Ever wish there were more hours in the day? Try these time-saving tips to make time more productive for you and your staff:
- Post brief, step-by-step instructions in a vinyl sleeve near each office machine. (First test the instructions on someone who knows nothing about the equipment to make sure they are clear.)
- Prepare sample letters and store them electronically in a shared document file so staff doesn't have to compose a new letter each time they write one. TMA’s Policies and Procedures — A Guide for Medical Practices contains many sample letters that you can customize to your practice. In addition, you can find a selection of sample letters to carriers on the TMA website.
- Prepare or collect written advice sheets for common acute and chronic conditions as well as information on support groups, diets, and exercise. One physician notes that stepping out of the exam room to retrieve an advice sheet can also help terminate an appointment. Printing patient education sheets on your letterhead gives patients another reason to remember who provided the information. MD Consult database is a free TMA member benefit that offers access not only to full-text journals and textbooks, but also to thousands of patient education handouts that you can customize to your practice. More than three-quarters of them are available in Spanish, too.
- Create a "stop-doing list." Review tasks you perform habitually to see if they can be delegated easily to staff. Perhaps the task can be eliminated if it is no longer relevant, can be automated, or is not worth the amount of time it takes.
- Download the DocbookMD mobile app to streamline the communication and referral process between you and your colleagues. Search a directory of physicians from your region and send them HIPAA-compliant text messages to ask for a consult (complete with pictures of x-rays, wounds, etc.), refer a patient, or check a referred patient's medical history all instantly at the point of care from your smartphone.
Revised Aug. 28, 2012
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