« Two simple ways to i... | Main | Two ways to address ... »

Thursday Feb 28, 2019

Ten steps to better practice efficiency

As a physician, you know how to diagnose and treat your patients’ problems, but you may not always know how to diagnose and fix the workflow problems in your practice that are causing inefficiency and frustration. Proven quality improvement techniques from other industries can help. Start with these 10 steps for addressing an inefficient process:

1.    Clarify the value or purpose of the process from the patient’s perspective.

2.    Eliminate any steps that do not add value.

3.    Don’t batch and queue. Instead, deal with each task as it presents to you, keeping the process flowing continuously.

4.    Standardize the process so that employees follow the same steps every time, eliminating the need for guesswork.

5.    Strive for fewer handoffs, allowing employees to be responsible for a complete task.

6.    Simplify the process wherever possible with fewer steps and fewer people involved.

7.    Eliminate waits and delays both within and between steps.

8.    Correct errors or defects at the moment they occur. Don’t send them ahead to the next step in the process.

9.    Question the movement of people or things within a process.

10. Don’t set up a task force to improve your processes. Instead, begin immediately by making someone accountable for the continuous improvement of each key process and letting the people who do the work improve the work.

Read the full FPM article: “Making Every Minute Count: Tools to Improve Office Efficiency.”

Insightful, quick-read tips delivered straight to your inbox

Sign up to receive FPM's free, weekly e-newsletter, "Quick Tips & Insights," filled with practical, peer-reviewed advice you can put to work right now to improve patient care, streamline your day, get properly reimbursed, and improve career satisfaction.

Posted at 12:00PM Feb 28, 2019 by FPM Editors

« Two simple ways to i... | Main | Two ways to address ... »






The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the AAFP. All comments are moderated and will be removed if they violate our Terms of Use.