Primary care practices are busier than ever, despite more people opting for the safety and convenience of telehealth services. As the healthcare industry adapts to the new normal brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, your administrative team has their hands full managing concerns that need to be addressed.
A lot of medical practice management concerns need your attention. And once you resolve these issues, your practice will run smoothly.
What are the Most Pressing Concerns in Primary Care Practices?
Half a year ago, before the coronavirus situation took over the headlines and disrupted everyday routines, private practice administrators were already experiencing tough challenges. These issues became even more prominent as the risk of virus transmission abruptly changed workplace rules.
1 – Building a Dependable Administrative Team
Your practice may have an esteemed medical team. But the real power in the medical facility rests on the administrative team. They’re the ones who keep everything running smoothly.
But it’s not easy hiring competent administrative officers and staff who can keep doctors and nurses in line, and accommodate the needs of patients. The health care environment is fast-paced, especially in emergency units. Many practices are still transitioning to technology-centered operations. And with constantly increasing administrative requirements, skilled individuals would think twice before applying for the position.
So how do you form a group of sharp, efficient, and quick-thinking individuals who can easily cater to the needs of both physicians and patients?
Show them that your practice invests in the right tools and technologies to eliminate mundane tasks and keep all employees focused on the most important things.
2 – Keeping Employees on Board
High employee turnover is an age-old concern in practices. The stability of daily operations relies on tenured individuals who know the ins and outs of the job. You need administrative staff who understand the needs of doctors, nurses, and patients, and who can efficiently coordinate these things. The task is easier said than done, though, when people don’t stay on the job for long.
But how exactly do you get people to stay on the job for a long time?
A comprehensive benefits package can only go so far. Many other practices offer the same thing. People will want to keep working for your practice when they know that you’re making an active effort to make their jobs more manageable.
3 – Addressing Rising Operational Costs
The coronavirus situation highlights just how expensive operational costs can be in a primary care practice. Patients are more hesitant to visit practices for checkups. They’re exploring telehealth services as a way to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission outdoors.
You can make some changes in your operational costs by reviewing your office supply usage and cutting down on what you don’t really need. It also helps to purchase office and medical supplies in bulk. Vendors tend to give discounts for wholesale purchases.
But in addition to these surface-level ways to cut down costs, pay attention to your actual operations:
- Is your administrative team still stuck with repetitive tasks that can otherwise be automated?
- Is it difficult to find and update written records stored in huge cabinets?
These disruptions can cost you a lot. But if you’re willing to pay the upfront costs of an automated system to take care of these things, you’ll see operational costs and administrative tasks decrease in the long run.
4 – Organizing the Payment Collection System
Healthcare costs continue to rise. Practices must be strict with reimbursement to keep operations running smoothly. But payment collection is another common concern among primary care practices.
There should be no problem with collecting patient payments as long as the practice has a clear payment policy. Your staff should be able to keep track of patients’ balance. They need to easily compute the balance. And patients have the right to know what you’re billing them for, and why. How do you effectively address all of these issues?
An automated process can simplify your payment collection method. The administrative staff can access all information with just a few clicks. And patients will have peace of mind knowing you’re being transparent with their bills and balance.
What’s the Common Denominator for These Concerns?
Practice management isn’t an easy task, even when you have enough people in your clinic or hospital. But armed with the right tools, you can streamline the way you run a primary care practice.
Technology is the best answer to most of your pressing administrative concerns.
Your administrative team can work more efficiently if EHR software integrates all medical records and information. This type of software also streamlines tasks for your employees, enabling them to focus on more relevant operational concerns. You can also explore the use of practice management software to streamline patient appointments, monitor payments, and quickly generate comprehensive reports.
Maximize the use of technology to address the issues you encounter in the practice.