New Year’s Resolutions should not only be about setting goals for your practice, but also about evolving new ways to meet those goals. Your resolutions should align with the needs and priorities of your practice, and you should make sure to spend a little time brainstorming how to make those resolutions stick. Here are a few New Year’s resolutions that should help improve your medical practice:
1) Lose the Paper Weight
Start taming all that paperwork that is weighing you down. If you haven’t done so yet, consider investing in an EHR. Not only can you receive added benefits like improvements in practice productivity and the government EHR incentives, but it will also transform all of your patients’ paper charts and medical records into a cohesive electronic system that can be accessed anytime, anywhere. Going green is never a bad choice!
2) Cut Down on Your Supply Costs
Don’t let the basics destroy your bottom line. Take inventory of what supplies you have in stock so when you place your next order, you won’t end up over-ordering. Also, consider bulk ordering for better pricing. In addition, check multiple suppliers and compare costs to guarantee that you are getting the most competitive price.
3) Improve Your Marketing
Even the best-run business can’t prosper without new clients. Develop a marketing plan that will improve your bottom line—set a budget and goals for the year. Examine your current marketing channels: ask your patients how they heard about you; get listed on healthcare directories; monitor your reputation on the Web; maximize your website’s reach through search engine optimization (SEO); and make sure to follow up on all the inquiries submitted on your website. Then determine which channels are working and which are not so you can better invest your funds and energies in the future.
4) Reduce Wait-Time Stress & Increase Patient Satisfaction
Let’s face it—having patients wait is unavoidable at times, especially at a busy medical office. If you can’t fight it, alleviate it. Decorate and furnish your waiting room with comfortable seating and plenty of entertainment—magazines or a television for adults, and maybe a small play area for toddlers so they’re not solely focused on their parents. Amenities like these will also encourage more pleasantries between your patients, staff, and yourself.
5) Avoid the Burnout Effect
Experiencing work burnout is healthy neither for you nor for your practice. We’ve heard numerous stories about physicians and administrators staying hours past closing time every day, just to catch up on paperwork. Resolve to find an EHR that is right for your practice—one that helps automate your workflow, speeds delivery and access of documents, and runs reports so you know which lab results are still outstanding. Until you find that EHR, consider delegating—making sure to plan ahead—and best yet, incorporate a little office fun for your staff and physicians. Set aside some casual time like a potluck or lunch party, allowing your staff to bond and build a sense of camaraderie.