You come to your office early and stay late, in the hope of catching up. Yet, you continue to run behind despite working as hard and as fast as you can. After a while, it is easy to start considering the status quo normal. However, the constant state of being overworked as a physician is not what you really want.
Here are the 4 things you can do to improve the situation today.
1. Preview charts
Creating a smooth and fast patient flow begins on the day before the patient’s arrival. Assign the appropriate staff member to review the records of the following day’s patients, and build a checklist for them to avoid missing anything. The checklist should include recent laboratory tests and imaging studies, specialist consultations, medication changes and due screening examinations. The previewer should clearly document all important details and assemble the necessary paperwork to plan the upcoming patient visit.
2. Develop a standard intake process
Write down, and continuously improve, the workflow for your patient intake process. Escorting the patient to the examination room, gowning, obtaining and documenting vital signs, using a chaperone when necessary and other workflows should correspond to the reason for the visit. Develop standing orders for common chief complaints – for example, an EKG for chest pain and a chest X-Ray for a cough. These standing orders can save a great deal of time for both staff and patients.
3. Standardize examination rooms
Set up every examination room in a consistent way, with all equipment, consumables and paperwork arranged similarly in every room. Update your equipment and use the same devices in every room to standardize the results and make them less operator-dependent. Assign a staff member to restock exam rooms, while following a checklist. They can restock either at the end or at the beginning of the day; check up on the rooms and resupply if necessary at lunch time.
4. Look for improvement opportunities
Some things we take for granted as standard and acceptable may be slowing you down. For example, if you are starting IVs on your patients, eliminate blood spills and needle stick injuries by choosing a modern closed IV catheter system. Also, happy staff perform better and relaxed patients have higher satisfaction; make your practice more inviting and your practice will run smoother.
And finally, this is what Lighthouse Medical can do for you:
- Recommend, supply, maintain, test and repair medical and other equipment
- Supply, maintain and restock medical consumables, including everything mentioned in this article
- Design and help implement checklist-based procedures
- Provide training, monitoring and quality assurance
Give us a call today at 747-5483 or write to CONTACT@LHMEDS.COM