The Intake

Insights for those starting, managing, and growing independent healthcare practices

Improve your medical office workflow with automation: Merging productivity and patient satisfaction

Improving your front office’s efficiency helps decrease staff burnout and increase patient satisfaction.

This is an image of 3 people in a medical practice looking at a computer. This is meant to show happiness as a result of streamlining a practice’s workflow.

At a Glance

  • Efficiency in front-office operations can significantly decrease staff burnout and increase patient satisfaction
  • Adopting an all-in-one platform to automate and streamline office functions can drastically improve productivity and foster a more patient-focused experience
  • Automating tasks such as appointment scheduling and confirmations and completing paperwork allows staff to focus on more meaningful interactions with patients

Improving your front office’s efficiency through automation helps decrease staff burnout and increase patient satisfaction.

Today’s healthcare practices are busier than ever, balancing an increasingly competitive landscape, staff burnout, and patients who expect convenience throughout their patient journey. It’s a lot for practice owners to manage. 

Fortunately, gaining efficiencies at your healthcare practice can allow your staff to work smarter and not harder. Practices that adopt an all-in-one platform to streamline and automate certain office functions not only improve and enhance productivity, but they deliver a more convenient, patient-focused experience. 

While most healthcare practices think of patient acquisition as the top growth strategy, do not underestimate 2 other key paths to sustainable growth: greater productivity and long-term patient retention. When those components are combined with a strong patient acquisition strategy, practices of all sizes and specialties can achieve continued growth. 

Enhancing your healthcare practice’s efficiency

Whether you ask front office staff, providers, nurses, or support staff, the consensus is that there never seems to be enough hands to complete a day’s work. Staff are continually balancing patients who:

  • Call with questions
  • Need prescription refills
  • Must schedule appointments

Not to mention the staff’s responsibility for managing incoming and outgoing paperwork, patient check-in and check-out — and the list goes on.

Practice owners are balancing: 

  • Staffing needs 
  • Communication
  • Changing regulatory guidelines
  • Financial operations 
  • Healthcare marketing

Improving medical office workflow without adding new staff may feel impossible. But for healthcare practices with an eye on growth, it’s an effective way to grow your practice revenue — particularly if you’ve got a full or nearly full patient panel. Practices can use digital tools to streamline and scale numerous front-office functions, such as appointment scheduling, confirmations, and reminders. 

Practices can use digital tools to streamline and scale numerous front-office functions, such as appointment scheduling, confirmations, and reminders. ”

Moving these tasks online reduces staff phone time, freeing them up for other important priorities. Similarly, introducing digital registration, paperwork, and fax can reduce administrative tasks for overburdened staff. Using text messaging and email enhances patient communication — allowing your front desk staff to facilitate an exceptional in-office experience. 

Practice productivity and patient satisfaction go hand in hand

Businesses that run smoothly from an operational perspective often boast greater customer satisfaction. Today’s patients expect a seamless experience at every step of the patient journey beginning with appointment scheduling through paying their bill and follow-ups. It’s about more than just convenience and efficiency. Practices that implement digital tools to streamline front-office workflows allow staff to spend their time doing more meaningful tasks, which is beneficial for patient and staff satisfaction. 

Consider this: By automating digital appointment reminders, your front desk staff can spend an extra moment or two connecting with patients before or after their appointments instead of making dozens of phone calls. Automating manual tasks gives staff more time to facilitate prompt check-in/check-out, which reduces wait times and improves throughput. This approach also allows staff to contribute to patient satisfaction. Therefore, they are likely to feel more fulfilled in their roles. It’s a win-win. 

Improving patient satisfaction, reducing attrition

Improving patient satisfaction supports a healthy patient retention strategy, which is critical for sustainable practice growth. Patients who don’t get the experience they’re looking for from their healthcare practice aren’t afraid to switch doctors.

The top reasons patients typically move on? A negative in-person experience and/or lack of access and communication. Specifically, top concerns include:

  •  A poor experience with office staff
  •  Slow or no response to questions or concerns
  •  Long wait times at the practice

Each complaint could be addressed by staff who aren’t busy performing menial, manual tasks.

Greater efficiency and productivity equals happier staff and patients

Modernizing the patient experience with digital tools like an all-in-one practice growth platform can give patients the convenience they expect, while allowing your team membersto stay on top of their day’s work. 

This reduces burnout and gives patients a better in-office experience for a true merger of productivity and patient satisfaction. 

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Written by

Karmin Gentili

Karmin Gentili has been a freelance writer and editor since 2016. She has over 25 years of experience in corporate HR and compliance consulting. She has worked to further elevate her skills by pursuing and receiving multiple certifications, including copywriting, video scriptwriting, effective content positioning, case study writing, and SEO. Her love of writing motivates her to use those skills to develop content for the medical field that ensures others can work toward achieving their goals.

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