5 Front Desk Time-Saving Strategies for Medical Practices
The front desk of a medical practice plays a key role in efficiency and patient satisfaction. This is where patients form their first impression of your practice – how were they greeted, how the staff addressed their needs, and how long they had to wait.
A disorganized front desk means patients will begin their visit to your practice with frustration. Ultimately, poor interaction between staff and patients will reflect in your practice revenue. Here are 5 front desk time-saving strategies that your medical practice can implement to make the patient’s experience better and your workflow more efficient.
- Advance Pre-Registration
Online pre-registration is an excellent time saver when the patient presents to your practice. If new patients are able to complete pre-registration formalities by e-mail or through an online portal in advance, the front desk is not burdened with filling out stacks of paperwork, including insurance information and medical history. Pre-registration in advance removes a known bottleneck and greatly improves front desk efficiency.
- Outsource Appointment Scheduling
By outsourcing your appointment scheduling services to a reputable call center, you can save a great deal of time for front desk staff at your medical practice. The bonus is that outsourcing is typically more economical than hiring full-time staff to answer the phone.
- Streamline Paperwork
Paperwork is one of the most time-consuming tasks for front desk staff at a medical practice. This means streamlining patient paperwork should be a top priority as a time-saving strategy. Analyze how a patient spends time at the front desk with paperwork and remove what is unnecessary. For example, does the patient history form ask essentially the same questions as your review of systems? Is filling out insurance information necessary or can the staff simply make a copy of the card? Streamlining paperwork at the front desk ensures workflow is not slowed down and patient satisfaction does not suffer
- Automated Prescription Refills
When a patient calls for a prescription refill, it can take up a lot of front desk time. Collecting all the relevant information, forwarding the request to a healthcare provider, following up with the pharmacy, and fielding follow-up calls from patients are all part of the process. Automating the process means patients can call a voicemail number and leave a message for the nurses and/or pharmacy and receive instructions for electronic refill requests and when to expect their medication. This allows staff at a medical practice to handle prescription requests in batches rather than individually, greatly speeding up the process
- Online Patient Portal
Web-based portals and mobile apps are a great way to save time for staff and provide added convenience to patients. These portals allow patients to sign in and complete a variety of tasks such as ask questions, pay bills, print copies of medical records, and request or change appointments. These tasks all take up valuable front desk time. Not all patients are web savvy, but if even a fraction of patients uses the portal, it can reduce the burden on the front desk at your medical practice.
The front desk is the one area in your medical practice that impacts both efficiency and patient satisfaction the most. Implementing these five front desk time-saving strategies can help reduce the strain on staff, improve patient satisfaction, and boost your practice revenue.