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:

  1. Take a critical look at workflow bottlenecks.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. Examine errors or tasks that are completed to find the cause and develop the right solution.
  5. Develop a written plan to implement the best solution, including target dates for incremental progress.
  6. Communicate throughout the entire change process.  There will be times when you will want to refocus and perhaps change directions.
  7. Celebrate  your success along the way!

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