patient face time shown through a patient and physician interacting without distractions
Aug 29

Tips for Increasing Patient Face Time

Physicians are only spending 27% of their time on direct clinical face time. (Practice Velocity)

We all want our patients to be satisfied, as satisfied patients are more compliant, have better health outcomes, and remain loyal to our practices, improving our bottom line. How do we make sure our patients are satisfied? One way is to increase the face time our patients receive from us. How do we do it? There are a few ways; let’s take a look at some of them now.

Choose your EHR carefully

The first way to be sure your focus remains squarely on your patients is to choose an EHR that is both easy to use and intuitive. You’ll still need to make some adjustments to your workflow, of course, just by virtue of the transition from paper to an EHR. It’s important to choose an EHR that seems to fit best with how your office naturally works. In order to do this, it’s important to ask lots of questions of the vendors you’re exploring when going through the selection process. These questions should be based on your office’s workflow and needs, so that you’re likely to have less changes to make in workflow and a much more manageable learning curve.

Automate where possible

Automation, by definition, is the use of information technology and control systems to reduce the need for manual work in the provision of services. Now, we’re not suggesting that you replace your workforce with machines; that would be absurd. Automation simply cannot replace your staff. But what it can do, is make your staff’s job easier and allow them to focus on the tasks that can’t be automated, increasing efficiency along the way.

There are a number of benefits to be realized through utilizing automation in healthcare. Let’s look at five of these benefits:

  • Labor savings: The use of automation can save time by replacing tasks that were formerly completed manually that are actually better served by automation.
  • Improved consistency and quality: Automation tools aren’t human, so they don’t get tired and they don’t often make mistakes.
  • Waste reduction: By using automation technology, practices can connect more efficiently with their patients and avoid the need to stuff their schedules in order to be sure they have patients to see each day.
  • More predictable outcomes: Patients who are on a standardized path of care are more likely to stay on track with their care plan and reach the intended outcomes.
  • Insights driven by data: The use of automation technology also provides a wealth of data that can be used to analyze, improve, and optimize practice performance.

There are many types of automation you can utilize in your practice. Some of the most valuable areas to automate are appointment reminders, faxing, and information entry.

Make sure your providers are fully trained and using the EHR in the most efficient way possible

When your staff is struggling with the EHR it takes focus from the patients. This is why successful EHR implementation is so important. The success of any EHR’s implementation really lies with how well trained the staff using it is. Any software that can’t be used to its fullest is going to feel like a waste and will drag down staff efficiency instantly. One of the very best ways to ensure that your physicians will be able to use the EHR without taking away from patient focus is to invest heavily in training and keep checking in with your staff to be sure they are completing tasks in the most efficient way.

Increasing patient facetime is important to keeping your patients satisfied and loyal, both of which keep your practice’s bottom line healthy. In the age of the EHR, some providers think this is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. By choosing the appropriate EHR, automating processes where possible, and making sure your staff is thoroughly trained on their EHR, you can be sure your providers will be able to focus on patients rather than be glued to the EHR screen.

Are you ready to begin automating processes in your practice? From appointment reminders to faxes and beyond, MicroMD has you covered. Visit micromd.com/eservices or call 1-800-624-8832 for more information.

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Our goal is to provide your practice the information you need to get you back to what you do best – healing. We blog. You heal.

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