Solving work flow problems is among the biggest challenges medical offices face on a daily basis. Work flow issues can be caused by a lack of defined work processes and individual responsibilities or poor training. It may seem like an oxymoron but too little or too much staff can also be a contributor to poor work flow. Regardless, it will result in unhappy patients and diminished profits. It’s time to get serious about creating a lean operating machine. Here’s some tips to help you get started:
- Take a critical look at workflow bottlenecks.
- Map work flow: Examine processes throughout the office to identify and eliminate those that don’t provide added value to the customer or the practice.
- Involve staff in seeking solutions to problem areas of work flow. Everyone needs to give a valid reason for the various steps they go through to complete a task as a first step to eliminate processes that are redundant or duplicated.
- Examine errors or tasks that are completed to find the cause and develop the right solution.
- Develop a written plan to implement the best solution, including target dates for incremental progress.
- Communicate throughout the entire change process. There will be times when you will want to refocus and perhaps change directions.
- Celebrate your success along the way!
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