without a correlating diagnosis, such as OxyContin addiction.
The more details you can document about patient condition, treatment, and patient-provider interaction, the more precise the record will be.
All details should be recorded, and every entry should be authenticated with the provider’s signature and date. An example of an incomplete record is one that mentions abnormal laboratory findings without explaining those findings.
In a consistent record, there is no conflicting documentation. Common inconsistencies are interchanging “use” and “abuse” or using varying genders.
Clear documentation leaves no room for interpretation and is as informative as possible. Ambiguous documentation can be detrimental to continued care.
It’s difficult to prioritize documentation amid a busy patient schedule, but if a diagnosis or treatment is not documented, the patient is put at risk.
To build resilience and strength into your practice, you must remain observant and do ongoing evaluations. Evaluate several internal and external components to manage your finances, processes, risks, and operations.
Keep an eye on news from trusted sources that’s relevant to your practice, especially if it could affect your day-to-day operations.
Are you providing optimum services? Can you adjust your offerings to improve efficiency, impact, and benefit?
Are there regular errors, delays, or issues at your practice? How can you work with your staff to reduce them?
Are you capturing payments and cash flow in a balanced, sustainable timeframe? How can you improve on this?
As you introduce new technology and processes to improve your operations, you must ensure proper cybersecurity measures are also put in place. It’s imperative to remain vigilant about regulations and compliance relevant to protecting that information. In fact, in healthcare, it tends to take longer to discover a cybercriminal has infiltrated your network and respond.
New practices and those facing hardship must decide if they’ll run an independent practice, join a health system, or join a private equity group.
Looking for more ways to improve your finances and operations? We can help.
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