time management

Dashboards: Practice performance at a glance

A medical practice performance dashboard is a great time-saver to help keep your finger on the pulse of practice performance and understand your position in real time. It is similar to the one in your car – a set of indicators  provide a simple, practical way to know what’s going on and to let you know when you’re headed for trouble. The dashboard is a metric reporting tool that makes it easy to look at business performance so you know when the practice is doing well and are alerted when something is wrong.  Dashboards provide a layered interface that conforms to the way you work.  When performance dashboards are aligned with the practice’s operations, productivity, finances and strategic plan, managers and physicians begin to work more efficiently and effectively toward achieving shared objectives. Typical indicators revealed on the dashboard focus on practice productivity and finances. However, the power of the dashboard can be extended to include other data. For example, if a new provider was added recently or you opened a new satellite clinic, monitoring growth and financial progress of this entity can be added to the dashboard. The dashboard can be designed to compare internal performance from the prior year or to look at how you compare to your colleagues across the nation. Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA) has conveniently packaged a set of dashboard metrics with its Cost Survey on disc.  This enables the user to create a dashboard based on six indicators that are benchmarked against other practices in a few short minutes. The spreadsheet used to prepare the dashboard shows your ranking when compared to the MGMA database. If you find yourself on information overload with management and financial reports screaming for attention, think about implementing dashboard technology to monitor your practice's business performance at-a-glance.   With web-embedded technology some applications can update information automatically eliminating the need to repopulate the spreadsheets.  Charts and tables can be configured to support drill-down capabilities. Keep in mind, though, that dashboards are only as good as the data that supports them.  Success is dependent on the quality and flexibility of

By |2022-01-01T22:52:09-08:00January 31st, 2014|

Be a Lean Machine

Solving work flow problems is among the biggest challenges medical offices face on a daily basis.   Work flow issues can be caused by a lack of defined work processes and individual responsibilities or poor training. It may seem like an oxymoron but too little or too much staff can also be a contributor to poor work flow.  Regardless, it will result in unhappy patients and diminished profits.  It's time to get serious about  creating a lean operating machine.  Here's some tips to help you get started: Take a critical look at workflow bottlenecks. Map work flow: Examine processes throughout the office to identify and eliminate those that don't provide added value to the customer or the practice.  Involve staff in seeking solutions to problem areas of work flow. Everyone needs to give a valid reason for the various steps they go through to complete a task as a first step to eliminate processes that are redundant or duplicated. Examine errors or tasks that are completed to find the cause and develop the right solution. Develop a written plan to implement the best solution, including target dates for incremental progress. Communicate throughout the entire change process.  There will be times when you will want to refocus and perhaps change directions. Celebrate  your success along the way!

By |2022-01-01T22:52:55-08:00June 6th, 2011|

Where Accounts Receivable Headaches Begin

Collection problems don't begin with a rejected insurance claim or a patient's failure to make prompt payment.  The headache of managing the accounts receivable starts with  the patient registration form - data collection. It' s the  receptionists and schedulers failure to  gather sufficient  and accurate financial data when patients first contact the office. Why does this occur?  It happens because we fail to train the receptionists and schedulers on billing matters. They need to view the patient registration form and the insurance cards as financial documents - much like a credit application.   Spend more time on the upfront training with these staff members and educate them about the consequences of poor data collection: rejected claims, delayed payments and an inability to collect the patient's portion of the bill after the fact.  Set up accountability standards for data collection. Establish a reporting mechanism that tracks the reason for rejected claims.  Start looking over this information to identify the most common errors that cause claims to be rejected.  Then train staff  on better data collection techniques to overcome these problems and show them their progress each month.   The staff of good intentions. In reality the scheduling and reception staff have good intentions, but if you don't train them and help them understand the details essential to collecting accurate demographic and insurance data, then you are a part of the problem.   Help staff's good intentions turn into better performance. You will  improve revenue and save time! Capko & Company, experts in medical practice management and marketing. 

By |2022-01-01T22:52:55-08:00April 22nd, 2011|

Stop Wasting Energy & Money

Medical practice revenue is tighter than ever. It's time for you to take critical steps to keep costs under control and improve profits. The first step to fixing the bottom line is to look for the waste. Wasted energy results in a loss of potential revenue and lots of frustration.  There is waste throughout the typical practice, but most of it is silent and doesn't get the attention it should.  Here's some common threads we see in your world: A lack of clearly defined job responsibilities that result in duplication of effort. Accepting poor performance and inferior outcomes Mistakes that one person makes and another one corrects because it seems faster or easier. The good news is all these things are fixable.   Make the commitment.   Look at the action that needs attention. Is it the scheduling, patient visit or billing and collections, or something else? Then  flow chart the processes involved and identify the cause for errors and inefficiency, discuss the possible solutions and pick the one that makes the most sense.  Then  [and this is important]  assign someone the responsibility to see it through, set a reasonable time-line to get each change completed and  schedule meetings to review progress along the way.  You may need to hire a consultant to get the ball rolling and develop a process improvement plan, but it will be worth the effort.  Start thinking lean and reduce the waste! Once you see improvement it's time to celebrate.  Your bottom-line will improve, staff will enjoy their work more and patients will be happier.  Sounds like a win-win-win.   So just  do it! Capko & Company, experts in practice management and markeeting - We are here to help make your practice shine. s

By |2022-01-01T22:52:56-08:00April 5th, 2011|

What’s Your Time Worth?

Doctors and managers work hard to keep the practice afloat and provide good care, and service to the patients. But it's not just about working hard, it's about working smart!Ask yourself what your time is worth? Physicians and managers are the drivers of the practice and need to work at the highest level to generate and protect the revenue that keeps the practice running. Too often when working with practices, I see sabotage that results in poor management of your most important commodity - Time! Here's what you can do about it.Stop the interruptions: Sometimes they are valid, but often they are not. Pay close attention and you may discover that you are being interrupted unnecessarily. Set some guidelines that keep interruptions at bay. Delegate more: If you are doing tasks or assuming responsibility for things that can be done by someone else, it's time to evaluate why. It may be a matter of just not wanting to take the time to provide proper instruction or train someone to do a task, but it costs plenty. Delegation provides an opportunity to enrich a staff members job while freeing your time. Physicians just might see one more patient a day and that adds up to as much as $50,000 a year. When managers free up more time it gives them the opportunity to be strategic in planning for the future and ensuring revenue is not compromised.Now it's your turn - give our bloggers your best tips on managing time better.Judy Capko is one of America's leading practice management and marketing consultants. e mail judy@capko.com.

By |2022-01-01T22:52:57-08:00September 28th, 2010|

Getting Bugged?

Patients first.Patients are a priority in every practice, in fact, they are the purpose. So why don't doctors pay closer attention to patient complaints? The top three complaints all have to do with time and these issues can be solved.What bugs patients??1. Waiting more than 1/2 hour in the office2. Waiting too long for an appointment (access)3. Doctor spent too little time with meThese problems can be resolved by setting up realistic scheduling parameters based on the actual time a physician needs with the patient and then starting on time. This will require staff taking the right initiative to have patients and charts properly prepared for the visit. I'm sure you are up for the challenge. After all, you will gain a lot: higher productivity, happier patients, and a better bottom line!Now its your turn.Tell me doctor, what bugs you? I really want to hear from you and will report the results in a future blog. In fact, answer this blog and share your opinion with your peers.Contact Judy Capko, one of America's leading practice management and marketing consultants. e-mail judy@capko.com

By |2022-01-01T22:52:59-08:00March 23rd, 2009|
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