At least once a year, every surgical practice needs to examine how efficiently their organization is running to see how they can improve. Practices that operate without thinking about proper workflow, risk hemorrhaging time and money. The following simple steps can help nurse your clinic back to good financial health.
If your practice has an ASC, make sure it’s operating efficiently
The OR room is the usually the biggest expense for surgical practices. Making sure the room is used to the fullest, maximizes the large amount of money laid out for use of a OR.
Using an AI system can keep down-time to a minimum and activity to the fullest. This will help to make the most of every moment, and ensure that the OR, the surgeon, as well as ancillary team members and any special rented equipment, is being deployed efficiently. When it comes to the OR, every minute counts – and costs.
Cut down the tedium of data entry
There’s no two ways about it, data entry can be dull. If schedulers are stuck doing tedious manual data entry tasks such as form filling, time is taken away from the tasks that count in a practice. These crucial tasks include filling in canceled surgery timeslots or getting approval from insurance companies – all of which generate revenue.
There are ways to avoid filling out forms multiple times. Even something as simple as a form generator, like Surgimate’s, will ease the burden of data entry, freeing up schedulers to actually schedule and increase surgical volume.
Create an effective tracking system
Tracking multiple patients, physicians, processes, payments, and insurance claims is hard work and time consuming. Given the amount of bureaucracy involved in a single surgery, there’s no way it can all be tracked manually. Even powerful programs such as Microsoft Excel or Google Docs have their limitations.
Creating a system to track the needs of each individual patient means the whole surgical process can run much more smoothly. Not only does it keep stress levels low in the office, but it minimizes the chances of surgeries being cancelled. When a procedure has to be called off, it also means schedulers can quickly fill in any unbooked surgery spots, saving the practice thousands of dollars in unused OR time.
Measure your practice’s performance
Going on an efficiency drive is great, but it can’t be done in a vacuum. Every so often – you have to take time to crunch the numbers. Analyzing your performance over time – your efficiency, volume, and cancellations – will allow you to easily identify recurring problems and finesse your processes. This means you can increase your booking success rate and keep your surgeons’ block time in the OR’s operating at capacity.
Running reports that reveal critical insights into the reasons your patients are canceling will ultimately help you reduce cancellations and keep the practice operating at peak efficiency. The same goes for tracking surgical volume over different periods to determine if surgeries are being scheduled at the most appropriate facilities.
Increasing efficiency at individual practices improves healthcare at the micro-level. If enough practices cut out wasted surgery time and increase OR capacity, the impact could also be felt throughout the whole healthcare industry. Waiting times for operations could be reduced, allowing patients to get the pain relief or surgery they need without needless delay. If more practices improved their surgical workflows it would ultimately cut costs for the whole healthcare industry, and there’s nothing healthier than that!