Many medical providers fear they will have to sacrifice quality of patient care to be more efficient and cost-effective.
While patient care is always the top priority, the idea that you have to provide an inferior service to patients to run your facility better is simply untrue.
In fact, there are things you can do that increase both at the same time. Technology actually makes it easier than ever before.
Here are 8 ways medical providers can cut costs and stay efficient without sacrificing quality.
1. Do Onboarding and Intake Virtually
Today, striving for medical practice efficiency means bringing things online. Reducing paperwork means less administrative work for employees, smaller staffs, and faster turnaround times for patients.
One key area is new patient onboarding and intake. As a medical provider, this is an easy opportunity to eliminate waiting time. Simply have people fill out their paperwork online before they come in.
According to the Journal of Medical Internet Research, medical providers who used web-based appointment systems reduced no-shows, waiting time, and staff labor while improving patient satisfaction levels.
2. Reduce Errors
Be more efficient by tracking errors. Identify the common patterns and take steps to eliminate these issues.
Tips for reducing medical errors in your practice include (*):
- Training and monitoring clinician performance
- Emphasizing the delivery of evidence-based medicine
- Enhancing patient and family-centeredness care
- Eliminate non-value adding tasks
- Bolster communication between patient and clinician.
It’s true in life and business: errors of any kind can be costly. In a medical setting, this is probably twice as true, if not more.
3. Integrate Software With Your EHR
Electronic health records are the new norm in hospitals and other medical facilities. But if you aren’t maximizing your EHR’s capabilities with the latest software, you’re probably spending money and time unnecessarily.
In particular, you should look for software integrations or EHR portal that eliminate administrative tasks, such as:
- Medical billing and coding
- Sharing patient education resources
- Safe and secure documentation and dissemination of health information.
4. Aim For Growth
In all fields, not just medical, business owners and leaders strive to figure out how to be more efficient without sacrificing quality.
Often, we think it’s one or the other: quality or efficiency. But it can be both, so long as taking shortcuts is not an option.
Identify the key non-negotiables in your business, then look at the subtle ways you can improve efficiency and grow. Ask deeper questions and approach your business with optimism and a desire to learn.
Remember, innovation almost always leads to more innovation.
5. Make Staff Meetings Count
Staff meetings are a time to get everyone on the same page. They’re also a good time to collect valuable feedback and data from your frontline employees so you can improve your process.
They are also, in the mind’s of many employees, notoriously disengaging events. So make sure staff meetings count and that you aren’t just having meetings for the sake of it.
Ways to improve engagement include:
- Making sure the meeting has a purpose—and not holding one if it doesn’t
- Connecting the “why” for your employees
- Creating and sharing the agenda before
- Making meetings collaborative
- Designating a neutral third-party to keep the leader on track
- Never going over allotted meeting time
Younger generations basically demand purposeful work in exchange for their time and attention. As more Gen Y and Gen X employees enter the workforce, making staff meetings count will only be more important.
6. Invest In Education for Your Staff
Investing in education might not seem like a cost-saving strategy. At least until you consider the cost of employee turnover.
A 2019 study of nearly 300 medical professionals found that 30 percent of employees left their job within 2 to 3 years. (*)
Among the reasons cited, burnout, low engagement, and lack of opportunities for employee growth were the most common.
Consider the real cost of losing your best staff—one analysis found that the loss of one bedside RN can mean a loss of $40,000 and $63,000 for hospitals—and investing in education for your staff may not seem as expensive. (*)
7. Study and Simplify Administrative Processes
Make sure your staff are doing the job you hired them to do.
The average U.S. physician spends 8.7 hours each week (nearly 17 percent of their workweek) completing administrative tasks. (*)
From an employee standpoint, this could hurt morale, lead to burnout, or cause your staff to look for other job opportunities.
And from a business standpoint, that’s clearly not the best (or most cost-effective) use of your staff’s time or talent.
8. Set a Goal To Increase Referrals
Word of mouth is powerful. Better yet, it costs nothing and can be very powerful for bringing in new patients.
Making it a part of your marketing strategy isn’t hard, either. Try:
- Offering incentives to existing patients
- Making it easy to leave feedback on Yelp or Google through your website and online health portal
- Cross-promote with another local business in your community
Or when in doubt, just ask!
According to a study done at Texas Tech University, 83 percent of people are willing to leave a referral after a good experience—the only problem is, only 29 percent do! (*)
How To Make Medical Providers More Efficient and Cost-Effective
Making your medical facility more efficient and cost-effective doesn’t have to be an either-or thing. As the stats show, focusing on efficiency can actually improve patient relationships and perceived quality of care.
Most employees yearn for work that is simple and meaningful anyway, meaning your staff will most likely be on board with any changes you decide to make.
The easiest way to start making changes? Upgrade your use of technology inside your medical practice.
Request a demo of ShareScape today to learn how it makes the life of a busy medical provider a little easier.