If you could gain an extra hour in your week or day in your month; what would it be worth to you? I’ve often heard the old saying, ‘Once time has been lost, it cannot be regained’. That’s tragic. We spend time in our lives doing things that we could possibly do faster with help or we could automate those tasks altogether and spend no time doing them.
It’s so easy to fall into the rut of doing things the way we’ve always done them, when an easier, more accurate, or more time efficient way exists. We just don’t know about it. Having said that, here’s my challenge for you this week. Start by asking yourself a couple of questions.
Am I or my staff working late or going in early to complete tasks that could be done more efficiently? Is there a better way to do the things we have been doing for years? What could I do to find better, more efficient ways to complete necessary work?
I’m glad you asked that last question. It leads to a list I want to share. Below is an ‘off the top of my head’ list of a few ways to automate recurring tasks in a medical office. This is a familiar list for me because I know of many solutions that fully automate some of them and I know many people that can help with some of the others.
If you will take the time to ponder the list, ask the questions, and apply the answers to your practice, you might find some ways to recover an hour or two of your time. Maybe even a whole day. Wouldn’t that be great! Here’s the list.
- How are you doing eligibility checks? Does anyone in your office need to pick up a phone or login to a payor website to check eligibility? There are better ways.
- How are you informing patients of their financial responsibilities? Can you give them a close estimate of what they will owe you? Are they satisfied that they are not getting surprise bills from your office? There are some great tools out there to help.
- How is the office staff gelling? Do you have some interpersonal conflict that is wasting time and causing stress? There are many experts that can help bring peace to your situation.
- If you have repeat patients, how many times have you asked them for their credit card this year? Is your front desk staff remembering to get the co-pay, and then taking precious time to swipe the card and run the transaction every time? There’s an automated solution for that.
- Are you buried in denied claims? There are many reasons claims are denied. There are practices that are suffering greatly due to slow cash flow from denied claims. Great companies with smart people as well as efficient tools have been perfected to help.
- Is your billing department chasing patient dollars long after the patient has finished treatment? You guessed it - there’s a way to automate collections too.
- Are your patients showing up for their appointments? With paperwork completed? And happy that you have made it easy for them to stay connected and informed? Again, if not, there are people and tools galore that can help you.
These are just a few items. I’m sure you can think of more. I hope you will take the time now to gain yourself some personal time later. Ask the questions. Turn over all the possibilities and see what you can find. If you gain even ten minutes in your day - that’s enough for that afternoon coffee, or just a few deep breaths. Do you think it’s worth it?