In the healthcare industry, ensuring that operations are at 100% efficiency is highly necessary. This is why effective workflow management should be guaranteed at all times. Whether you’re operating a small clinic or a big hospital, efficient workflows can still be highly complex.
Medical facilities handle this by creating policies and procedures and also ensure the quality of care they provide. However, many healthcare providers still struggle to improve their poor workflows. This then leads to negative impacts on patient care, employee satisfaction, and profits. If you’re experiencing process delays, productivity losses, and low patient and employee satisfaction scores, these tips can help you improve that.
1. Inspect medical equipment
Some medical facilities ignore the role that their equipment and tools play when it comes to workflow. Remember that these things are what keeps your treatment and operational processes optimized and functional. These include mobile medical carts used for transporting hospital tools and medications. A hospital supply cart can provide direct access to such materials, leading to better efficiency and physician-patient relationships.
With that in mind, out-of-service medical carts can result in more time-consuming processes and limited mobility during treatment. Other crucial equipments to check are your blood pressure monitors, CPR equipment, wheelchairs, and heart monitors. Have a checklist for all medical equipment and supplies, and perform routine inspections.
2. Determine lacking touchpoints
The next thing to look into is the overlaps in your care service. Start with the tasks that are currently included in the patient journey. All tasks should have a good purpose, and there’s no redundancy throughout every stage. You should also map your staff member’s current tasks and take steps to make duties more involved in the patient’s journey.
Outdated and rarely used tools and technology are also lapses to consider. Lastly, check if you have the right and enough process for all key events such as patient inquiry, prescription, treatment, and discharge. Looking into every touchpoint will give you a clear idea of where you lack in your medical workflow.
3. Switch to online scheduling
Administrative tasks such as patient scheduling can drastically worsen the workload for your staff. Most medical facilities are expected to operate and attend to patients’ concerns 24/7. By putting effort into your online scheduling functionality, you can streamline your front desk’s operations to a mile. Your team won’t also have to pick up numerous phone calls a day, and they’ll have more time to assist patients who are physically in the hospital or clinic.
Plus, your team won’t have to worry about scheduling issues like not answering appointment-seeking individuals who call during lunch breaks. Moreover, investing in an online scheduling process can help your medical facility appeal to new patients. Most working individuals seek instant appointments or easy scheduling, and you can cater to such needs immediately with a sound scheduling system.
4. Update communications systems
Aside from online scheduling, your communication systems are also crucial for your medical workflow. Outdated communication solutions like landlines and faxes aren’t good for healthcare productivity. Indeed, fax machines are still vital for sending sensitive medical records.
However, if you’re using outdated fax machines or your entire team is completely relying on them for communications, delays and errors will likely come your way. This won’t only frustrate your patients but also your doctors, nurses, and other medical staff. Improve your clinical workflow by investing in modern communication systems that suit your processes and policies.
5. Create a better break room
When talking about medical workflow management, most professionals forget that it’s not all about the technology, tools, or supplies. The health of every medical staff is also a critical element in an efficient workflow. Experiencing workplace burnout is a serious matter. It can affect your employees’ performance and satisfaction.
To put it simply, your medical staff can provide quality care to patients if they’re unhealthy themselves. By investing in a good break room, your team can take better breaks to replenish their mental resources and physical energy levels. Breaks are crucial for productivity and creativity too.
Build an inviting and relaxing break room in your facility and encourage your staff to re-energize and unwind. Doing so can help you raise your employees’ level of engagement. Don’t forget to consult your team about what features they want for the break room.
With effective workflow management, you can’t just improve efficiency in your medical procedures. But also the satisfaction of both your staff and patients. Plus, you get to guarantee compliance with industry regulations and reduce any potential medical errors that could ruin your facility’s reputation.