The flow of work is one factor that has a significant impact on daily operations when you consider the healthcare system of a hospital or a small clinic. Everything has to be done in a systematic manner, right from the very first point of the process, and even up to the point when a patient finishes treatment and is discharged. Changing the workflow, for it to be better, entails creating necessary adjustments both at the macro and micro level.
Improving the workflow in healthcare organizations and systems can significantly impact its efficiency and ability to address patients’ concerns in a more timely and effective manner. This fact alone highlights the importance of being able to achieve a higher standard.
With that, here’s a list of four proven tips to help optimize your healthcare workflow, covering things you can do on your own or better yet, with experts like those from EMR & EHR Consulting Services.
1. Make The Billing Process Simple
One of the most time-consuming processes in the entire healthcare workflow is billing patients. The longer a patient stays in a hospital and the more services he or she uses, the longer the billing process time will be.
The waiting period can be a frustrating experience for both the patient and the biller. Patients would want their hospitalization bills to be processed quickly so they can finally be released and sent home. On the other hand, the time that could’ve been spent on other tasks by the healthcare staff is lost due to a slow billing process.
Making the entire billing process simple and efficient will eliminate those delays. There are so many ways to achieve this, starting with:
- Encouraging Online Payments: You can greatly speed up the collection process and facilitate quicker and more effective patient payments by developing an online payment portal.
- Being Cear About Your Collection Process: Giving the patient all the paperwork they need to fill out when they first arrive will be beneficial. Doing this will give them more time to gather the information that needs to be on the form (e.g., affiliate insurance policy numbers). Additionally, you can let them know what actions they need to take next or if a waiting period is necessary.
2. Utilize Automation Systems
If you’re still heavily-reliant on paper forms, then it’s about time to utilize all the technological resources you can avail of by automating your healthcare systems. The recording and processing of patient information will be faster and more accurate with the use of automation.
Choose an automated healthcare system or software application that meets your needs and preferences. You can talk about which businesses provide the best healthcare delivery system with your team to help you in your decision-making. Implementing this will lessen the workload on your staff and enhance the workflow.
3. Find And Remove Bottlenecks In Your Workflow
No matter how perfect you may think your workflow is, there are still things you can do to improve it. You can start by identifying the bottlenecks in your system.
According to HealthTECH Resources, a leading healthcare IT consulting firm, bottlenecks or constraints refer to anything that restricts the smooth flow of patients in and out of a medical office or institution. If changes are made without addressing these bottlenecks, the outcome may still fall short of what needs to be achieved. This could result in delays if not resolved from the ground up.
This is the reason why it’s very important to identify and remove the bottlenecks in your workflow. Once those are identified, that’s when you can properly address the issues in your system once and for all.
4. Collect And Analyze Patient Data Outcome
A successful healthcare workflow isn’t only achieved when your daily results or metrics are met. Rather, it also has to include the patient outcome. Remember that at the end of a working day, the measure of success in every healthcare organization is the percentage of positive outcomes with patients. This means that they were able to provide quality care while maintaining an efficient workflow and operations.
With this, remember the general rule: if you can’t measure patient data outcomes, then you can’t manage it. Your effort to improve the quality of care provided by your organization should also include analyzing existing patient data. This can give you important insights on factors like where opportunities exist, and what you can do to improve patient care.
Managing a healthcare system can still be quite a challenging thing to do and accomplish, even in today’s modern world. Technological advancements are there to help ease out any complications in the whole process. But, it’s not enough to solely rely on advanced healthcare workflow systems. As mentioned earlier, optimizing the healthcare workflow involves dealing with obstacles at a micro and macro level. This also entails a team effort made by each department and person involved in the healthcare workflow.