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  • Benjamin "The Clark Side" Dickinson

The Value of Practice Efficiency

Practice efficiency is an invaluable trait of any physical or occupational therapy practice. If your office is unable to attain efficiency it may mean the difference between success in business and being forced to close your doors. But efficiency is all about refinement. You make small changes to how you do things and slowly improve, not switch from a chaotic environment to one that runs smoothly overnight. But what changes do you make and which are the most important for practice efficiency? Here are several small changes you can make that will increase your practice efficiency and improve your bottom line.





Finding Your Weak Points.


You can't fix something if you don't know what's wrong. You need to maximize your practice

efficiency, so recognizing the issues is essential to finding out how you can improve. Make a list of things to work on. Focus on the biggest problems first. Once you handle those, the little problems will be solved easily. You may even find that by solving the larger problems, many of the small issues in your therapy practice disappear.


1. Assess Your Phone Habits.


Written messages are easy to lose and mix ups can happen as a result. A note might get into the wrong file or into a pile of trash. This means scheduling mix-ups, double-booking, and poor practice efficiency. Nobody wants to lose money because someone lost a message. It's a simple fix that keeps business consistent instead of losing business to double-booking.


New functionality included with the PatientStudio patient chart will not only allow front office staff to quickly log any active communication they have with patients. It also consolidates records of all communication into one place so anyone within the system can access all communication for the length of the patient's time with your practice. You can't get more efficient than that.


2. Log Patient Information.


By quickly and accurately recording all details of your patient’s personal demographic information, medical history, treatment details, billing information and much much more in one consolidated place, the effectiveness of your practice can dramatically improve. Using a system like PatientStudio that is completely integrated (everything from patient forms, to call logs, and EHR can all be found in one place) can make the documentation process a breeze.


This process won't just keep your business running smoothly. It will also make the patients happy. Happy patients are returning customers. They will make an effort to revisit your practice for your speedy and accurate service. This leads to consistent business. It is well worth the effort.


3. Pharmaceutical Management.


Using what you have is great for practice efficiency. Many practices hold a variety of medicines and supplies for a broad range of emergencies. The issue is that those medicines may go bad over time.. Between expired pharmaceuticals and misplaced supplies, a therapy practice can waste a lot of money. Take note of which supplies you use the most and the least. Only order what you're required to keep on hand. You can order uncommon supplies as needed and oftentimes suppliers can get you these supplies in as little as 24 hours.


Next you should always negotiate as much as possible when you do purchase medical supplies. Shop around. You should know which businesses give you the best deals on your supplies. Then hash out a price or a deal. You'll save money before you know it.


4. Getting Professional Help.


Sometimes you must spend money to make money. You may want to consider hiring a practice efficiency consultant.


A good practice efficiency consultant will locate the areas where your practice needs to improve. They'll tell you what they are and ways to fix them. You may want to consider an expert who has worked within the physical therapy space, as they will have a better idea of how to benefit your practice.. This helps them go to the right places right away. The sooner they share your weaknesses, the sooner you can improve them.


5. Listening to Your Patients.


People love to talk. If you reach out to ask them about their experience, many patients would be willing to offer you an honest review of the service they received in your office. You should ask them how they were treated during their visit. You can hone in on the most common complaints. The items they complained about the most are your starting points.


The best way to gather this is to keep at it. Don't make these lists as fast as possible. You need to be persistent and consistent in taking feedback. That will take time. However, this will also help a practice efficiency consultant when you call them.


One more way you can listen to your patients is by offering flexible scheduling and broad office hours. Patients can't leave work. They need to make money too. If they don't have to miss work, they will visit you when they can. If they do have to miss work, then you have to miss their business. Another easy trick is to call a patient 48 hours before their appointment. A simple reminder helps them to come in and make sure you don't miss out on any money.


In Conclusion


You can try to maximize your practice efficiency by following some of the simple steps laid out in this article. You need to find your weak points, keep accurate information, manage your medicine, get professional help, and listen to your patients.


Doing each of these things will add up fast. In as quickly as a few days you may be able to notice improvement. In a few weeks, you'll notice more business. In a year, you'll have a good reputation and many regular customers.