Be Organized: Medical Inventory Software
In an industry as specialized and customer service concentrated as the medical industry, it’s important to pay close attention to organization. If you’re unorganized when it comes to paperwork, supplies, and administrative duties, patients are going to think you’re unfit to treat them. After all, if you can’t keep track of documents and supplies, how prepared are you to cater to their health? The first step is to hire administrators that you can rely on to keep track of the little things around the office. You’re first priority is the patient, making it tough for you to know everything that’s going on behind the scenes. Sometimes in medical offices there is so much inventory involved that not even attentive administrators can keep track of it all. Instead, it’s important to find medical inventory software that fits your firm. Certain digital managers can automate nearly every administrative duty that’s needed in a medical office, and others control just inventory. Depending on the size of your office, the amount of people that need access to the system, and what kind of supplies, medications, and equipment you carry, different systems will fit different offices.
Be Great at Your Specialization
Not every doctor or nurse has a specialization, but if you do, it’s important that you’re great within it. The medical industry is extremely broad so make sure you’re skilled and have the proper education in whatever your field may be. Patients don’t want to be seen by a doctor who specializes in knees, ears, and the heart. Obviously that’s completely unrealistic, but when you focus on something, focus on that one thing. Gain experience and excel in your field. Patients will come to you via word of mouth when they need specific attention in the area you can treat as long as your previous patients feel they received top quality treatment.
Work on Your Interpersonal Skills
Again, the medical industry is all about customer service. Within that customer service comes top quality diagnosis, treatment, and care, but it also includes a great bedside manner, empathy, and patience. It’s important to remember that the patients you’re seeing aren’t doctors or physicians or nurses like you are. This means that when it comes to diagnosis, treatment, explanations of what it is exactly you’re doing, you have to be extremely calm, patient, and understanding. It’s easy to get frustrated when the patient either doesn’t believe you’re correct in your educated opinion, or they’re refusing to take your advice, but it’s important to be able to put yourself in the shoes of each and every individual patient.
Be Humble and Not Overconfident
Professionals in the medical industry have a muted power over their patients. Though it’s not something that’s often taken advantage of, there’s a different feeling in the room when patients are in a medical office than if they were in a meeting with peers. The doctor, physician, nurse, etc. immediately becomes superior because of their knowledge in the field bringing you both into the room. Though you should and probably do know what you’re talking about when it comes to helping patients, if you ever don’t know, you need to confess that to the patient. With that, instead of turning them away saying “sorry, we can’t help you”, go the extra mile and help them set up an appointment with a professional that better suits their needs. It’s okay to admit that you don’t have the solution for someone, but it’s important to follow that up with bringing him or her to someone who can help his or her situation.
Pre-Process Patients and Collect Co-Pays Immediately
Back to administrative duties, you never want to waste time in the medical field. Yes, customer service is important so it’s crucial that you give patients the time they need with their doctors, nurses, etc. However, you never want to book an appointment for someone and then find out that the insurance they have doesn’t match with the insurance companies your office accepts. Your receptionists should pre-process patients before they arrive for their appointment to ensure that all of the paperwork and payment collection tasks run smoothly. With that, you should also direct your receptionists to collect co-pays during the day of the visit. If you let it go too long, unpaid bills can add up quickly and it can be costly for you to hire a collections agency when you could’ve had them pay on the spot when they were physically in your office.
Implement Online Scheduling
The time it takes for receptionists and administrators to schedule appointments can be taken for granted pretty easily. SolutionReach writes that it takes on average 8 minutes for someone to schedule an appointment in the medical industry. This time can be put to better use performing other tasks and therefore an automated system online where patients can schedule their appointments at their own convenience would be a major time saver.
Benchmark and Compare Progress
Just like any other business, you’re running your medical firm with the goal of making a profit. In order to do this, you need to know what you’re company is doing right and what it’s doing wrong when it comes to maintaining and bringing in new revenue streams. Benchmarking things like number of patients seen in a given month, cash flows, prescriptions written, etc. will help you understand what changes need to be made in order to be more productive and therefore more profitable.
Going into business for the first time is never easy. This is especially true for a business in the medical industry. In the early stages, it’s important to focus heavily on customer service and efficiency. Remember that your organization behind the scenes always transfers into the customer experience. Your business will run on your knowledge and your staff’s ability to cater to the patients. With time comes experience, so learn as you go and change to be better.