If you’re a medical office manager, then you know that Scheduling is one of the most important aspects of your job. Patients need to be able to schedule appointments easily and quickly, and your staff needs to be able to manage their time efficiently.
Tip #1: Create a Well-Oiled Machine With the Help of Software
With all that your medical office staff has to do, creating an efficient system for scheduling patients is vital. The right scheduling software can improve efficiency, making scheduling appointments more accessible and making changes on the fly when necessary. It also helps you keep track of patients’ payments, insurance information, and medical history. Additionally, scheduling software can help you integrate your staffing and patient management into a straightforward program.
Before choosing a scheduling system, carefully consider its services and its pricing structure. Also, ask staff members for their opinions to see what they like – and don’t like – about other systems they have used in the past. In addition, take a look at the system’s user interface to see if it is intuitive or difficult to learn.
Tip #2: Create a Schedule People Won’t Mind Sticking to
The right schedule for your medical office will be unique to your business model and patient population. However, it’s always best practice to have people working on the same shifts as possible and give staff a more consistent schedule. Remember that even the best scheduling software can have glitches from time to time, so creating a schedule that limits those hassles is an important part of being better prepared for any situation.
Avoid having employees work back-to-back shifts if possible, as this can lead to burnout and a drop in productivity. For example, you may want your office open from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., but make sure you don’t have any appointments late on Friday afternoon or early evening to avoid long waits for employees with no one to help.
Tip #3: Utilize Your Staff’s Knowledge of Their Work Cycles
Humans aren’t machines with the same work patterns every day. So, why would you schedule your staff that way? It can be expensive to have staff members working at different times each week or on different shifts. Take the time to sit down with your employees and learn about their schedules so that you can offer them a more consistent work environment.
To get a good idea of your employees’ work cycles, try to notice when they seem to be most productive and when they are stressed. Take the time to talk with them about how many hours they would like to work in a week or month, and then fit their schedules into that block of time. If you want your employees to come into work at 7 a.m., then create a weekly or monthly schedule that has them coming in at the same time each day, allowing them to get their work done and leave by 4 p.m.
Tip #4: Be Open to New Technology
If you haven’t started using scheduling technology yet, now is the time! It can help your office create better schedules for your staff and more convenient for patients. Plus, being open to new technology means being ready to take full advantage of it when necessary. This will not only save you time, but it’ll help you create a scheduling system that better supports your medical office.
Medical office managers are tasked with more than just processing patient paperwork and finishing insurance claims. They’re also responsible for ensuring their staff can manage their schedules effectively. When they do this, patients aren’t forced to spend hours on the phone trying to make an appointment, and staff members are happier because they know their work routine won’t change unexpectedly.