For physicians, ensuring their practice runs as efficiently as possible is an ongoing pursuit. On the other hand, the time a physician has to devote to their appointments is limited. It can seem like time whizzes past, and you cannot physically work any faster without sacrificing the care you are providing. You might even consider taking on another physician to double your capacity. In reality, with some examination and analysis of your current working practices, you can identify opportunities for improvement, which will enhance your productivity and the practice’s revenue. If you are looking for ways to ramp up your productivity, consider the following seven simple techniques.
- Avoid non-essential tasks by delegating
In some practices, physicians find themselves pulled in multiple directions being asked to perform administrative tasks or supervise staff which are not strictly in a physician’s job description. You can use your own judgement about what you do and do not give your time to, but make it clear to your staff that your time is precious and the more they can manage without you, the better it is for the practice.
- Make use of automated technology
Just as technology can speed up administration in your practice, it can also help you in your daily work. For example, ShAIp has developed automated technology and artificial intelligence, which will transcribe notes from a patient’s appointment, saving you valuable time.
- Hold staff accountable for their responsibilities
You need to be able to rely on your team to fulfil their responsibilities. When a patient comes in for an appointment or procedure, you need to be able to rely on them to have conducted all the preliminary tests and consultation and taken relevant notes. Your staff need to understand exactly what is expected of them, and that you will not continue with the appointment until they have met their objectives.
- Minimize the number interruptions
Every time you have to stop what you are doing to answer a question, sign a form, or anything else, you are using mental energy to switch gears. Even if the task only takes seconds, they all add up to a lot of wasted time. Instead, ask your team to submit all non-urgent queries and requests in one batch.
- Schedule appointments together by type
When you have a day of lots of different tasks and appointment types, you have to change your mindset several times which uses mental energy and time. Consider asking your administration team to book certain types of appointments, so they take place on after the other, so you can focus on one way of working.
- Use the same examination room as much as possible
If you are in an unfamiliar examination room, you will have to search for equipment and supplies, and will not intuitively know your way around the room. When you use the same room regularly, you develop muscle memory and a routine which helps you to work almost automatically.
- Take care of your own physical and mental wellbeing
You cannot perform at your best if you are tired, unfit, and poorly nourished. It is essential that you follow your own advice as a physician and get plenty of sleep, hydrate regularly, and eat a balanced diet full of nutrients. It is also important to remember that, although you are undeniably busy, you need to make time for a social life, time with your loved ones, and time for your hobbies and interests. Isolated, anti-social, or demotivated physicians are less effective and less motivated in their work.